Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Summer Forum 2006 Meeting Notes


National Forum on Education Statistics
July 24-26, 2006
Washington, DC

Opening General Session
Closing General Session
Steering Committee Meeting Summary
Joint Session: State Wide Longitudinal Grants
Joint Session: Data Quality Campaign: Consolidated Data Ask
Joint Session: Data Cycle Working Group
Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN) Update
PPI Meeting Summary
NESAC Meeting Summary
TECH Meeting Summary


Opening General Session Summary
Monday, July 24, 2006

Opening and Welcome

Forum Chair Bill Smith (Sioux Falls School District, SD) called the Forum to order and welcomed participants. Bill reviewed the Forum Mission.

  • To improve the quality comparability and utility of elementary and secondary education data.

Bill commended Forum members for tackling and completing most of the action plan items developed last summer. He reported that the Forum website received 98,417 page views since the Summer 2005 Forum meeting. In addition to the paper copies distributed, there were 77,540 publication PDF downloads/HTML home page views since the Summer 2005 Forum.

Mark Schneider, Commissioner, National Center for Education Statistics

Mark Schneider presented an overview of some areas of interest to NCES. He began his remarks by stating that he is aware of the need for balance between data needs and the burden on people providing it. While NCES would like to see annual, universal data at the local and state level, they recognize that data demands are increasing the burden on data providers. The Internet may reduce some of this burden as it becomes a mechanism for making collection and reporting better, faster, and easier.

NCES will be addressing teacher compensation issues.

  • NCES is looking to create a teacher survey with data linked to schools.
  • Standard definitions for teacher compensation items need to be established.
  • A contract was negotiated to find out what states already collect teacher salary/benefit data and to see if these data meet the needs of researchers.
  • If the necessary data exist, it will not be necessary to create a new collection.

CCD/EDEN merger
The January 2007 pilot merger of nonfiscal data through the EDEN portal is on track. These three issues need to be addressed:

  • Can states use the EDEN format to report their CCD items?
  • Can states meet the EDEN schedule for CCD items?
  • Can EDEN data pass CCD edit checks?

NCES is examining collections of school fiscal data.

  • The goal is to design strategies for revising fiscal data collections.
  • An inventory will be taken to see what fiscal data are available to see if these data can satisfy research and legislative needs.

State Longitudinal Data System Grants

  • The next round of SLDS grants will probably be announced in early September with a submission date in November.
  • Priority will be given to states that plan to link K-12 and postsecondary data systems.
  • Continuing issues are FERPA regulations and consistent metadata development.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Update

LeRoy Rooker, US Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office, addressed several audience questions in reference to FERPA regulations.

Adjournment

The opening Session was adjourned and Forum members went to their standing committee meetings.

Top

Closing General Session Summary
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Forum Chair Bill Smith called the meeting to order and introduced Tom Luce.

Tom Luce, Assistant Secretary, US Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development

Tom Luce began his remarks by confirming that he will be leaving the US Department of Education effective September 1st for personal reasons but will remain active as a consultant. Mr. Luce stated that the challenges that lie ahead are educating every child to true grade level proficiency; and producing and paying for the quality data that will allow states, districts, schools and teachers to do that. Data quality is and will continue to be the most important issue in education policy.

Standing Committee Reports

Standing Committee chairs summarized their committee activities. These summaries are available below.

PPI Meeting Summary
NESAC Meeting Summary
TECH Meeting Summary

Election of Officers

The following Forum members were elected to serve during the 2006-2007 year:

Forum Chair: Derrick Lindsay, Mississippi Department of Education
Forum Vice-Chair: Susan VanGorden, Lakota Local School District (OH)

NESAC

  • Chair: Sonya Edwards, California Department of Education
  • Vice-Chair: Linda Rocks, Bossier Parish Schools (LA)

PPI

  • Chair: Robert Beecham, Nebraska Department of Education
  • Vice-Chair: Levette Williams, Georgia Department of Education

TECH

  • Chair: Jeff Stowe, Arizona Department of Education
  • Vice-Chair: Kathy Gosa, Kansas Department of Education

Forum Recognition

Forum Chair Bill Smith and Forum Manager Ghedam Bairu presented "Certificates of Recognition" to the 2006 Forum Officers and members of the Virtual Education Task Force and the FERPA Toolkit Working Group for their service.

