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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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South Carolina wins $5.8 million to improve education research and
November 21, 2005

COLUMBIA - South Carolina has won a $5.8-million grant to design and implement statewide K-12 data systems, the U.S. Department of Education has announced.  Of the 14 states that won grants, South Carolina's and Kentucky's are the largest.

The three-year federal grant will help fund the development of the South Carolina Longitudinal Data System, which will assist the state in generating data needed to comply with federal and state reporting requirements.  In addition to facilitating research that improves student learning, the new system also will help to provide data linkages across states.

"This is exciting news," said State Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum.  "No Child Left Behind Act and state accountability measures require increasingly detailed data and analyses for education decision-making.  Our new data system will enable us to conduct research and identify solutions that improve classroom instruction.  It will help us close the achievement gap, and the ultimate winners will be our students."

South Carolina already is implementing an essential component of the longitudinal data system.  The Student Unique Identifier System (SUNS) is a single, non-duplicated number that is assigned to and remains with a student throughout his or her PreK-12 career. The identifier provides a way to follow students as they move from grade to grade, from school to school or even district to district.

The statewide student identifier and longitudinal data system will help educators track the academic effectiveness of a school or program, assess the impact of teacher preparation and training programs on student achievement, recognize consistently high performing schools and prepare the state's students for success in rigorous high school courses.

Winners of the data system grants, and their three-year totals, are: Alaska, $3.5 million; Arkansas, $3.3 million; California, $3.3 million; Connecticut, $1.5 million; Florida, $1.6 million; Kentucky, $5.8
million; Maryland, $5.7 million; Michigan, $3 million; Minnesota, $3.3 million; Ohio, $5.7 million; Pennsylvania, $4 million; South Carolina, $5.8 million; Tennessee, $3.2 million; and Wisconsin, $3.1 million.

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