ECLDS December Newsletter: News and Resources for Your Data Exploration

Minnesota EarlyChildhood Longitudinal Data System

News and Resources for Your Data Exploration

December 9, 2023

Happy Holidays

We enter the holiday season with high spirits and new goals for 2024. We end 2023 year with uplifting news that we are glad to share with you below.

ECLDS Welcomes Its First Research Scientist

We are excited to announce that we have hired John Burczek Dreier as ECLDS Research Scientist. John now supports ECLDS by conducting complex research and data analysis activities for early childhood care and education on behalf of the Departments of Education, Human Services, Health, and Children’s Cabinet. Working closely with the ECLDS Lead, he is a key staff member helping multiple state agencies better understand the characteristics and experiences of Minnesota’s youngest children and their families who use public programs and services.

Prior to his work for ECLDS, Dr. Burczek Dreier served as the assistant director of undergraduate analytics in the Office of Undergraduate Education at the University of Minnesota, focusing primarily on research and data analysis to support institutional decision making on enrollment planning, student success, tuition pricing, and financial aid policies. He also previously worked as a Senior Research and Policy Analyst at the University of Maryland for five years, where he applied statistical expertise to research projects addressing student retention/graduation, enrollment planning, and institutional finances. He participated in national evaluations of sponsored programs by the National Science Foundation and other nonprofit organizations at Abt Associates. 

John earned his Ph.D. in higher education, student affairs, and international education policy from the University of Maryland. He earned his M.A. in higher education from the University of Michigan and B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. He can be reached at

ECLDS, SLEDS Proposal Granted $4M to Expand Data-Based Analysis on Students’ Progression from High School to Postsecondary and Workforce

Minnesota’s Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System (SLEDS) and Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System (ECLDS) were chosen to receive a $4 million grant by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to implement the proposed project “Expanding Access to Student-Centered Learning to Improve Pathways to Educational and Career Attainment” in the next four years. The decision was made public on September 25, 2023.

Minnesota is a recognized leader in providing full data integration from early education to workforce. The awarded proposal aims to increase understanding of students’ progression from high school to postsecondary and workforce participation; by expanding their data reporting capabilities, ECLDS and SLEDS will produce comprehensive information essential to state leaders and program administrators dedicated to enact policies and programs that close persistent outcome gaps.

The project intends to achieve its core objective via the following four related initiatives:

  • Expand collection, reporting, and analysis of data on learner-centered education programs and outcomes in K-12 education.
  • Enhance overall knowledge of non-traditional education pathways and outcomes through expanded SLEDS public and secure reporting.
  • Widen the scope of postsecondary education and employment information available through public reports.
  • Explore pathways to graduation, workforce participation, and a family-sustaining wage, with a focus on the Early Care and Education (ECE) workforce.

“Given the impact of early care and education in providing a base for long-term student success, and potentially on students’ ability to enter later pathways leading to positive postsecondary and workforce outcomes, understanding the pathways which lead educators to enter (and exit) this field is also of extreme importance, especially in addressing potential teacher shortages within the ECE field,” said Project Director Maira Rosas-Lee.

The awarded funds will cover an expansion of the research and data collection team. The project will hire six new staff to help collect new data from schools and districts, postsecondary pathways and outcomes, workforce and employment participation, and integrate them into SLEDS reports.

The ECLDS and SLEDS teams hope for their partners to be actively engaged and involved in the process of creating the new data reports. We thank the IES for the award and are grateful for their confidence in SLEDS and our collaborative effort from all our partners.

Tips and Tools

Our Regional Coaching Network Connects You with Data

Are you a data newbie? Whether it is your first time navigating the site or you need help to access a customized report, you can count on personalized support to help you along your data exploration. The ECLDS+SLEDS Regional Coaching Network is your nearby, personal resource for better understanding the data available to you in ECLDS.

The network has coaches in all corners of the state, ready to work closely with you to address the technical issues that may arise when accessing, using, and applying data shown on both ECLDS and SLEDS.

If you are new to ECLDS or would like assistance with data analysis, contact a regional data coach close to you.

Photo of team working

Share Your ECLDS Stories

How has ECLDS helped you in your work? Send us your anecdotes, stories, studies, press releases, and photos to help us understand how ECLDS is being used and how it could grow to meet your needs. We appreciate your feedback. Please email your stories to