For Immediate Release                                                                                                               
January 29, 2010

State Superintendent honored for collaborative efforts to build student data system

Superintendent and three other Illinois leaders named `State Policymakers of the Years’

SPRINGFIELD – State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch was honored by the Data Quality Campaign today for his work toward ensuring the state builds a pre-k through college data system to better prepare students for success after graduation. The Data Quality Campaign named Dr. Koch, Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director Judy Erwin, Illinois Community College Board President Geoffrey Obrzut and Illinois State Senator Heather Steans as this year’s “State Policymakers of the Year’’ for their critical leadership role in supporting comprehensive legislation requiring the development of a statewide longitudinal data system.

“I’m honored to be recognized as a partner in the efforts to build a data system that aims to improve instruction and student performance for generations to come,’’ Koch said. “This system will give Illinois educators and policymakers much-needed data to drive instruction but it will also give students more information and options as they prepare for college and careers.”

The P-20 Data System Act, sponsored by Senator Steans and signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn, requires state education authorities to collect student records, and integrate and share student data from preschool through college with workforce and employment agencies.

As the state’s Longitudinal Data System develops, students will be able to tap into more data and information to make important course selection decisions prior to college and careers.

The system will also provide information regarding the extent to which students transition successfully from high school to college, including whether students enroll in remedial coursework at universities and colleges.

The state leaders honored today continue to work collaboratively to develop the longitudinal data system and seek more resources and funds to speed the process. Most recently, these education partners worked to seek additional federal funds for data sharing through Illinois’ Race to the Top application where they requested funds that would give teachers in the classroom real-time access to high-quality data to better instruct their students.

The Data Quality Campaign is a national, collaborative effort to encourage and support state policymakers to improve the collection, availability and use of high-quality education data and to implement state longitudinal data systems to improve student achievement.