Adjournment

As the outgoing Forum Chair, Bill Smith reminded members of their success in addressing a series of action items during the past year. Derrick Lindsay, the new Forum Chair, assumed office and adjourned the 2006 Summer Forum Meeting.

Top

Steering Committee Meeting Summary
Monday, July 24, 2006

Welcome and Introductions

Forum Chair Bill Smith welcomed the Steering Committee to the summer 2006 Forum Meeting.

Review of Monday's Events

  • Orientation Session
    • Steering Committee members liked the longer format for the Orientation Session. It provided enough time to cover more essential information and allowed new members to get to know current members.
    • Sharing copies of the new publications was great.
    • Recommendations for the next orientation session:
      • Integrate the PowerPoint™ with the New Member Handbook.
      • To avoid repetition, collapse the SEA/LEA/Association slides into a single slide with an indicator where items are different.
      • Meet in a smaller room (the ballroom was simply too large).
      • Try to reduce the overlap between task force time and the Orientation Session. However, it is OK if this is not possible.
  • Opening Session
    • NCES Commissioner Mark Schneider did a very nice job of conveying his research priorities at NCES for the coming year(s).
    • Leroy Rooker, USED Family Policy and Compliance Office (FPCO), answered FERPA questions from the Forum. His efforts were helpful and very much appreciated, but it would be good to get more specific and definitive guidance about applying FERPA at the SEA and LEA levels.
      • The Steering Committee will write a letter to Mr. Rooker to offer Forum member expertise as FPCO reconsiders some of its guidance over the next few months (as Mr. Rooker indicated they would be doing).
  • Forum Strategic Plan
    • PPI: Given efforts to improve data exchange from preschools through college, does the Forum wish to consider expanding its scope to pk-20? If so, we could approach NAEYC, IHEs, and other representatives of this broader audience.
    • TECH: Should we consider changing the objective about "promoting the Forum" to "sharing Forum resources"? The Steering Committee agreed that this was a good suggestion.
  • Standing Committee chairs gave updates on Monday's activities and previews of plans for Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Review of Tuesday's Events

  • Roundtables
    • Steering Committee members thought the roundtables were generally well attended and useful.
    • Instructions for roundtable presenters should be prepared (beginning at the winter 2007 Forum Meeting) to ensure that discussion leaders are aware that they are expected to update Forum members for only about 10-15 minutes and then use the balance of the time to solicit feedback from those members in attendance.
  • Consolidated Data Ask Joint Session
    • The Steering Committee recommends that organizations (e.g., Standard & Poor, etc.) notify states prior to releasing any state data. Also, any data these private data reporters provide should include guidance that directs questions to the releasing organization (e.g., S&P)-not to the SEAs or LEAs who provided the data. In many cases, data are reformatted, which makes it the responsibility of the organization releasing it to explain rather than the original data provider.
  • Standing Committees
    • NESAC submitted a request to form a new working group: Missing in Action - Truancy and Truancy Rates (approved).
    • PPI recommended that the Forum Product Development and Dissemination Guide be modified so that working groups are able to be formed with only approval from a standing committee and the Steering Committee.
    • PPI reported that they had approved TECH's request to form a pK-12 Data Model Task Force. The Steering Committee also approved the action. The task force co-chair (Jeff Stowe, on the Steering Committee as well) was reminded that having vendors on a task force was new to the Forum and that the pK-12 Data Model co-chairs should make a concerted effort to keep the group's work "by the Forum and in the interests of the Forum."
    • TECH approved forwarding the Decision Support System Task Force's draft publication to the full Forum for review.
  • 2006-07 Forum Officers were announced
    • NESAC - Chair: Sonya Edwards, California Department of Education
      NESAC - Vice-Chair: Linda Rocks, Bossier Parish Schools (LA)
    • PPI - Chair: Robert Beecham, Nebraska Department of Education
      PPI - Vice-Chair: Levette Williams, Georgia Department of Education
    • TECH - Chair: Jeff Stowe, Arizona Department of Education
      TECH - Vice-Chair: Kathy Gosa, Kansas State Department of Education
    • Forum - Chair: Derrick Lindsay, Mississippi Department of Education
    • Forum - Vice-Chair: Susan VanGorden, Lakota Local School District (OH)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Review of Wednesday's Events

