Speakers at a forum about the use of longitudinal data in education stressed the importance of comprehensive data systems that follow students throughout their educational careers--from kindergarten to college--while also protecting students' privacy.

Participants in the Data Quality Campaign's March 10 forum in Washington, D.C., called "Leveraging the Power of Data to Improve Education," said that if educators are to get the most out of using data to improve instruction, information must follow students from the time they enter the education system to when they ultimately leave.

"In order to achieve success, we need comprehensive data systems that begin in preschool and...

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