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Summer 2013 Forum Meeting Notes



National Forum on Education Statistics
July 15-16, 2013
Washington, DC

Opening Session
Joint Session: Our Future, Our Teachers
Regional Educational Laboratories (REL) Alliance Roundtables I and II
Joint Session: College and Career Readiness
SEA Session: EdFacts and Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) Connections
LEA Session: School-Level Finance Data
National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC) Meeting Summary
Policies, Programs, and Implementation Committee (PPI) Meeting Summary
Technology Committee (TECH) Meeting Summary
Closing Session
Steering Committee



Forum Opening Session

Monday, July 15, 2013

Forum Agenda Review and Introduction MS PowerPoint (229 KB)
Forum Chair Tom Ogle (Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) welcomed members to the Summer 2013 Forum Meeting in Washington, DC, introduced the Forum officers, and encouraged everyone to help welcome the following new members:

  • Michael Archbeque, New Mexico Public Education Department
  • Aaron Brough, Utah State Office of Education
  • Noralee Deason, Effingham County Schools (GA)
  • Tammy Duncan, Florida Department of Education
  • Dean Folkers, Nebraska Department of Education
  • Linda Jenkins, Arkansas Department of Education
  • Gunes Kaplan, Nevada Department of Education
  • Kurt Kiefer, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Marty Mamea, American Samoa Department of Education
  • Adrian Peoples, Delaware Department of Education
  • Kasia Razynska, Regional Educational Laboratory — Mid-Atlantic
  • Tim Stensager, Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Deborah Trueblood, Illinois State Board of Education

Tom announced two new Forum resources, the Forum Guide to the Teacher-Student Data Link: A Technical Education Resource, which is available on the Forum's publication page, and the Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A Local Education Agency Perspective, which is currently being edited for final National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) approval. He reminded members that Forum meetings are working meetings designed for Forum members only and encouraged others interested in the work of the Forum to attend the STATS-DC 2013 Data Conference immediately following the Forum. He concluded his remarks by briefly reviewing the agenda for the meeting and welcoming John Easton, Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

Measurement as Leverage between Research and Educational Practice
John Easton, Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), welcomed Forum members to Washington, DC. His discussion focused on three themes related to turning data into information: 1) good measurement, 2) non-cognitive skills, and 3) close partnerships. The full presentation is available on the IES webpage at http://ies.ed.gov/director/biography.asp. John thanked members for their participation and wished everyone a successful meeting.

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Joint Session: Our Future, Our Teachers MS PowerPoint (1.7 MB)

Sophia McArdle (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education) gave a presentation titled "Teacher Education Accountability: Impact on States and Teacher Preparation Programs". Teacher initiatives in the publication Our Future, Our Teachers: The Obama Administration's Plan for Teacher Education Reform and Improvement address challenges around teacher preparation, teacher recruitment, rigorous training, high-need areas, and diversity. The initiatives in Our Future, Our Teachers are 1) Higher Education Act Title II Regulations, 2) Promoting Excellence: Presidential Teaching Fellows, and 3) Targeted Investments: Augustus F. Hawkins Centers for Excellence at Minority Serving Institutions. Sophia explained that each of these initiatives increase student access to highly effective teachers.

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Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Alliance Roundtables

RELs work with state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) and other education practitioners and policymakers to design and implement research that meets regional, state, and local needs. RELs are also tasked with improving the capacity of education agencies to use data and research effectively. The Forum invited REL representatives to facilitate six roundtables on REL research topics:

These topics were chosen for their timeliness and relevance to Forum work. REL representatives discussed the research currently underway in each alliance, the process for developing alliances, how alliances work with SEAs and LEAs, and the process for disseminating REL alliance research results.

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Joint Session: College and Career Readiness MS PowerPoint (2.4 MB)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elizabeth Grant (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education) gave a presentation on college and career readiness. Elizabeth discussed the importance of the Race to the Top (RTT) Assurances and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Principles in setting the foundation for moving forward on college and career readiness. Her presentation addressed college and career ready standards, on track indicators, postsecondary access and enrollment, attainment and accreditation, and lifelong learning outcomes. Forum members shared that they are interested in learning more about alternative assessments, utilizing the National Student Clearinghouse, the waiver process, utilizing Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDSs), and leveraging the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS).