  • The new Forum Chair, Derrick Lindsay, welcomed the Steering Committee, particularly the new officers. There was agreement by committee members when Derrick stated that this was a particularly strong Forum Meeting with lots of engagement, activity, and productivity.
  • Standing Committees
    • TECH submitted a request to form a new working group: Metadata (approved). Steering Committee members asked that the working group try to get more LEA members involved.
    • TECH action plan items include: 1) developing an "Encyclopedia of Education Technology Terminology" that defines and describes terms on its handout "What do these terms mean?"
    • NESAC action plan items include: 1) finding out what types of staff data are currently collected by SEAs across the nation. This might include salary data, "10 essential elements" related data, and data that could be used to link teachers to classrooms as specific students; 2) developing a policy paper on how FERPA affects the transfer of data between educational levels, administrative levels, and other public agencies.
    • PPI created three action items: 1) policy and legal issues associated with pk-20 data exchange; 2) national teacher salary data; and 3) state level FERPA guidance.
    • TECH and PPI requested that the Steering Committee draft a letter to ask that OCIO or some other part of ED consider assuming the federal collections calendar, agree to complete it (with other ED collections), and keep it up-to-date.
    • NESAC asked that the Steering Committee urge the Department of Education to become closely involved in (and even collaborate with) the Consolidated Data Ask. Tolani will follow up on this.
  • Future Meetings
    • Agendas: Steering Committee members recommended that at the winter 2007 Forum Meeting we experiment with combining each of the standing committee agendas into a stand-alone handout that integrates Forum general sessions and joint sessions as well. This handout is not to be included in the larger Forum/MIS agenda book produced by Westat.
    • Standing Committee Chairs need to be reminded to keep their Closing Session reports shorter and to eliminate overlap between committees
    • Short general sessions (such as those at this meeting) were excellent and, in fact, very much preferable to the 2-3 hour sessions (conducted in lieu of multiple shorter sessions).
    • Orientation Session
      • Experiment with incorporating a quick tour of the website.
      • Demonstrate the use of the listserv.
      • Make sure mentor guidelines get sent early.
    • Roundtables: Experiment with having two or more sets of roundtable sessions because members enjoy having the chance to hear from task forces, etc. and don't want to have to choose one over the other.
    • Meeting Evaluations: Formalize our efforts to learn what members like and don't like about how we are conducting our meetings.

Derrick Lindsay thanked the steering committee and adjourned the meeting.

Top

Joint Session: Statewide Longitudinal Grants- Grover J. Whitehurst, IES Director

State education agency systems should: 1) increase capacity for reporting; 2) promote research about persistent issues in education; and 3) protect privacy.

Congress is likely looking at allocating $35-38M for the next round of Statewide Longitudinal Grants. It is anticipated that there will be an announcement of the grants in fall 2006, with applications due in late 2006. If those dates hold, awards could be announced in spring 2007.

Priority will be given to:

  • those states that submit regional applications; and/or
  • those states that would like to develop linkages between K-12 and post-secondary.

An issue to consider when building longitudinal data systems is the protection of the privacy of student records. One might look at the banking system as a model for sharing critical information without damaging the privacy of data.

Top

Joint Session: Data Quality Campaign: Consolidated Data Ask -Deborah Newby, CCSSO and Aimee Guidera, NCEA

The Data Quality Campaign is working to build support and political will among policymakers to:

  • Fully develop high-quality longitudinal data systems in every state by 2009;
  • Increase understanding and promote the valuable uses of longitudinal and financial data to improve student achievement; and
  • Promote, develop, and use common data standards and efficient data transfer and exchange.

The intent of the Coordinated Data Ask is to reduce the collection burden on states and provide a consistent data set for use by multiple groups.

The CCSSO Board of Directors recently approved moving forward to explore this initiative, funded through CCSSO's National Education Data Partnership. The Coordinated Data Ask will be conducted in cooperation with the US Department of Education. Participation by states will be voluntary and states will be involved in planning.

Top

Joint Session: Data Cycle Working Group

Bruce Dacey (Delaware Department of Education) updated PPI and TECH on the data cycle action plan item. The purpose of the group is to create a calendar of federal data collections.

