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Orientation Guide


Contents

Introduction to the Forum
National Forum on Education Statistics Committees
      The Steering Committee
      National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC)
      Policies, Programs, and Implementation Committee (PPI)
      Technology Committee (TECH)

Roles and Responsibilities
      The Forum Chair
      The Forum Vice-Chair
      The Standing Committee Chairs
      Standing Committee Vice-Chairs
      State Forum Liaisons
      Contract Management
      Local Forum Liaisons
      Associate Members
      Task Force Chairs
Forum Communications


Introduction to the Forum

The National Cooperative Education Statistics System was established under the Hawkins-Stafford Education Improvement Amendments of 1988. The system is meant to organize cooperation with the states on issues of education data collection and dissemination. To this end, the National Forum on Education Statistics was established in 1989 to create a voluntary, democratic, participatory, federal-state group to identify education data needs at the national, state, and local levels.

The functions and objectives of the Forum identified in the Forum's Policies and Procedures Manual include, but are not limited to:

  • Development of a national agenda for the collection and reporting of elementary and secondary education statistics;
  • Development of policies and procedures for implementing and strengthening the Cooperative system; and
  • Improvement of communication among the National Center for Education Statistics, state education agencies (SEAs), and other providers and users of national education information on issues concerning the Cooperative System and the national data agenda. 
The Forum meets semi-annually to discuss issues of current importance in these areas. The Forum consists of four committees, the Steering Committee and three standing committees designed to address major interests of the Cooperative System.

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National Forum on Education Statistics Committees

The Steering Committee
The Steering Committee oversees and coordinates all Forum activities. The members of the Steering Committee are the chair and vice chair of the Forum, the immediate past chair of the Steering Committee, and the chairs and vice chairs of the three standing committees. The Forum chair heads the Steering Committee.

National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC)
The National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC) addresses ways to improve the quality of education data to fulfill the Cooperative System's legislative mandate to improve the quality of data for education policy making at all levels of government. The committee has as its mission the development of a national education statistics agenda, that is, the identification of issues and policy concerns bearing on the development of comparable and effective nationwide elementary and secondary education data collection, reporting, and use, focusing on the major areas of student, staff, fiscal, institutional, and other information that yields valuable perspective on education in the United States.

Policies, Programs, and Implementation Committee (PPI)
The Policies, Programs, and Implementation (PPI) Committee deliberates on the major functions and general effectiveness of the Cooperative System. Specifically, PPI focuses on addressing ways to assist SEAs and school districts in improving their ability to collect and report comparable, accurate, and timely data, and enhancing coordination among federal agencies, and between federal and state agencies. In addition, PPI addresses ways to reduce paperwork burdens at all levels of government, and to explore ongoing and emerging issues such as data sharing and confidentiality of education records. PPI is also responsible for recommending amendments to the Policy and Procedures Manual and reviewing and recommending the formation of new task forces.

Technology Committee (TECH)
The Technology Committee (TECH) is concerned with new and proven technology strategies to improve the exchange of student and staff information and the technical infrastructure that supports this exchange. It promotes the development and adoption of standards for electronic data exchange, and sponsors pilot and developmental projects in the exchange of data about students and education staff, as well as examining the impact of new technologies on information exchange. The committee produces "best practices" guides to help schools, school districts and state education agencies make good decisions about selecting hardware, software, and networking services for information management and dealing with issues such as data security, data quality, and the integration of information systems to support effective decision making.

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Roles and Responsibilities

The Forum Chair
The Forum chair is elected by Forum members for a one-year term and works with the Steering Committee and NCES staff to oversee and coordinate all Forum activities. Responsibilities of the chair include:

  • Serving for one year as the Forum chair and representing the Forum as necessary.
  • Chairing each Forum meeting.
  • Chairing Steering Committee meetings.
  • Developing agendas for the Forum and Steering Committee meetings with support from NCES staff.
  • Leading special projects at the request of Forum members.

The Forum Vice-Chair
The Forum Vice-Chair is elected by Forum members for a one-year term and works with the Steering Committee to oversee and coordinate all Forum activities. The Forum Vice-Chair is often nominated and elected Forum Chair in the year following the term of office. Responsibilities of the Forum Vice-Chair include:

  • Assisting the Forum chair in meetings and in representing the Forum.
  • Assisting the Forum chair to develop agendas for the Forum and Steering Committee meetings.
  • Serving on the editorial board for the Forum Voice.
  • Serving as chair in the absence of the chair.
  • Leading special projects at the request of the chair.
  • Reviewing the Forum Strategic Plan and recommending updates, as necessary.

The Standing Committee Chairs
The standing committee chairs are nominated by their standing committees and elected by the full Forum. The Standing Committee chairs work with the Steering Committee and NCES staff to oversee and coordinate the work of their specific standing committee. Responsibilities of standing committee chairs include:

  • Serving for one year as standing committee chairs and representing the Forum as necessary.
  • Chairing each standing committee meeting.
  • Reviewing reports or products of task forces and working groups.
  • Forwarding requests for creating Task Forces to the Steering Committee.
  • Participating in Steering Committee meetings and representing their committees.
  • Developing agendas for the standing committee meetings in collaboration with the NCES staff.
  • Leading special projects at the request of their standing committees and Forum members.
  • Selecting Committee members to review proposals for specific task orders.
  • Presenting a slate of officers for approval by the Steering Committee.