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SEA Session — EdFacts and Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) Connections MS PowerPoint (4.6 MB)

Ross Santy (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development) provided an update on the EdFacts and Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) Connections work. The team developing the connection is using the Connect tool to clarify the student-, teacher-, and school-level elements, which the U.S. Department of Education (ED) believes are needed for high quality reporting. The team worked with NCES and ED program offices to validate the presentation of mappings within the enhanced CEDS Connect tool and published connections for data groups in targeted EdFacts file specifications. There was a pilot study of seven states to align their data systems and publish in CEDS Align. All of these maps have been drafted but some are still unpublished.

Forum SEA questions included

  • Will there be training for states on how to do this?
  • Does ED use CEDS in their public data tools?
  • Can we get reports that show which of our data elements connect to which connections?
  • What is the future of this work?

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LEA Session – School-Level Finance Data

The Forum welcomed a panel of federal and LEA representatives to discuss school-level financial data: Stephen Cornman (National Center for Education Statistics), Mark Dixon (U.S. Census Bureau), Abby Potts (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights) Stephanie Stullich, (U.S Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development), and David Uhlig (Charlottesville City Schools [VA]). Stephen began the presentation by discussing the increased demand for school-level expenditure data collection to provide information both within and across districts on the distribution of school resources, the relationship between children in poverty and school expenditures, and the relationship between geographic location and school expenditures. Stephen encouraged Forum members to review proposed Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) variable lists with school finance administrators and financial experts to retool current systems, to determine which data can be collected, and to ensure the data are accurate. New elements are also online and open for comment and feedback at www.regulations.gov/. Forum members shared that they are interested in learning more about reducing burden on LEAs.

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National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC) Meeting Summary

Monday, July 15, 2013

Morning Session

Welcome, Introductions, and Agenda Review
NESAC Chair Ray Martin (Connecticut Department of Education) led the group in introductions, welcomed everyone to the Forum and the NESAC committee meeting, and reviewed the NESAC agenda. There was also a discussion of a membership request from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Working Group Update
Kathy Gosa (Kansas State Department of Education) updated NESAC on the School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Working Group. This group is working to update the codes and develop a best practice guide. They will have one more webinar and the final documents will be published by the end of the year. The next iteration of the codes will kick off later this year.

Assessment Discussion/Sharing Session
NESAC Vice Chair Allen Miedema (Northshore School District [WA]) facilitated a discussion on assessments. The discussion focused on four main questions for participants to discuss and share their experiences:

  • Has your local or state education agency (LEA or SEA) participated in a pilot of any kind for the Common Core?
  • What best practices have you found?
  • What are your growing pains?
  • Are online assessments still a pain point for you?

A few districts had participated in the pilots and shared their experiences. Online assessments and the skills necessary for students and staff to make them successful were also discussed.

Afternoon Session

Alternative Socio-Economic Status (SES) Measures Working Group Update
Matt Cohen (Ohio Department of Education) updated NESAC on the progress of the Alternative SES Measures Working Group. Matt reviewed the purpose of the group and noted that changes to the National School Lunch Program means that Free and Reduced Price Lunch eligibility can no longer be used as a viable measure of socio-economic status. The group has been meeting for almost a year and they already have a document to review. They are planning on having a document to share by the Winter 2014 Forum.

