WDQC releases federal recommendations

May 30, 2014

This post originally appeared on the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) website. Click here to learn more about WDQC.

Building on the principles in our policy agenda, WDQC has released specific recommendations for federal action—both legislative and administrative—that would support better data for accountability, transparency and program improvement.

WDQC’s ideas were generated with extensive input from policy experts, state leaders, researchers, employer advocates and practitioners across the education and workforce spectrum. Our unique coalition of 11 national partners was instrumental in helping to shape the recommendations.

Last week, staff from WDQC and its partners presented the legislative recommendations to Congressional staff at a briefing on Capitol Hill. The briefing was timely, as the recent introduction of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) has sparked conversation about data and accountability.

WDQC’s legislative recommendations focus on improving the reporting of key outcomes, including credential attainment and post-program employment, across federally-funded education and workforce programs. We also propose restructuring federal grants for state longitudinal data systems to incentivize the interagency collaboration needed to manage and utilize inclusive data.

Legislation is a powerful tool to drive and sustain reform, but we recognize that crafting and passing bills can take years. Therefore, WDQC also submitted recommendations to the Obama Administration for actions they could take now — without changes in law — to improve education and workforce data.

Our administrative recommendations, which were sent to the White House and leadership at the Departments of Education, Labor and Commerce, are designed to assist in three goals:

  • Measure program outcomes to help educators, students, workers and policymakers make smarter choices
  • Align education/training programs with labor market demand
  • Improve matching between jobseekers and open positions

As Congress works on reauthorizing major education and workforce programs and the Administration completes its government-wide review of job training programs, WDQC will continue discussions with federal leaders to advocate for data system improvement.