Investigation of Education Databases in Four States to Support Policy Research on Resource Allocation

Picture of Publication Cover

Authors: Diane Pan, Lotte Smith-Hansen, Debra Hughes Jones, Zena H. Rudo, Celeste Alexander, Rahel Kahlert

Price: Available free online
• Published: 2005    • 187 pages   

Available online: PDF

In this report, SEDL researchers investigate data collected and managed by state education agencies to determine whether new research can be conducted to support policy questions about education resources and student performance. Increased attention on the resources needed to help students succeed, how these resources should be allocated, and whether spending and staffing strategies affect student performance bring to light the need to examine state data to inform these issues. This report contributes to education research and policy by


  • describing in fine detail the data collected and housed by state education agencies in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas;
  • providing guidance to policy audiences and researchers about the questions that can be answered with these data, with discussion about using specific financial, staff, student performance, and student characteristic variables from each study state; and
  • discussing ways these data could be improved to expand the range of policy questions answered.

This report is divided into three major sections with detailed reference material in the appendixes. Chapter 2 describes how data on instructional resources and student performance have been utilized to support policy in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas. Chapter 3 describes existing state education data in the four study states and discusses how researchers could use these data to answer policy questions related to instructional resources. We also explore what additional questions could be answered if data were improved. Chapter 4 poses recommendations for policymakers regarding how data might be better utilized and improved to support decision making. Detailed appendixes explain the methods used to conduct this study and provide descriptions of state education data in each of the four study states for the reader’s reference and use in planning future research studies.

Full Report PDF 576k
Executive Summary PDF 136k
Chapter 1: Introduction PDF 100k
Chapter 2: Study Findings—Data Utilization in the Southwest Region PDF 128k
Chapter 3: Study Findings—Can Existing State Education Databases Be Used to Investigate Education Resources and Student Performance? PDF 204k
Chapter 4: Recommendations—What Can Education Policymakers, State Data Managers, and Researchers Do to Increase the Use and Quality of Existing State Education Data? PDF 132k
Appendix A: Methodology PDF 140k
Appendix B: Arkansas State Education Data PDF 172k
Appendix C: Louisiana State Education Data PDF 180k
Appendix D: New Mexico State Education Data PDF 164k
Appendix E: Texas State Education Data PDF 176k