Community Eligibility Option Update
Ross Santy (U.S. Department of Education [ED]) provided an update on Community Eligibility and EdFacts. Ross shared some relevant links to help Forum members stay updated on the National School Lunch Program:

Ross also noted the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) is currently out for public comment at data.gov through August 20th. There are now multiple EdFacts data sets on data.gov and Ross showed members how to access the sets on the site. Ross encouraged members to review the 2013-14 through 2015-16 EdFacts Collection Package Documents at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewIC?ref_nbr=201302-1875-001&icID=45336. The EdFacts coordinators will hold their annual meeting during the Summer Forum and STATS-DC Data Conference. This was a last minute change and will be further coordinated during the next summer meeting.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Morning Session

Cloud Computing and Security Issues in Education
Kathleen Styles, Chief Privacy Officer of ED, provided an update from her office. They are still working on the joint free lunch guidance and hope to share it soon. There is currently a lawsuit involving the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) that should be ending soon. The Fordham Center for Law and Information Policy is currently doing another study on Cloud Computing that should be released sometime in the next three to six months. FERPA was recently amended in order to share information with Child Welfare Agencies. There will be a new Family Policy and Compliance Office website coming out in September to be modeled after the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC); it will be more user friendly and include more content. PTAC recently released some frequently asked questions on cloud computing, available at http://ptac.ed.gov/sites/default/files/cloud-computing.pdf

College and Career Readiness Follow-up Discussion
Elizabeth Grant (ED) and Ross Santy came to NESAC for a follow-up discussion on College and Career Readiness. NESAC members asked questions on topics including

  • Work Key assessments;
  • Other academic indicators;
  • College and Career Ready terminology; and
  • The need for a best practice College and Career Ready Indicator.

Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) Discussion
Linda Rocks (Bossier Public Schools [LA]) led NESAC in a discussion of the CRDC public review. Linda provided an overview of the specific and general proposed changes to the CRDC collection and gathered NESAC member feedback so she could take it to the CRDC working group that night. There was also another discussion about the CRDC during Topics from the Floor on Wednesday morning. Members had the following concerns:

  • The timeline for the changes does not give LEAs time to prepare. The changes will not be finalized until December 2013, which is halfway through the school year in which the data will be collected. SEAs get a few years' notice on changes and LEAs should as well.
  • The timeline for the public comment period is in the summer, which is a time when school and district staff members are off work and won't know about the comment period.
  • Some items (such as the discipline items) seem to be both duplicative and contrary to other federal data collections.
  • There are questions on the statistical validity of some of the items such as the bullying code set and the discipline items.
  • It seems from some of the documentation and the LEA joint session on finance that the item definitions are not set yet, for example, non-personal expenditures.
  • Everyone needs to submit comments so that ED understands these issues.

NESAC Election
Allen Miedema (Northshore School District [WA]) was nominated as NESAC chair and Janice Petro (Colorado Department of Education) was nominated as NESAC vice chair by a unanimous vote.

Afternoon Session

Beyond Traditional School Walls Discussion
Ray Martin (Connecticut Department of Education) and Allen Miedema (Northshore School District [WA]) led a discussion on virtual education (virtual courses, open enrollments, massive open online courses (MOOCs), badges, etc.), as well as crossovers with postsecondary education (dual enrollment, college-level credits (or other connections for students to postsecondary while still enrolled in secondary), the covering of courses in course coding system). NESAC members shared their stories in these areas and looked at the table of contents of the 2006 Virtual Education guide. NESAC members said a suggestion should be brought to the Steering Committee that a Virtual Education Working Group be formed to update the 2006 document.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Morning Session

Education Enterprise Architecture
Rick Rozzelle (Connecting Education, Leadership, and Technology [CELT] Corp) joined NESAC to receive feedback from Forum members on the idea of an Education Enterprise Architecture. This project comes out of the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top Reform Support Network. They have a Community of Practice looking at this issue and developing an education-oriented guidebook, which states can use to get started on enterprise architectures. Education Enterprise Architecture is a practice that uses the discipline of architecture and purposeful design to clarify and evolve how an organization performs its work and organizes its information assets. Rick shared a draft document and asked for suggestions. Suggestions from NESAC members included

  • add stories of success;
  • add process templates;
  • change to "Superintendent speak;"
  • shorten the paper and include less text and more real examples; and
  • explain the costs in terms of money and time commitments.

Topics From the Floor
There was a continued discussion of the CRDC collection (notes included in Tuesday's session).

