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PPI Winter 2003 Meeting Notes


February 24-25, 2003
Salt Lake City, UT

Monday, February 24, 2003

Task Force and Working Group Reports
State Cooperative System Task Order Contracts
Other Issues

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Joint PPI/NESAC/TDC meeting on the Performance Based
      Data Management Initiative (PBDMI)
Request to Establish Task Forces
Other Issues

Monday, February 24, 2003

The meeting was called to order and committee chair Jerry Hottinger reviewed the purpose of the PPI committee as outlined in the Forum bylaws.

Task Force and Working Group Reports

  • Blair Loudat reported to the committee about the actions of the Guidelines for Data Quality task force. The task force was formed in January of 2002 and should have a product by July of 2003. The task force has already identified the elements to be in the document, and has a new organization for the report. Products will include a booklet, a brochure, and a website on data awareness, all of it focusing on the data clerk level. Dennis Powell commented on the importance of this task force’s work.
  • Steven King reported on the Performance Indicators working group. The working group was created last July and submitted a proposal to become a task force. The group is working to develop a handbook addressing key performance indicators. The work will start from current NCES standards and then see what works best, trying to keep only effective indicators. Dennis Powell moved to vote on creating this task force and Lee Tack seconded the motion. There was unanimous approval of creating this task force and the proposal was sent on to the Steering Committee.
  • Dennis Powell reported on the EIAC General Statistics Permanent Standing Task Force. This task force works to help the Department of Education and PBDMI to define a systematic set of data elements for use across all levels of the collection and reporting process. The task force discusses indicators, data modeling, and data definitions, working closely with SIF and the Department of Education.
    • The differences between EIAC and the Forum were clarified, with the observation that the Forum, in general, recommends policy changes, while EIAC works as a technical review committee on the details of data collection.
  • Dennis Powell and Ghedam Bairu reported on the Student Privacy Task Force. The task force is working to update the 1997 publication “Protecting the Privacy of Student Records: Guidelines for Education Agencies.” The work of this task force is on hold right now due to contracting issues.

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State Cooperative System Task Order Contracts

  • The Forum representative from the Northern Marianas Islands reported on the status of the outlying areas under the new cooperative system contract. The outlying areas of Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Marianas Islands were left out of the reauthorization of the Cooperative System despite previous participation. These areas participate actively in the Forum under the current contracts and would like to participate in the Forum under the next five-year contract. In order to make this possible, the representative requested that PPI recommend to the Steering Committee that the Forum write a letter of support for the outlying areas being included as “states” in the new Cooperative System contract. The letter would note the apparent oversight and would endorse the creation of a technical amendment to change the wording of the legislation to include these areas.
    • Bob Beecham moved to vote on the matter and Dennis Powell seconded. The committee voted unanimously for a Forum letter supporting the outlying areas. The matter was forwarded to the Steering Committee.
  • Ghedam Bairu presented changes made in the next five-year contract.
    • Basic Participation task orders will have only two deliverables.
    • The new contract will also include task orders with money for PBDMI. The specific amount of this funding will be established during PBDMI site visits in the next few months.

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Other Issues

  • Nancy Resch asked if there had been any updates on the status of Race and Ethnicity measurement. Consensus of the committee was that states should still use the old collection method until USED approves new guidelines and an implementation schedule.
  • Lee Tack asked if there are any changes in the status of NCES under the transformation of OERI into IES. There are none.
  • Lee Tack also raised concerns over the rules regarding non-task force members participating in task force meetings. It seems that it would be beneficial for Forum members to be able to sit in on task force deliberations, but that task forces were resisting this because they wanted to have more focused discussions on specific task force materials. It was suggested that task force chairs could discourage non-members from speaking in order to continue to get work done. The discussion was tabled until the next day and the meeting adjourned for the night.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Joint PPI/NESAC/TDC meeting on the Performance Based Data Management Initiative (PBDMI)