  • Bruce presented a prototype of a website of a searchable database which includes collection names, OMB codes, year, contact information, narrative information, schedule, etc.
  • The group will take suggestions and create final recommendations for PPI and TECH review before going to the steering committee.

Top

Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN) Update - Pat Sherrill

Pat Sherrill (USDE) visited each of the standing committees to report to the Forum on the EDEN collection. He stated that a 30-day public comment period will be published within a very short time by the Office of Management and Budget. The EDEN responses to questions that have already been raised will be included. The final regulations on this mandatory collection will follow.

  • Collection of data for EDEN is "part and parcel" of doing business. It is not an unfunded mandate. While no additional funds have been designated, discussions are taking place to provide each state with a FTE to meet the EDEN requirements.
  • The Department of Education is proposing a two-year phase in period for some data elements.
  • If the suggested number of "burden" hours is not accurate, LEAs and SEAs need to indicate the correct number.
  • One of the reasons the Secretary is implementing this mandatory collection is to receive real data in a timely fashion. ED will work with states to establish a reasonable time schedule. Problem districts and schools will be identified in management reports.
  • Mandatory data elements to be collected will be announced at or before the Fall EDEN meeting. Some data elements will be mandatory for the initial collection, while others will be phased in over the following two collections.

Pat said he expected that the Department of Education would be releasing guidance on collecting and reporting race/ethnicity. He responded to some specific questions:

  • Is the Department of Education willing to perform aggregations on EDEN data if provided at the school level?
    • Yes, it is able to aggregate from school to district and district to state. States would need to verify that all school data are equal to state data and vice versa.
  • Is it accurate to assume EDEN data is generated to allow state comparisons?
    • It is realistic to assume that comparisons will be made over time. ED wants to help people understand which comparisons are appropriate and which are not.
  • ED recognizes the additional burden metadata may cause and would like to address that issue. To the extent that there is a standard definition there is less need for metadata.
  • Has ED considered funding personnel for the EDEN collection?
    • Discussion is taking place to allocate funds for a full-time EDEN coordinator.
    • It is recognized that the burden for this collection is larger than initially thought.
    • ED expects the total data burden to be reduced as other collections disappear.
  • Will there be a two year phase-in period when new elements are added to the collection?
    • ED will consider this.
  • Who will be ultimately responsible for validity of data?
    • This is something that will have to be worked through. But ultimately someone does need to be responsible.

Top

Standing Committee Summaries


Policies, Programs and Implementation (PPI)
Monday, July 24, 2006

Welcome and Introductions

NESAC chair Susan VanGorden (Lakota Local School District, OH) called the PPI committee to order.

Task Force Update

  • Data Quality Curriculum, Lee Tack (Iowa Department of Education) and Michael Derman (Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, PA)
    • The task force has created a lesson plan and instruction materials aimed at LEA staff. The group used the Forum Guide to Building a Culture of Quality Data as a foundation for the curriculum. Lee and Michael presented a few modules to PPI for discussion purposes. Future plans are to pilot the curriculum. The final documents will be published on the Forum website.

Special Task Order Reports

  • Rhode Island
    • Ken Gu reported that Rhode Island is creating a Portal System, a single point of access that is customized to each user allowing for the integration of different modules.
    • It is expected that the project will be completed in time for a report at the next Forum meeting.
  • Iowa
    • Lee Tack reported that the state department of education conducted an Iowa-wide data conference in April with over 900 local districts represented.
    • They would like to use the remaining funds to put on more regional meetings as well as getting to a system of staff certifications for these trainings.

Joint Session: Data Cycle Working Group

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN) Update - Pat Sherrill

FERPA Tool Kit Update

Levette Williams (Georgia Department of Education) updated PPI on the FERPA Toolkit action plan item. The action plan team completed their document, Forum Guide to the Privacy of Student Information: A Resource for Schools. It has been published on the NCES website, and has been printed.

Forum Policies and Procedures Manual

Susan VanGorden discussed the need for updating the Forum Policies and Procedure Manual. The group agreed to updating some of the language and providing more specifics on membership type. They asked to see more discussion of set-up for task force and working groups in the Forum Product Development and Dissemination Guide.

Strategic Planning Discussion

Susan VanGorden asked for comments on the strategic plan. The group discussed comments that have been sent thus far and made one suggestion on a wording change.

