Research Forum

2023 Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS) Research Forum:
Leveraging Strategic Data Analytics and Research across Multiple State Agencies to Drive Powerful Decisions

Registration Information

Registration is now closed!


See the UPDATED agenda at a glance below for panelist and presentation details!

If you will be staying at the Hilton Hotel during the event, we are offering special event rates! Register below:

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Event Summary

We are excited to announce that registration is now open for our third annual research forum in which we will be bringing researchers, legislators, and agency leaders together to explore how strategic data analytics can drive important research to inform powerful decision making at every level. The event will provide both an overview of the VLDS and an opportunity to learn more about how it is being used across the state of Virginia.

The event will be open starting at 7:30 AM on Wednesday September 27th, and will end at 4:30 PM on Thursday, September 28th.

It will take place at the Short Pump Hilton Hotel in Richmond, Virginia, located at 12042 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23233.


Agenda at a Glance

This schedule is tentative and may change before the event.

September 27th, 2023 7:30-8:45 AM: Registration and Breakfast 8:45-8:50 AM: Welcome - Dr. Toni Stroter (Master of Ceremony), VLDS Research Analyst, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) 8:50-8:55 AM:  Panel Introductions - Dr. Tod R. Massa, Director, Policy Analytics VLDS (Virginia Longitudinal Data System) Lead State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)
9:00-10:00 AM:  Virginia State Policy Leaders Panel
  • Panel Moderator: Aimee Guidera, Secretary of Education
  • Panelists:
    • Leah Mills, Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources
    • Carrie Roth, Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission
    • Caren Merrick, Secretary of Commerce and Trade
    • George “Bryan” Slater, Secretary of Labor
    • Heather McKay, Executive Director of the Virginia Office of Education Economics
10:00-10:15 AM: Welcome - Dr. Toni Stroter (Master of Ceremony), VLDS Research Analyst, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) 10:20-10:35 AM: Opening Remarks - Dr. Dave Myers, Deputy Superintendent, Department of Data, Research, and Technology, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) 10:40-11:00 AM: VLDS Strategic Plan & Panel De-Brief - Dr. Tod R. Massa, Director, Policy Analytics VLDS Lead State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) 11:15 AM-12:30 PM: VLDS Participating Agency Demonstration Booths - Featured Agencies
  • State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
  • Virginia Department of Education
  • Virginia Employment Commission
  • Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
  • Office of Children's Services
  • Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired
  • Department of Social Services
  • Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission
  • Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Virginia Department of Health Professions
  • Virginia Community College System
12:30-1:45 PM: Lunch (provided) 2:00-3:00 PM: VLDS Breakout Sessions 1 ROOM: General Session
  • Interactive VLDS Training Session - Ron Parrish, Senior Data Analyst at the Virginia Department of Education and Will Goldschmidt, Chief Operating Officer at DB Driven
3:15-4:15 PM:  VLDS Breakout Sessions 2
  • Using LASER to Provide Comprehensive Data to Drive Student Improvement Over Time - Mike Dunavant, Decision Analytics (LASER) Team Lead, Andrew Neiburg, Decision Analytics (LASER) Implementer, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE): BREAKOUT ROOM C
  • Examining Employment Status and Earnings of Former Foster Youth by Discharge Type - Dr. Jamie Cage, Associate Professor of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU): BREAKOUT ROOM A
