A recent article in Education Week details efforts to link primary, secondary, and higher education (Pre-K-20) data systems.

The federal government and organizations like the Data Quality Campaign are pushing states to develop comprehensive, linked databases of students information from preschool to graduate school. Adam Levinson, the director of policy and strategic planning for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, is quoted in the article. He supports beefing up state data systems.

According to proponents of the databases, only three obstacles remain: 1) finding an alternative to Social Security numbers, i.e., unique ID systems; 2) establishing a governance structure to oversee data coordination, ownership, and access; and 3) solving technical issues.

States will solve obstacles one and three long before obstacle two is sorted out. Although it is way too early to tell, do not be surprised if states eventually ask the federal government to oversee data coordination, ownership, and access of Pre-K-20 data. That would be worrisome, to say the least.