North Dakota Online Handbook Customization Demonstration - Tolani Adeboye, CCSSO; Mazda Ebrahimi, Kforce Government Solutions; Ben Shapiro, Kforce Government Solutions

Presenter discussed a Handbook customization tool for states. They explained what North Dakota did and shared with members what could be available for them. They asked members if they would be interested in such a tool and many states responded positively.

IES State Longitudinal Grant Reports

The following state representatives gave summaries of their IES (Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education) Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grants awarded in November 2005. Abstracts of these and the other awarded grants can be found at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS.

  • Maryland State Department of Education
  • Ohio Department of Education
  • Michigan Department of Education
  • Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

PK-12 Data Model Task Force Request: Joint Session with TECH

PPI and TECH met jointly to hear the presentation from the PK-12 Data Model Working group request to become a task force. Jeff Stowe presented the Product Development and Dissemination Plan packet they had completed for task force approval. PPI voted to approve this group becoming a task force and forwarded this information to the Steering Committee.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Steering Committee Update

Susan gave a brief overview of Steering Committee activities. PPI members discussed the Forum meeting thus far and provided feedback.

2006-07 Action Plan

Susan asked the group to brainstorm ideas for action plan items over the next year. PPI came up with many ideas which were discussed and three ideas emerged.

  • Create a FERPA Resource for SEAs.
  • Create a conversation about sharing data between elementary/secondary and postsecondary.
  • Examine the policy implications of a national measure of teacher compensation.

Top

National Education Statistics Agenda (NESAC) Standing Committee
Monday, July 24, 2006

Welcome and Introductions

Chair Dave Uhlig (Charlottesville City Public Schools, VA) opened the meeting by asking new members to introduce themselves and read the charge for NESAC. A roster and sign in sheet was circulated for participants to update their information. David also reviewed the Forum Strategic Plan and informed the Committee that they would be asked to vote on the plan.

Special Task Order Report

  • Finance Task Force, Lavan Dukes
    • The task force has completed work on a Finance Handbook. This work has taken nine years because the federal handbook had to be updated first.

IES State Longitudinal Grant Reports

The following state representatives gave summaries of their IES (Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education) Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grants awarded in November 2005. Abstracts of these and the other awarded grants can be found at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS.

  • Alaska Department of Education-Les Morse
  • California Department of Education-Sonya Edwards
  • Connecticut Department of Education-Pete Prowda
  • Florida Department of Education-Lavan Dukes

Pk-12 Data Model Working Group Discussion

The committee discussed the work of the Pk-12 Data Model Working Group. The major task of the working group/task force will be to create a standard data model with links to early education and post secondary education.

North Dakota Online Handbook Customization Demonstration - Tolani Adeboye, CCSSO; Mazda Ebrahimi, Kforce Government Solutions; Ben Shapiro, Kforce Government Solutions

In 2004 the North Dakota SEA was awarded an NCES Special Task Order Grant to develop a customization tool based on the NCES Online Handbooks. The success of that tool has prompted NCES to work with its contractors CCSSO and Kforce Government Solutions to develop a customization tool to which all states would have access. The tool is currently in development.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Defining Truants and Measuring Truancy Rates - Debbie Rudy (USED) and Ghedam Bairu (NCES)

The Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools had four regional meetings with states to see if a uniform data set could be developed with standard definitions and protocols. There are many challenges in developing these standards since there are a variety of definitions across the country. Many NESAC committee members agreed. It was resolved that NESAC would form a working group to study the issue and report back on whether or not capturing truancy data was the best approach to resolving underlying policy issues and, if so, what is the feasibility of developing guidance on these data issues. The membership collaborated on filling out the working group request form.

Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN) Update - Pat Sherrill

National Governors Association Graduation Rate-Lavan Dukes & Deborah Newby

The National Governors Association made several recommendations for defining "graduation rate."

  • The cohort for determining graduation rate begins with all 9th grade students that attended school any single day of the school year.
  • The denominator consists of students that have left within 4 years
  • The cohorts don't have a shut off time until graduation.
    • They are adjusted with withdrawals and students who transfer in all the way to graduation.
    • Even summer graduates would be included.
  • If students receive a school GED, they have met the high schools requirements for graduation and are considered graduates.
  • Transfers
    • If a parent says the family is moving and taking the child, it is considered a valid transfer.
    • If there is a request for a transcript, there is no question where the student is going. It is a valid transfer.
  • Schools that have a large number of transferred students while having many fewer requests for transcripts need to have their graduation rates investigated.
  • Even a common rate would not paint a clear picture because states have different requirements for graduation. Several states have a regular graduation rate, a completer's rate, a dropout rate and a special graduation rate.

