Study Determines Perkins Data Elements Can Be Uniformly Defined

Study Determines Perkins Data Elements Can Be Uniformly Defined

4/1/2010
Louisville, KY

The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE), funded by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), at the U.S. Department of Education, working with MPR Associates, Inc., has released A Common Postsecondary Data Dictionary for Perkins Accountability, which summarizes the results of a study aimed at assessing the feasibility of creating a voluntary, nationwide data dictionary that can be used to standardize the reporting of postsecondary accountability reporting requirements for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.

Researchers found that the participating states—and California, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin—were able to uniformly define many data elements that can be used to construct and report on postsecondary
accountability measures required by the Perkins Act. Most states have some flexibility in how they collect and report data. With sufficient support and clear guidelines, many states could crosswalk their data to a common data dictionary.

Some opponents of the Perkins Act have claimed that the difficulty in demonstrating positive outcomes associated with career and technical education (CTE) participation should result in the elimination of the Act and its funding. This study concludes that states will require clear guidance and direction to ensure they collect data that are comparable across states.

“The variability across states has made data comparability a difficult task,” said Pradeep Kotamraju, Deputy Director of the NRCCTE, and lead researcher on this study. “However, this study shows that states do have common and uniform data elements that can make aggregating the data possible which would help illustrate the benefit CTE provides to students and society.”

For more information on this report visit the NRCCTE website at www.nrccte.org.

Kirsten Sundell
Communications Director

Cara DiMattina
Dissemination Coordinator

About the NRCCTE

The National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) is the primary agent for generating scientifically based knowledge, dissemination, professional development, and technical assistance to improve career and technical education (CTE) in the United States. The NRCCTE works to improve the engagement, achievement, and transition of high school and postsecondary CTE students
through technical assistance to states, professional development for CTE practitioners, and dissemination of knowledge derived from scientifically based research. The NRCCTE is funded by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education.