Best Practice Guides
These documents present best-practice suggestions for approaching all stages of planning, managing, and using an education data system.
Planning the Data System
Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems, Book I: What is an LDS? (2010)
This document, the first installment of a four-part Forum guide series on longitudinal data systems (LDS), focuses on the fundamental questions of what an LDS is (and is not), what steps should be taken to achieve a successful system, what components make up an ideal system, and why such a system is of value in education.
- Decision Support
Forum Guide to Decision Support Systems: A Resource for Educators (2006)
This document helps readers better understand what decision support systems are, how they are configured, how they operate, and how they might be developed and implemented in an education setting.
Forum Guide to Metadata: The Meaning Behind Education Data (2009)
This document offers best practice concepts, definitions, implementation strategies, and templates/tools for an audience of data, technology, and program staff in state and local education agencies. It is hoped that this resource will improve this audience's awareness and understanding of metadata and, subsequently, the quality of the data in the systems they maintain.
- Technology Suite
Forum Unified Education Technology Suite (2005)
This compilation of nontechnical guides will help individuals who lack extensive experience with technology to develop a better understanding of the terminology, concepts, and fundamental issues influencing technology acquisition and implementation decisions.
Facilities Information Management: A Guide for State and Local Education Agencies (2003)
This Guide provides a framework for identifying a basic set of school facilities data elements and definitions that will meet the information needs of school and community decision makers, school facility managers, and the general public.
Managing the Data
Data Quality Assurance
- Data Ethics
Forum Guide to Data Ethics (2010)
This document presents a code of ethics for data management in education settings. Its canons, examples, descriptions, and recommendations reflect situations that arise in real schools, school districts, and state education agencies. The guidance is intended to supplement existing data ethics policies in education organizations or serve as a template when organizations create new policies.
- Education Indicators
Forum Guide to Education Indicators (2005)
The guide defines a number of key education statistics and offers recommendations and caveats about their use.