The U.S. Department of Education created the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS) Center for State Data Support (CSDS) in July 2008 with a mission to improve the quality and use of data in managing state and local drug and violence prevention programs. EMT Associates, Inc. was the prime contractor for design and implementation of CSDS, with ICF International as subcontractor. The CSDS is responsible for multiple tasks and products focusing on a) needs assessments for improvement in state data quality and usefulness relevant to OSDFS; b) organizing data to support useful analysis; c) conducting analyses to support policy decisions and performance monitoring; d) identifying emerging issues in the federal and state policy environments that will impact data requirements, procedures and utility; e) preparing reports including annual data and analysis of required data on school expulsions for students found to have brought firearms to school as required under the Gun Free Schools Act, the Biennial Report to Congress on the Safer and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, an annual report on the status and quality of GPRA measures for OSDFS programs, annual reports on the status, quality, and findings of SDFSCA relevant data in Consolidated State Performance Reports; and f) designing and delivering technical assistance and best practices information to meet identified needs and implement data system improvements.
To meet these requirements, the CSDS works closely with OSDFS staff through a series of planning documents that require secondary analysis of data submitted by states; meetings and feedback sessions to gather perceptions of state and local education agency (LEA) personnel who work with and use the data; process auditing of data flow and use; reviews, analysis and summaries of documents and materials (e.g., a review of instruments and measures of school climate to identify the degree of similarity and dissimilarity in definition of school climate in relation to school safety, and the characteristics of different measurement models); and input from Department of Education personnel. The CSDS also organizes information gathering and discussion sessions to inform OSDFS on emerging data needs. For example, the CSDS provided logistical support for a meeting of experts on Standards and Measures of School Climate.
For additional information, please contact EMT at (916) 983-6680 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.