Steering Committee Business/Report
NESAC Chair Raymond Martin (Connecticut State Department of Education) reviewed issues that were discussed at Steering Committee meetings.

Meeting Review/Winter 2014 Planning
NESAC members discussed the current meeting, including their appreciation of the amount of time there was for discussion in the NESAC meeting. They also made suggestions for the Winter 2014 meeting:

  • Update from the Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) on the reports they are just starting now;
  • State Panel on types of data and metrics that can be calculated because of the SLDS;
  • Discussion of non-cognitive skills, especially in terms of college and career ready discussions;
  • Follow-up with CRDC collection and what happened; and
  • Update to the Forum online curriculum.

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Policies, Programs and Implementation (PPI) Standing Committee Meeting Summary

Monday, July 15, 2013

Morning Session

Welcome, Introductions, and Agenda Review
PPI Chair Sonya Edwards (California Department of Education) welcomed everyone to the Summer 2013 PPI meeting, led the group in introductions, and reminded participants that Forum meetings are working meetings designed for Forum members only. Others interested in the work of the Forum are encouraged to attend the STATS-DC Data Conference immediately following the Forum Meeting. Sonya then provided a brief overview of the PPI Agenda, noting the addition of a discussion with Rick Rozzelle (Connecting Education, Leadership, and Technology [CELT] Corp) on Tuesday.

Winter 2013 PPI Meeting Review and Agenda Review
Chair Sonya Edwards reviewed proceedings from PPI's meeting at the Winter 2013 Forum. Topic recommendations submitted during the Winter 2013 Forum meeting helped to guide the development of this meeting's agenda.

Representing the Forum
PPI members continued a discussion on Forum outreach, which began at the Winter 2013 Meeting, by devoting time for each member to share their Forum outreach efforts with PPI colleagues. Members reported on diverse methods of promoting the Forum, including sharing Forum publications with staff in Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs), state education agencies (SEAs), and local education agencies (LEAs); modifying best practices and templates from Forum documents to meet the needs of SEAs and LEAs; and explaining the purpose and goals of the Forum to a wide range of education stakeholders. PPI members recognized the exemplary outreach efforts of Levette Williams (Georgia Department of Education) and Jared Knowles (Wisconsin Department of Education). Levette shared the Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers with her colleagues and used templates in the document to design new forms. She has also promoted the use of the Secondary School Course Classification System: School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED) and the Forum Guide to Data Ethics. Jared has advocated the use of Forum resources by his colleagues and researchers working with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Forum Membership Request for Discussion
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) requested to join the Forum as a Federal member. The NEA was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. PPI members supported approval of the request and noted that the involvement of the NEA will help to promote attention to aspects of education that are not part of accountability. PPI members also suggested that the Forum may wish to extend membership invitations to other federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Local Education Agency (LEA) Data Access for Researchers Working Group Update
Christina Tydeman (Hawaii State Department of Education) chairs the Forum's LEA Data Access for Researchers Working Group, which is nearing completion of the Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A Local Education Perspective. This new resource is intended as a companion guide to the Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A State Education Agency Perspective and it expands the core practices and operations discussed in the SEA Guide with information tailored to the needs of LEAs. Topics addressed in the Guide include best practices for supporting the collection of primary data on students and staff, distinguishing requests for new research from requests to access existing data sources, LEA resource allocation and research return on investment, and the impact of research on human subjects. Appendices include examples of best practices, templates, and information for researchers.

PPI members engaged Christina in a discussion of how to best disseminate this new guide to staff in LEAs. Suggestions included targeting assessment, special education, and technology coordinators; reaching out through superintendent listservs; and sharing the document with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), and the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

Afternoon Session

Teacher-Student Data Link Presentation MS PowerPoint (438 KB)
Lee Rabbitt (Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) chairs the Forum's Teacher-Student Data Link (TSDL) Working Group, which recently released the Forum Guide to the Teacher-Student Data Link: A Technical Implementation Resource. The new Guide is designed to help state and local education agency (SEA and LEA) staff implement the TSDL in a responsible manner—and, as a result, generate high quality data for high-stakes decisionmaking. The content of the guide was informed by prior TSDL-related work, and it includes information on TSDL uses, components, and strategies for overcoming implementation challenges. The guide includes eight use cases detailing the various implementations of the TSDL, and also includes an appendix on emerging uses of the TSDL in learning systems. PPI members were interested in learning more about roster verification and the process for linking teacher and student data in non-tested subjects.

