Content and Definitions
These resources contribute to standard, comparable, multi-use education information when they are used in developing data dictionaries, collection instruments, and reports.
Common Education Data Standards
Common Education Data Standards (CEDS)
The Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) project is a national collaborative effort to develop voluntary, common data standards for a key set of education data elements to streamline the exchange and comparison of data across institutions and sectors. The CEDS "standards" are comprised of several pieces of information that provide context for and describe data items within CEDS such as the domain, entity, element, option set, related use cases, alternative names, and other notes. The website allows viewing and interacting with CEDS by element, relationship, or comparison.
- NCES Handbooks Online
This searchable database includes P-12 education data elements in the areas of student, staff, and institutional data, and is linked to NCES's Financial Accounting for State and Local School Systems. It is updated annually and identifies elements used to meet EDFacts reporting requirements.
- Handbooks Online State Customization Tool
This password-protected site allows authorized State education agency staff the ability to customize data elements to meet their unique needs while retaining the basic structure and organization of Handbooks Online.
- Course Codes
The Secondary School Course Classification System: School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED)
This publication includes course titles, codes, and descriptions and a recommended structure for indicating course level, credit, and sequence. The site also provides an Excel file of the course codes and descriptions. A helpful SCED Overview (100 KB) document is also available to help answer frequently asked questions from states and districts who are adopting SCED for their student records or transcripts.
Prior-to-Secondary School Course Classification System: School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED)(2011)
This document provides a taxonomy and course descriptions intended to help schools and education agencies maintain longitudinal information about students' coursework in an efficient, standardized format that facilitates the exchange of records as students transfer from one school, district, state, or level to another. By design, the prior-to-secondary course framework mirrors, in large part, the secondary course framework. Both frameworks consist of four basic elements: course description, course level, available credit (for secondary) or grade span (for prior to secondary), and sequence. Taken together, these elements create a unique identification code for any course from preK through secondary school.
- Attendance Codes
Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data (2009)
This Forum guide offers best practice suggestions on collecting and using student attendance data to improve performance. It includes a standard set of codes to make attendance data comparable across districts and states. The product also presents real-life examples of how attendance information has been used by school districts.
- Exit Codes
Accounting for Every Student: A Taxonomy for Standard Student Exit Codes (2006)
This "best practice" guide presents an exhaustive and mutually exclusive exit code taxonomy that accounts, at any single point in time, for all students enrolled (or previously enrolled) in a particular school or district. It is based on exit code systems in use in state education agencies across the nation and a thorough review of existing literature on the subject.
- Crime & Violence
Forum Guide to Crime, Violence, and Discipline Incident Data
This guide focuses on the use of crime, violence, and discipline data to improve school safety. It presents strategies for implementing an incident database, including system design, management, and training; recommends a body of data elements, definitions, and code lists useful for collecting accurate and comparable data about crime, violence, and discipline; and offers suggestions for the effective presentation and reporting of data. This guide was created in collaboration with the Discipline Data Working Group of the U.S. Department of Education to ensure that it will be useful to states and districts reporting data to the Office for Civil Rights, the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and EDFacts.
Forum Guide to Facilities Information Management: A Resource for State and Local Education Agencies
This guide is intended to provide a framework for collecting, evaluating, and maintaining education facilities data. It is written to help staff in state and local education agencies, and in public charter schools, design school facility information systems that support policy- and decisionmaking; management and operation; capital budgeting and project management; public participation in school facilities planning; and the integration of facilities data into other education and municipal data sets. It includes best practices for the design, development, implementation, and use of facilities management information systems, along with a list of standard data elements.
- Finance Data
Forum Guide to Core Finance Data Elements (2007)
This document provides an overview of key finance data terms. It also covers the 2 NCES public school finance surveys: the state-level National Public Education Financial Survey and the School District Finance Survey (or F-33). Differences and similarities between the two surveys are described. Chapter 3 contains definitions for key finance data elements. Chapter 4 contains a listing and definitions of key finance indicators and economic adjustment indexes.