New Mexico announces “cradle to career” cross-agency education and workforce data platform

RISE NM will identify trends, inform policy to support New Mexicans from cradle to career, utilizing information available from four state agencies.

State Agency Press Release
April 13, 2022

SANTA FE, NM – Four state agencies are joining forces to create a shared statewide longitudinal data system, also known as RISE NM, to identify opportunities to improve outcomes for New Mexicans in their journey from early childhood into the workforce.  

The New Mexico Departments of Early Childhood Education and Care, Public Education, Higher Education, and Workforce Solutions have established RISE NM – Research Informing Success in Education – to create a centralized resource that will inform policy and close gaps as students transition from each phase of their education and into their careers.   

Currently, each partner agency has separate data systems used to generate reports and analyze trends, but agencies must request information on a case-by-case basis from one another in order to access data. The RISE NM project aims to make information about student enrollment, achievement, graduation, employment, and more available in one place that government organizations, educators, and the public can access to make informed decisions.  

Gov. Lujan Grisham invested $4.25 million to support the RISE NM project this past legislative session, which includes development of the shared data system and securely transferring data from existing systems into the new database. Thanks to federal support from New Mexico’s congressional delegation, the project also received $2 million in federal funding through the recently approved omnibus spending bill. The total cost of the project is estimated at $9.4 million over the course of five years.   

“The foundations for lifelong success are often laid in the first few years of a child’s life when their brains are developing the fastest,” said Early Childhood Education and Care Cabinet Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky. “Our new longitudinal data system will help us track the growth and development of New Mexicans beginning in their earliest years, throughout their educational journey, and into the workforce – giving us invaluable insights into the long-term impacts of early childhood programs and policies.”  

“Data-informed decisions are essential in meeting the needs of today’s students and in making the best use of resources. The RISE NM initiative means we will have access to high-quality data about educational programs from early childhood all the way to the workforce, including a career in the military,” Public Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus said. “This partnership among four state agencies to build a single information system will help keep New Mexico on its path for educational growth and success across the state by enabling us to impact outcomes like student achievement and graduation rates” 

“By working together to gain a full understanding of the experiences of New Mexicans from early childhood into their careers, we can ensure that we are making sound investments in solutions that really work and identify direct resources and innovative policies in a way that has the greatest impact,” Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez said. “Gov. Lujan Grisham, the Higher Education Department, and our sister agencies are committed to making it possible for every New Mexican to access a quality education across all sectors and enter family-sustaining careers, right here at home.”   

“Better academic outcomes from early childhood through postsecondary education, be that traditional college or alternative pathways such as apprenticeships, lead to better workforce and economic outcomes,” said Workforce Solutions Acting Secretary Ricky Serna. “RISE NM will allow our agencies to better support each other, and most importantly, to better serve the people of New Mexico.”  

“New Mexico students deserve a future as bright as they are. We achieve that future by investing in solutions that make a difference at an early age. That’s why I’m proud to have secured $2 million in direct federal funding so that RISE NM can leverage data to help close achievement gaps in education and the workforce, creating better opportunities for New Mexicans across the state,” said Senator Martin Heinrich

“I was proud to secure Congressional funding for the New Mexico Department of Higher Education, New Mexico Public Education Department, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, and the New Mexico Early Childhood Education & Care Department to better use data to support innovative solutions to close achievement gaps in education and in the workforce,” said Senator Ben Ray Luján. “As a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), I am committed to strengthening early childhood, education, and job training programs to improve child welfare and educational and workforce outcomes. This robust investment in a streamlined, longitudinal data system will advance equity and prospects for New Mexicans from cradle to career. With this funding, New Mexico will be able to put that data to work.” 

“When we invest in our children’s education, we invest in their futures. As our world continues to change rapidly, the best way to meet all of our student’s needs is to make data-driven decisions,” said Representative Teresa Leger Fernández. “I am glad we were able to secure this important funding to help New Mexico education leaders create informed policies to unleash the potential of every student. We must do everything we can to support our students and create opportunities so they can achieve their goals.” 

“The RISE NM initiative is a game changer for our state’s future,” said Representative Melanie Stansbury. “As a social scientist, I know that data and collaboration have the power to unlock new opportunities for smart policy that supports our communities. I applaud our state’s leadership to support our kids as they journey from childhood to the workforce and increase economic and educational outcomes for all New Mexicans.” 

After a comprehensive review process, the state has selected Google Cloud as the software vendor to create and manage the platform. Interactive dashboards, reports, and visualizations will be available once the system is launched. Full system capabilities are scheduled to be complete in 2023.  

Other states, including California, Utah, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Hawaii, have put in place similar systems that have helped improve academic and career outcomes for students.

For example, Oregon’s longitudinal data system supported the creation of equity briefs that allowed the state to examine disparities among Native American, Hispanic, Black, and Asian American students in high school graduation, college going rates, and long-term employment outcomes. 

To learn more about the RISE NM project, visit Research Informing Success in Education | RISE NM

RISE NM’s mission is to expand the accessibility and usability of statewide, educational and workforce cross-agency data.  This tool will help drive informed decision- and policy-making that produces positive impacts to the education and workforce outcomes while protecting individual privacy and confidentiality. RISE NM will be a resource for reliable statewide, cross-agency data and reports that guide decisions and policies that prepare and drive sustainable educational decisions and emerging workforce needs.