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Data Systems Standards and Guidelines

Welcome to NCES's toolbox for data system designers and managers who are looking for ways to build and/or improve education data systems!

Any State or school district is faced with major decisions at every step in planning, designing, operating, and using a data system. The resources identified here can help. They are drawn from work by NCES, technology standards organizations, the States and school districts that make up the National Forum on Education Statistics, and State data system managers who share some of the lessons learned and tools developed in building their own data systems.

Content and Definitions resources include data handbooks, tools for customizing a data dictionary, and taxonomies for enrollment/exit and student attendance data.

Models and Schemas include links to the CEDS data model, interoperability standards, and reporting requirements.

Best Practice Guides present nontechnical explanations of technical topics, in-service training materials, and helpful materials for many aspects of planning a data system, managing data, ensuring high-quality data, and using data for education decision-making.

LDS Share links users to model documents, policies, and other resources developed by States that have received Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems grants.

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