  • Examining Students’ Response to State High School Graduation Requirements Policy: A Longitudinal, Student-Level Analysis Connecting Course Taking, Test Scores, and Demographics - Samantha Viano, Assistant Professor of Education Leadership, George Mason University (GMU): BREAKOUT ROOM D
  • Teachers Retention and Licensure Since the Pandemic’s Onset in Virginia - Luke Miller, Associate Research Professor, Department of Education, Leadership, Foundations, and Public Policy, University of Virginia (UVA), Beth E. Schueler (Assistant Professor, UVA) and Amy L. Reynolds (Postdoctoral Research Associate, UVA): BREAKOUT ROOM: SHORT-PUMP
  • A Walk to Remember: An Interactive Walk Through the Statistics and Reports Section of the Virginia Department of Education’s Website - Susan Williams, Director of the Office of Data Servicer, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE): BREAKOUT ROOM B
4:30-4:45: First Day Closing Remarks and Evaluation September 28th, 2023 8:00-8:55 AM:  Registration and breakfast 9:00-9:10 AM: Opening Remarks - Toni Stroter (Master of Ceremony), VLDS Research Analyst, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) 9:15-9:25 AM: Panel Introductions  - Tod Massa, Director of Policy Analytics at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) 9:30-10:30 AM: Virginia State Agency Lead Panel 
  • Panel Moderator: Tod Massa, Director of Policy Analytics at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)
  • Panelists:
    • Peter Blake, Director of the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV)
    • Dr. Danny Avula, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS)
    • Kurt Sprenger, Director of Analytics, Evaluation, and WIOA Planning, Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
    • Dr. Yetty Shobo, Director of the Healthcare Workforce Data Center, Department of Health Professions (DHP)
    • Dr. Dave Myers, Deputy Superintendent, Department of Data, Research, and Technology, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE)
    • Kathryn Hayfield, Commissioner of the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
10:45-11:45 AM: VLDS Breakout Session 3
  • Virginia Department of Education Interactive Data Visualizations - Dr. Toni Stroter, VLDS Research Analyst, Jazel Baquero, Senior Tableau Developer & Trainer, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), Raquel Vandenesse, Decision Analytics (LASER) Visualization Specialist, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE): BREAKOUT ROOM: SHORT-PUMP
  • Bridging the Gap in Educational Records for Students in Foster Care: A Longitudinal Data Tool for Practitioners - Dr. Xianxuan Xu, Director of Strategic Analysis and Research, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), Susan Williams, Director of Data Services, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE): BREAKOUT ROOM D
  • Using VLDS to Analyze Education and Workforce Alignment - Dr. Todd Oldham, Director of Research, VOEE, Bill Richter, Research and Data Analyst, Virginia Office of Education Economics (VOEE): BREAKOUT ROOM C
  • Low Income Children’s Participation Across Public Programs: Public Preschool, Child Care Subsidies, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Dr. Taryn Morrissey, Professor of Public Policy, School of Public Affairs at American University, Michah W. Rothbart, Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration and International Affairs, The Maxwell School of Syracuse University, Colleen Heflin, Professor, Department of Public Administration and International Affairs, The Maxwell School of Syracuse University, Xiaohan Sun, Assistant Professor, Department of Business and Economics, Allegheny College: BREAKOUT ROOM A
  • Exploring the Landscape of Advanced Course Taking Using VLDS Data: An Interactive Approach - Dr. David Naff, Associate Director, Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC): BREAKOUT ROOM B
12:00-12:15 PM: Event Closing Remarks and Evaluation 12:15-2:00 PM:  Lunch (provided) 2:00-4:00 PM:  Networking Opportunities