Discussion of Race/Ethnicity Guidelines

It was suggested that the Forum send a letter stating that if the guidelines for race/ethnicity are going to change, the date of notification should be established and disseminated throughout the education community.

Wednesday, July 26

Using Data Warehousing to Improve Student Learning - Molly Schaefer, Poway, CA

Molly made a presentation to the committee regarding the work done in Poway, CA to use their data warehouse to:

  • Improve student learning through informed decision-making;
  • Provide immediate feedback to teachers, students, and parents;
  • Monitor student growth; and
  • Monitor key district measures.

The district worked closely with teachers to identify their data needs and the building tools for managing formative assessment, or Assessment for Learning.

Course Codes Update, Lee Hoffman, National Center for Education Statistics

The work on the new course codes is complete and the guidebook is undergoing formal NCES review. The guidebook should be available in the near future.

Small Group Reports

NESAC was divided into three small groups based on areas of interest discussed with members prior to the meeting. Facilitators reported challenges and possible suggestions below for further action.

Finance Data Systems

  • Schedule presentation(s) to NESAC of state level systems that integrate finance and student/staff data (e.g. Florida and Texas).
  • Form a NESAC group to collaborate with Frank Johnson (NCES) in the development of a data collection instrument including key data elements.
    • Suggest sending a letter to Pat Sherrill asking that NESAC have input on the process.

Teacher/Staff Data Systems

  • Develop a high level summary that identifies all the source systems and data elements for teacher/staff data including the timing of availability. This will give a sense of the degree of integration (or lack thereof) that exists in bringing together staff data that informs decision making at all levels. The information would be gathered by sending out a questionnaire and/or matrix to the states. The questions would be:
    • What is the source system?
    • When is the information due to other state agencies or federal agencies?
    • Which agencies receive these data?

Student Data Systems

  • Write a collaborative position/policy paper on the challenges of integrating data systems across levels of education and agencies. The paper would be organized in three parts: 1) vision; 2 current realities; and 3) proposed reconciliations. It would emphasize respecting privacy.
  • Develop a best practices document on data recovery in the LEA environment after a disaster.

Closing Comments

Dave Uhlig thanked the NESAC membership for their hard work and indicated how much he had enjoyed serving as NESAC chair. The new NESAC leadership will develop next steps in the context of the small group reports and will communicate with the membership via the listserv.

Top

Technology (TECH) Standing Committee
Monday, July 24, 2006

Welcome and Introductions

Chair Bertha Doar (Rockwood School District, Missouri) called the meeting to order and reviewed the meeting agenda. Vice Chair Jeff Stowe (Arizona Department of Education) reviewed the process for the election of officers for next year.

NCES Special Task Order Report

  • Kansas State Department of Education, Kathy Gosa
    • The project to pilot a student data entry system, including the necessary training, is on track. The intent is to provide data for the KSDE (Education Data Exchange Network) EDEN submissions to the U.S. Department of Education. Kathy reported that additional information is available at http://kids.ksde.org.

IES State Longitudinal Grant Reports

The following state representatives gave summaries of their IES (Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education) Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grants awarded in November 2005. Abstracts of these and the other awarded grants can be found at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS.

  • Arkansas Department of Education, Carmen Jones
  • Minnesota Department of Education, Donna Willis
  • Tennessee Department of Education, Tim Webb

Joint Session: Data Cycle Working Group

Tuesday, July 25

Feedback from Joint Sessions

Bertha led a discussion on the joint session topics. Committee members responded to the Consolidated Data Ask presentation with these thoughts:

  • The data cycle is an ongoing problem. When the data are collected at different times the data are not really comparable.
  • LEAs are concerned that they get nothing back from organizations or agencies when they do the work to send data.
  • Sometimes the assumptions made by federal agencies about data definitions can be wrong.
  • Before information is released by agencies or organizations, local agencies need to be informed. Even though they are not responsible for how their data is used, local agencies are often asked to respond to questions raised.