  • Hugh Walkup reported on the status of the PBDMI. The PBDMI is an attempt to make the Department of Education an accountable organization, a key aspect of the Department’s strategic plan. In order to accomplish this, the PBDMI will attempt to harmonize the data needs of local, state and federal agencies into a core set of Performance Data indicators. This year, PBDMI representatives will perform SEA site visits to assess each state’s capacity to provide timely and high quality data.
    • Patrick Sherrill added that the PBDMI has a list of data elements and that states will be given a copy in order to prepare for the site visit.
    • Funds to support this initiative will be negotiated with each state and allocated through National Cooperative Education Statistics System contracts.
  • Dennis Powell discussed the proposed creation of a “Local and State Student Data Model Alignment Task Force.”
    • This task force will work with vendors to develop a state data model for data collection necessary for federal and state data needs. The data model will work to ensure that these needs are close enough to allow accurate, automatic data flow.
    • The data model will attempt to harmonize local, state, and federal data needs to ensure that the federal needs are being met at the local level, where data is created.
    • The resulting data model will be placed on the Forum website and will be regularly updated to reflect changes in technology or data needs. The model should be running by September of 2004.
  • Lee Hoffman reported on the creation of an education data dictionary.
    • The Department of Education is working to develop information architecture and a data dictionary to catalogue all data needs. The dictionary will provide common data definitions for elementary and secondary education and will be the standards used for all new data collections, including PBDMI.
    • Barbara Clements added that this product will, hopefully, logically link all federal data needs to their state and local basic data elements.
  • Jinhee Lee reported on the new “Education Systems Data Handbook” which will combine four NCES data handbooks into one.
    • The handbook will identify data elements, update the system on storing and updating data, and will include a large database to track any new data elements or changes to old ones. The database will also work to eliminate redundancy by identifying common areas for the data.
    • Barbara Clements demonstrated the web database. The database includes sections on: what’s new, help, introductions to handbooks, table of contents search engine, search by level (SEA, LEA, Fed), Queries by name or letter, and expert search queries.
  • The floor was opened for questions.
    • Bob Beecham asked if NCLB site visits to align data collection needs would be the same as PBDMI site visits, or at least the same data set as PBDMI would need. Hugh Walkup explained that while these are different visits, the PBDMI visits will focus on data elements needed for all areas of USED, including NCLB.
    • SEAs representatives to the Forum will be the points of contact for PBDMI site visits, attempting to address concerns by some members that less qualified staff would be attending these meetings.
    • The specific data elements included in the PBDMI will vary state to state, but will be compared to the basic data elements outlined by the PBDMI before hand.
    • The data elements will reflect information for the upcoming school year, but will also include a means for updating the data needs and a discussion of data collection timing.

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Request to Establish Task Forces

  • Dennis Powell officially requested approval of the Local and State Student Data Model Alignment Task Force discussed at the joint session. Dennis also requested advice on how to select members.
    • Consensus of the committee was that membership in the task force should reflect various geographic regions and LEA/SEA characteristics as well as pairing LEA/SEAs from each state represented to ensure both views are in accordance.
    • PBDMI may provide additional financial support depending on the task force size.
    • The proposal was approved unanimously and sent on to the steering committee.
    • The first meeting of the task force will be May 9th, 2003 in Washington DC.

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Other Issues

  • Jerry Hottinger expressed interest in reading and updating the Policies and Procedures manual, last updated in July of 2001. The manual is available on the Forum website. Committee members will correspond via e-mail regarding changes to the document. Any updates should be kept simple and in accordance with the new strategic plan.
  • There was more discussion about attendance and participation at task force meetings by non-task force members as raised at the previous day’s meeting. The issue was brought before the steering committee. While the additional exchange of ideas can be beneficial, the short time allotted for task force meetings require focused work. Task force chairs should have discretion to determine before the meeting what participation will be allowed and perhaps this can be noted in Forum agendas.
  • One representative wanted to discuss Free and Reduced Price Lunch issues.
    • Because of multiple Free and Reduced Price Lunch designation systems, it is difficult to compare Free and Reduced Price Lunch across areas.
    • PBDMI will be contacting the Department of Agriculture to establish how to measure this.
  • Student ID systems have become a focus lately as well, and there was a discussion about the creation of student IDs that would allow data transfer across states and organizations. It was noted that such IDs would raise major privacy and legal issues and would never be allowed.

Meeting Adjourned.



 Meeting Notes

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Publications of the National Forum on Education Statistics do not undergo the formal review required for products of the National Center for Education Statistics. The information and opinions published here are the product of the National Forum on Education Statistics and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the U.S. Department of Education or the National Center for Education Statistics.


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