Alternative Socioeconomic Status (SES) Measures Working Group Update
Matt Cohen (Ohio Department of Education) chairs the Forum's Alternative SES Measures Working Group. He provided background information on the project and an update on Working Group efforts. The group has met several times and is in the process of developing a new Forum resource that will likely include a set of suggestions about possible approaches SEAs and LEAs can take to measure socioeconomic status following changes to the National School Lunch Program's Free and Reduced Price Lunch measure. The group intends to have a document to share by the Winter 2014 Forum.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Morning Session

College and Career Readiness Follow-up Discussion
Elizabeth Grant and Ross Santy (U.S. Department of Education) joined PPI to answer questions following Elizabeth's joint session presentation on college and career readiness. PPI members noted that SEAs and LEAs are dealing with questions about what it means to be college and career ready and how readiness can be measured. While there are no broad standards for measuring college and career readiness, some consistency around definitions of readiness can be achieved within states when SEAs and LEAs work with institutions of higher education networks. Definitions of readiness are often based on whether or not a student needs remediation when they enter postsecondary education, but these definitions are problematic because postsecondary institutions have different standards for determining when remediation is needed. The cut scores established for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessments will help to standardize measures of readiness, but PPI members expressed concern that cut scores may be useful for determining placement but not defining readiness. Elizabeth noted that the ED is not attempting to define college and career readiness.

Perkins Act Reauthorization
Robin Utz and John Haigh (ED) provided an update on the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education act of 2006 (Perkins Act). Robin discussed the Obama Administration's Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education, available at http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-releases-blueprint-transform-career-and-technical-educat. She provided a summary (127 KB) that outlined the four core principles for the transformation of career and technical education: alignment, collaboration, accountability, and innovation. John then provided an overview of results from the State Perkins Accountability Congress (SPAC), which is sponsored by the ED and supports the Department's strategic goal of remaking the Perkins accountability system. SPAC brings state career and technical education directors together with secondary and postsecondary data directors. John discussed the feedback states have provided on Perkins accountability and compared SBAC recommendations with the Administration's Blueprint. More information on SPAC is available at http://cte.ed.gov/spac/.

Education Enterprise Architecture
Rick Rozzelle joined Standing Committees to discuss enterprise architecture as it applies to education systems. Rick works with the ED's Race to the Top Reform Support Network Community of Practice around instructional improvement and data systems. This group is developing an education-oriented guidebook, which states can use to begin developing enterprise architecture. Education Enterprise Architecture is a practice that uses the discipline of architecture and purposeful design to clarify and evolve how an organization performs its work and organizes its information assets. Rick shared a draft document and asked for feedback. Suggestions from PPI members included

  • the importance of explaining how enterprise architecture can reduce costs;
  • the use of state Chief Information Officers to provide an entry point for introducing these ideas; and
  • the current challenges of implementing enterprise architecture in small districts.

Rick encouraged Forum members to contact him with feedback at rrozzelle@celtcorp.com.

Project Sustainability Discussion
Sonya Edwards (California Department of Education) led a group discussion in which PPI members shared steps and strategies they are aware of, or are currently using, to ensure the sustainability of projects in SEAs and LEAs. Strategies employed include

  • reducing silos and bringing systems together;
  • pursuing multiple revenue streams;
  • planning for post-grant sustainability during the grant;
  • encouraging districts to speak directly to the legislature about cost savings and return on investment related to programs;
  • sharing data and information at the school and community level to demonstrate the usefulness of data and engender support for programs; and
  • developing code and tools during REL pilot projects that can be used by SEAs and LEAs after pilot completion.