Committee members requested that there be more clarity on the focus in RFPs for the new round of longitudinal grants. It is not clear, at this point, if the grants will focus on states that are somewhat advanced in developing statewide systems or those states that are at the start of that process.

Regarding the presentation by Leroy Rooker on the FERPA regulations, agencies are caught in a conundrum. While the federal government is providing funds for states to build longitudinal databases and there is great interest in being able to transfer data to post-secondary institutions, it appears that FERPA regulations do not allow states to send individual student records to colleges or universities.

Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN) Update - Pat Sherrill

Task Force Updates

  • Virtual Education, Co-Chairs Derrick Lindsay (Mississippi Department of Education) and Blair Loudat (North Clackamas Schools, OR)
  • Decision Support Literacy, Co-Chairs Tom Ogle (Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) and Raymond Yeagley (Northwest Evaluation Association)
    • TECH approved sending the publication to the Steering Committee and the full Forum for a final review.

Forum Tool Kit/Outreach Site

Andy Rogers, Quality Information Partners, Inc. presented the results of work to provide Forum members with tools to disseminate information about the Forum to state and local agency staff members. Committee members recommended that URLs for publications be placed on individual slides.

Forum Strategic Plan

Members referred to recommended changes previously submitted and requested that these changes be incorporated the Strategic Plan was voted on. There was an additional recommendation to change references from K-12 to PreK-12.

Communication Subcommittee

Roger Young (Association of School Business Officials International), committee chair, reported that the Forum was meeting the communication goals that have been set.

Metadata Working Group

Tom Ogle proposed that TECH recommend the formation of a working group to improve collection and dissemination of quality education data through sharing best practices related to developing data dictionaries and other metadata tools and processes. TECH approved forwarding the request to the Steering Committee.

North Dakota Online Handbook Customization Demonstration - Tolani Adeboye, CCSSO; Mazda Ebrahimi, Kforce Government Solutions; Ben Shapiro, Kforce Government Solutions

In 2004 the North Dakota SEA was awarded an NCES Special Task Order Grant to develop a customization tool based on the NCES Online Handbooks. The success of that tool has prompted NCES to work with its contractors CCSSO and Kforce Government Solutions to develop a customization tool to which all states would have access. The tool is currently in development.

Product Development and Dissemination Guide and the Pre-K Data Model Working Group

Tom Szuba reviewed the Forum Product Development and Dissemination Guide with emphasis on the purposes of a working group and outline that must be completed if the working group members decide to define objectives to form a task force.

Jeff Stowe presented committee members with a request from the Pre-K Data Model Working Group to form a task force. TECH approved forwarding the request to the PPI Standing Committee.

Wednesday, July 26

Post-Secondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) High School Transcript - Michael Sessa, Executive Director

PESC began work in 2004 on an XML high school transcript based on the EDI SPEEDE/ExPRESS standard for electronic exchange of data.

  • The transcript is oriented toward academic elements because that is the interest of the post secondary community. Additional work is necessary for the transcript to become viable for secondary school to school electronic transfer.
  • TECH expressed concern that different standards and processes are being developed by the education community (e.g., PESC, SIFA, Migrant Ed, and ESP).
  • Committee members expressed the need to receive information back from higher education institutions to assist with such issues as teacher credentialing, concurrent student enrollment, and student success indicators.
  • SIFA and PESC agreed to develop a crosswalk between their two systems and report back to TECH at the next meeting.

What is Everyone Talking About? Or, What do these Words Really Mean?

Committee members discussed the need to help members and other administrators explain their needs to vendors (as opposed to vendors defining the needs of the organizations). Committee members determined that it was necessary to address the issue below as an Action Item before the next Forum meeting.

Examine and clarify definitions, functionality, and components of educational information systems such as decision support systems, student information systems, Human Resources, Assessment, Special Education, and grant management.

The audiences will include staff at SEAs and LEAs as well as the vendor community.

Course Code Project Update

The work on the new course codes is complete and the guidebook is undergoing formal NCES review. The guidebook should be available in the near future.

Steering Committee Report

Bertha reported on Steering Committee activities.

Conclusion

Bertha reviewed issues discussed during the TECH committee discussions and adjourned the meeting.

Top

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.


Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.