State Data Systems: Worth the Legislative Investment to Connect Workforce and Education

Learn more about Anne Wicks.
Anne Wicks
Ann Kimball Johnson Director, Education and Opportunity
George W. Bush Institute

The pandemic has exacerbated existing education gaps for many young people of color and students who are growing up in poverty. Connecting disparate data systems into a well-governed and transparent way in each state will help guide researchers and policymakers in the years ahead.

Determining whether a state’s young people are on track for a life with opportunity is a critical — but difficult — task for governors and state leaders. States can be both awash in data and unable to easily access and use that data to inform policy. State longitudinal data systems that meaningfully connect workforce, higher education, K-12, and early childhood outcome data are foundational to strong decision-making by state leaders.


State leaders should prioritize legislation that follows these recommendations for state longitudinal data systems.