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Strategic Plan

(Revised Version Approved:  October, 2006)

Introduction
The Mission of the Forum
The Strategic Plan: Goals, Objectives, and Strategies


Introduction

The National Cooperative Education Statistics System was established by the Hawkins-Stafford Education Improvement Amendments of 1988 (Public Law 100-297) to “produce and maintain, with the cooperation of the States, comparable and uniform education statistics.” To assist in meeting this goal, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) established the National Forum on Education Statistics. The Forum members consist of federal, state and local education representatives whose agencies have major responsibility for collecting and reporting education data.

In January, 1993, the Forum approved its first strategic plan. This plan represents the third review and update.

The Mission of the Forum

The Forum will develop and recommend strategies for building quality education data systems that will support local, state and federal efforts to improve elementary and secondary education throughout the United States.

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The Strategic Plan: Goals, Objectives, and Strategies

Goals and Objectives of the National Forum on Education Statistics

The Forum has adopted three major goals for organizing its work over the coming years. These are as follows:

  1. Develop a comprehensive system of comparable local, state, and federal basic data elements useful for education decision-making at all levels of government.
  2. The Forum will identify and define the core data needed to operate schools and districts, to support state and federal program reports, and to guide education policy at all levels. This core will provide answers to policy and program questions with maximum efficiency and will reduce burden on data providers.

  3. Improve coordination, integration, and consolidation of the collection and dissemination of quality education data.
  4. The Forum will propose standards and principles of good practice to promote more secure, accurate, timely, comparable, and uniform education data and to make the best use possible of these data.

  5. Promote the Forum as a widely recognized cooperative body addressing issues of education data policy, and a leader in setting data standards.
  6. The Forum will be a leader in setting data standards including areas such as policy question clarification, indicator development, data quality, feasibility of data collection, and data collection strategies.

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Objectives And Strategies For Meeting The Goals

GOAL I. Develop a comprehensive system of comparable local, state, and federal basic data elements useful for education decision-making at all levels of government.

Goal I Objective:

  1. A comprehensive, dynamic set of basic data elements will be developed which adhere to a set of common definitions, are comparable within and across reporting levels, are timely and available on a schedule appropriate for decision making, and provide an accurate and reliable picture of what they measure.

    To meet this objective, the Forum endorses the following strategies:

    1. Identify the basic data elements relating to students, staff, finance, facilities, learning support, accountability and technology at school, district, state and national levels.
    2. Disseminate and promote the use of basic data elements.
    3. Review the content and completeness of the system of basic data elements and the procedure for identifying elements on a continuing basis.
    4. Assist with the adoption and use of standards for data collection and reporting.
    5. Support efforts to plan the development and implementation of automated and integrated education data systems.
    6. Identify and seek to remove organizational and technical barriers, problems, and unresolved questions impeding the development, adoption and use of shared data items.

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GOAL II.   Improve coordination, integration, and consolidation of the collection and dissemination of quality education data.

Goal II Objectives:

  1. The reporting burden on state and local data providers will be minimized.
  2. Communication and coordination among the various data providers and requesters will be improved.
  3. Data collectors will employ the most efficient and secure data collection procedures that are technically feasible.
  4. Products of the Forum’s work (i.e. reports, programs, etc.) will be designed, disseminated and promoted to maximize usefulness.
  5. States will implement and share projects that demonstrate the use of technology to improve data collection, access, analysis and reporting.

    To meet these objectives, the Forum endorses the following strategies:

    1. Promote ongoing coordinated reviews of education data collection activities.
    2. Support the use of standard definitions in education data collections.
    3. Promote efficiency in data collection and access through the use of new and emerging technologies.
    4. Promote the better integration of education data collections.
    5. Work to improve the dissemination and usefulness of education data and promote its use through Forum products.
    6. Establish linkages with early childhood and postsecondary education to promote coordination and efficiency in data collection and use.
    7. Promote procedures and practices that ensure data quality at all levels of education.

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GOAL III.  Promote the Forum as a widely recognized cooperative body addressing issues of education data policy, and a leader in setting data standards.

Goal III Objectives:

  1. Local, state, federal, and other stakeholders will be actively engaged in the development and implementation of education data standards.
  2. Education data standards will be developed, adopted, and widely disseminated.
  3. Collaborative partnership among and between states and the federal government will further the development of education policy.

    To meet these objectives, the Forum endorses the following strategies:

    1. Disseminate widely and promote the use of Forum products.
    2. Strengthen coordination by expanding membership as appropriate.
    3. Actively seek collaborative relationships with agencies and groups to work toward common education data issues and goals.
    4. Promote consultation and information sharing with the private research, development, and service sectors.
    5. Establish, review, and disseminate guidelines for policies affecting the production, use, confidentiality, release, and dissemination of education statistics.
    6. Periodically review and update all Forum products as appropriate.
    7. Report every other year on progress toward Strategic Plan Goals.

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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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