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Beshear Signs Executive Order Creating Education Data Center

Gov. Steve Beshear has signed an executive order to create the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics, which officials say solidifies his commitment to data gathering across various agencies.

The center will replace and build upon Kentucky’s P-20 Collaborative, which has kept similar information related to education and beyond. This includes linking high school and college data and the center may eventually help determine if schools are meeting the state’s workforce demands.Beshear says the center will now act as the sole source for linked education and workforce data and will manage reporting at the state and federal level.“It will allow us to coordinate our activities, better know what students are doing, what’s is working, what’s not and I think that way we can make every one of those areas a success,” he said.Officials say the center’s reach could extend to agencies like the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, but they also acknowledge that agencies are careful with how they share their data.The center has a $600,000 budget, which will be partly supplemented by federal grants. In 2009 the P-20 Data Collaborative received a $2.9 million federal grant that ends in March 2013. It also received a $3.6 million federal grant in July 2012 that is good for three years, according to Cathy Lindsay, communications director of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.“This will supplement what has been budgeted by the state. The center will continue to seek federal funding,” she wrote in an email.The order also establishes a new board, which will include Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and Robert King, the president of the Council on Post Secondary Education.