Standing Committee Vice-Chairs
The standing committee Vice-Chairs are nominated by their standing committees and elected by the Full Forum. The Vice-Chairs work with the standing committee chairs and NCES staff to oversee and coordinate the work of their specific standing committees. Responsibilities of standing committee Vice-Chairs include:

  • Assisting the standing committee chairs in meetings and in representing the Forum.
  • Assisting the standing committee chairs in developing agendas for the committee meetings.
  • Serving on the editorial board for the Forum Voice.
  • Chairing committee meetings in the absence of the chair.
  • Leading special projects at the request of the chair.
  • Reviewing reports or products of task forces and working groups.

State Forum Liaisons
The SEA liaison is appointed by the Chief State School Officer and is expected to speak on his or her behalf on issues of education data policy. The SEA liaison contributes valuable perspective and experience concerning state education data needs. A state liaison has several important responsibilities:

  • Acting as representative in the coordination of Federal data collections at the state level and in other matters concerning the Cooperative System to promote the efficiency, quality, and usefulness of data collections.
  • Attending two annual meetings of the National Forum on Education Statistics.
  • Participating in the annual NCES Data Conference and in the Management Information Systems (MIS) Conference.
  • Overseeing all Cooperative System Contracts awarded to states, with specific responsibilities as outlined below (see, Contract Management)
  • Serving as a member of a standing committee.
  • Volunteering to work with one or more task forces.
  • Reviewing Forum/NCES publications as a preliminary step to Forum approval.

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Contract Management
SEA liaisons are solely responsible for work relating to the management of contracts for basic participation and for special task awards. The basic participation contracts cover the costs of travel to meetings of the Forum while the special task awards cover large scale, specific state data improvement projects. The specific SEA liaison responsibilities are as follows:

  • Under Basic Participation, SEA liaisons are responsible for:
    1. Overseeing the submission of the two main deliverables, a List of survey coordinators and attendance plan for Forum, MIS and Data conference meetings and, a list of people who participated at Forum, MIS and Data conference meetings; and
    2. Submitting these deliverables and vouchers on time.

  • When a State is awarded a special task, the SEA is responsible for:
    1. Serving as the main contact person for the special task award;
    2. Submitting deliverables and vouchers on time;
    3. Ensuring completion of work as scheduled and; and
    4. Providing periodic progress reports as specified in the special task order award.

Local Forum Liaisons
The Local Education Agency (LEA) liaison is appointed by the Chief State School Officer and is expected to participate in all Forum meetings as a full member, authorized to vote on issues that come before the Forum. In addition, the LEA liaison may serve as a Forum officer and/or may fulfill any other responsibility open to Forum members. The LEA liaison contributes valuable perspective and experiences concerning local agency data needs. Other important responsibilities include:

  • Attending two annual meetings of the National Forum on Education Statistics and voting on any issues that may come before the full Forum for approval.
  • Participating in the annual NCES Data Conference and in the Management Information Systems Conference (MIS).
  • Serving on one standing committee of the Forum.
  • Volunteering to work with one or more task forces.
  • Reviewing Forum/NCES publications as a preliminary step to Forum approval.

Associate Members
Associate members participate in Forum standing committee meetings and take an active role in committee, subcommittee, and task force activities. They participate in the discussion of issues, but they do not participate in formal decision-making of the full Forum, and they do not vote for Forum officers or on policies and procedures. They may not hold elected office. In addition, the responsibilities of associate members include:

  • Promoting the work of the Forum among their members.
  • Providing the Forum with valuable input from the perspective of their members.

To be an associate, an agency or organization must collect or be a major user of elementary and secondary education information. Organizations meeting the criterion for associate status may apply to the Forum Steering Committee for associate status, or may be invited by the Steering Committee to apply. Upon recommendation by the Steering Committee and approval by the Forum, the organization shall be granted associate status.

Task Force Chairs
Task Force chairs are selected by the Steering Committee, standing committees and Forum members to oversee and coordinate the work of specific topics of interest to Forum members and to develop a product within a specified timeline. Responsibilities of standing task force chairs include:

  • Leading special projects at the request of Steering Committee, standing committees and Forum members and chairing each task force meeting.
  • Selecting task force members with expertise in specific topics relating to task force work.
  • Identifying resource needs and establishing project timelines.
  • Scheduling and facilitating necessary meetings, phone conferences, and other events required for timely progress toward completion of task(s).
  • Developing agendas for the task force meetings in collaboration with the NCES staff and consultants.
  • Developing products and promotional materials in collaboration with the NCES staff and consultants.
  • Developing a product development and dissemination plan in collaboration with the NCES staff and consultants.
  • Selecting outside reviewers for draft products in collaboration with the NCES staff and consultants.
  • Presenting the final products to the full Forum.

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Forum Communications

Forum communications are facilitated by the use of electronic mailing lists, accessible only to registered Forum representatives:

Group Name Listserv Address
Alternative SES Measures Working Group ALTSESM@NCESLISTSERV.COM
College and Career Ready Working Group CCR@nceslistserv.com
Communications Subcommittee COMMSUB@NCESlistserv.com
El/Sec Steering Committee ELSEC-Steer@nceslistserv.com
Forum Members ForumMembers@nceslistserv.com
Local Education Agency Liaisons (LEAs) LEA@nceslistserv.com
National Education Statistics Agenda Committee
(NESAC) Standing Committee
NESAC@nceslistserv.com
Policies, Programs and Implementation
(PPI) Standing Committee
PPI@nceslistserv.com
SCED Working Group SCED@nceslistserv.com
State and Local Agency Members SEA-LEA@nceslistserv.com
State Education Agency Liaisons (SEAs) SEA@nceslistserv.com
Technology (TECH) Standing Committee TECH@nceslistserv.com
Virtual Education Working Group VIRTUALED@nceslistserv.com

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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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