In my previous blog post, I discussed the benefits of a Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) and shared a SAS book on the subject: Implement, Improve and Expand Your Statewide Longitudinal Data System by Armistead W Sapp III and Jamie McQuiggan.
Today, I'm sharing a conversation I had with one of the book’s authors, Armistead Sapp. In it, we discuss state funding, big data and overcoming challenges with patience and persistence.
What was the initial impetus for writing the book and how has it been received?
Armistead Sapp: We wrote the book to address the questions that states might have with implementing, improving and expanding their SLDSs. When I first starting write this, I envisioned we would be talking to the state education leaders and the folks in charge of the SLDS in each state.
As the federal grant program expanded, we realized there was an abundance of funding but there was also a lack of direction. Even after several rounds of funding, states were still struggling. Some states were doing things well and some not so well.
When I started working with the State of North Carolina, on their SLDS at SAS, I realized that there were questions that every state needed to answer. So, I thought it would be important to write a book to share the best practices we were seeing by working with the states on these projects.