Contact

More information about the event can be found on the event website

More information about the Virginia Longitudinal Data System can be found on the VLDS website

Questions about this event can be directed to the VLDS Research Analyst at the VDOE Office of Strategic Analysis and Research,  Toni Stroter, antionette.stroter@doe.virginia.gov 


2022 VLDS Research Forum Webinar Series: Aligning Data across Education, Social Services, and Workforce Sectors to Inform Systems Outcomes

In September and October 2022, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and VLDS partner agencies hosted a series of three webinars. We had great attendance with over 200 individuals logging in from universities, school divisions, partner agencies, legislation, nonprofit, and private sector. These events looked at:


Webinar 1: How to Design, Build, Manipulate, and Analyze Effective VLDS Data Packages: Avoiding Common Errors and Pitfalls

Presenters: Ron Parrish, VDOE Senior Data Analyst and Will Goldschmidt, DB Driven Managing Partner

Description: Designed for all users of VLDS (novice to experienced), this webinar includes a brief overview of the VLDS and an in-depth training on requesting, accessing, merging, and interpreting data results across state agencies and sectors. Our experts answer your toughest questions about the VLDS!



Webinar 1 PowerPoint

Webinar 2: On the Move: Educational Instability among Foster Youth

Presenters: Dr. Mattie Mackenzie-Liu, Research Associate, Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, Urban Institute

Description: Dr. Mackenzie-Liu discusses the results of her recently completed research project using VLDS data, which focuses on foster care youth and educational instability. Learn why supporting students’ educational stability is such an important part of student success.



Webinar 2 PowerPoint

Webinar 3: Using VLDS to Study the Virginia Health Workforce Supply

Presenters: Dr. Tammie Jones, Research Manager at George Mason University and Dr. PJ Maddox, Professor & Chair of the Department of Health Administration at George Mason University

Description: In the third and final webinar, Dr. Jones and Dr. Maddox discuss their VLDS research project focused on understanding the health sciences workforce pipeline and career development of students over time. Find out what VLDS can tell us about the future of the health sciences workforce and student career development.



Webinar 3 PowerPoint

2021 VLDS Research Forum Session Recordings

Breakout Session A

Topic: VLDS 101

Presenter: Craig Moebus, DBDriven

Description: Designed for individuals new to VLDS, this session will provide an in-depth review of how VLDS operates, including user access procedures, data availability, data matching and de-identification procedures, and the type of output users can anticipate.


Update June 29, 2022: The ‘future state’ hashing method discussed from 19:47 - 21:45 of this presentation is implemented in the VLDS system. Result ID’s returned within a Research Purpose will yield the same ID for the same record. For example:

  • Data Package A – Jane Doe Result ID ABC123
  • Data Package B – Jane Doe Resuls ID ABC123


Breakout Session B

Topic: Queries in VLDS

Presenter: Ron Parrish, VDOE

Description: Designed for individuals who will be requesting and working with VLDS data, this session focuses on how to design successful queries and packages in VLDS to get the most out of the data available, including the use of filters to manage query size and scope.


Update June 29, 2022: The ‘future state’ hashing method discussed from 19:47 - 21:45 of this presentation is implemented in the VLDS system. Result ID’s returned within a Research Purpose will yield the same ID for the same record. For example:

  • Data Package A – Jane Doe Result ID ABC123
  • Data Package B – Jane Doe Resuls ID ABC123


Breakout Session C

Topic: Incremental Improvements: How Research Improves Data

Presenter: Jeff Price, Ph.D., VDSS

Description: State agencies glean opportunities to improve data availability or data structures within VLDS from their engagement with researchers. As Chief Data Officer and Director of the Office of Research and Planning at the Virginia Department of Social Services, Dr. Price will discuss how recent research projects evaluating the impact of agency programs and service delivery have resulted in enhancements to agency data and informed future system plans.



Breakout Session D

Topic: Working with VLDS: One Researcher’s Advice

Presenter: Luke Miller, Ph.D., University of Virginia

Description: When analyzing VLDS data, researchers can take several important steps to ensure their findings reflect the context that generated the data and to maximize their findings’ impact on policy and practice. Dr. Miller has been working with VLDS since 2012, and will share his perspective on the value of developing collaborative research partnerships with state agencies, and identifying ways to use VLDS data elements to create new data elements relevant to the research purpose.



Breakout Session E

Topic: Research to Operations

Presenter: Carlos Rivero, Chief Data Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia

Description: As head of Virginia’s Office of Data Governance and Analytics within the Secretary of Administration, Mr. Rivero’s mission is to maximize the value of Commonwealth data through strategic governance, secure and appropriate data sharing, and enterprise analytics to inform actionable intelligence. For this session, Mr. Rivero will share his vision for the future of data governance, data sharing, and data analytics in Virginia, including how the Virginia Longitudinal Data System, Virginia’s Open Data Portal, DataSAGE, and the Commonwealth Data Trust can work together to address equity.