Cloud Computing and Security Issues in Education
Kathleen Styles, Chief Privacy Officer of ED, joined Standing Committees to provide updates from her office, including

  • The ED and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are still working on joint guidance.
  • A lawsuit involving the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) should be ending soon
  • The Fordham Center for Law and Information Policy is currently conducting a study on Cloud Computing, which should be released in the next three to six months.
  • FERPA was recently amended in order to share information with Child Welfare Agencies. There will be a new Family Policy and Compliance Office website coming out in September to be modeled after the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). It will include more content and be more user-friendly.

Afternoon Session

PPI Election
John Metcalfe (Fremont County School District #1 [WY]) was elected PPI Chair and John Kraman (Oklahoma State Department of Education) was elected PPI Vice Chair for 2013-14.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Privacy Discussion
PPI members formed three small groups that each included at least one SEA, LEA, and REL representative to discuss CCSS implementation, field testing, and privacy concerns. Groups focused their discussion around the following points:

  • Have misconceptions about CCSS shifted your organization's position on sharing data?
  • Compare and contrast changes states are making in their accountability as a result of CCSS.
  • What types of professional development are available for CCSS? What types of changes to teacher induction and development are you aware of? What is being done to prepare existing teachers/principals? (related Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) paper: Transforming Education Preparation and Entry into the Profession)
  • What resources are you developing or starting to use? What resources do you think others should be aware of? How will your organization determine which resources are good versus bad?
  • How are CCSS field tests progressing?

NCES Restricted Use Data Licenses MS PowerPoint (475 KB)
Marilyn Seastrom, Chief Statistician of NCES, provided PPI members with an overview of the NCES Data Confidentiality and Data Licensing Program. She reviewed the legal background for the program, discussed the history of the data licensing system, and explained the parameters and requirements for data release. Marilyn noted that restricted use data licenses are available only to qualified organizations in the United States and individual researchers must apply through an organization. Most restricted use data licenses are requested by academics, including researchers at think tanks, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Library of Congress.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Morning Session

Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Data Governance Checklist PDF icon (512 KB)
Michael Hawes (ED) and Baron Rodriguez (Privacy Technical Assistance Center [PTAC]) joined PPI to discuss the PTAC Data Governance Checklist. Michael and Baron noted that the Checklist can be used to share information about data governance and it can be a tool for promoting the importance of data governance among stakeholders at various levels of education systems. PPI members engaged Michael and Baron in a discussion of governance concerns that included

  • Many SEAs are struggling with questions around transparency and data access.
  • LEAs would benefit from examples of data governance that extend beyond local governance structures and show linkages between different levels of the education enterprise.
  • Education security officers should be brought together to discuss governance. PTAC can provide assistance with meetings.

Innovative Data Use—Apps4VA Initiative MS PowerPoint (2.9 MB)
Bethann Canada (Virginia Department of Education) reported on the Virginia Department of Education's software application development initiative, "Apps4VA." The initiative stems from a federal grant funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to "support the development and implementation of a data system that tracks students from early childhood to postsecondary and beyond." It is intended to raise awareness of the availability of the Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS); develop new and innovative ways to use VLDS data; and engage the public and increase transparency. Bethann described the events hosted by the initiative, including startup weekends focused on building education-related businesses, hack-a-thons throughout the state to develop applications, and open competitions for software developers. Events used only aggregate data and Bethann highlighted the need to make metadata available for all public data. Next steps for the initiative include seeking funding for further challenges and focusing on applications for parent and student use. Information on the initiative is available at www.apps4va.org.

Steering Committee Business/Report
Chair Sonya Edwards invited PPI members to discuss topics that should be shared with the Steering Committee. Members questioned whether it would be possible for the Forum, NCES, or groups of states to work with the National Student Clearinghouse to reduce the burden on individual states working with the Clearinghouse. Members were also interested in knowing more about how other states are reporting State Fiscal Stabilization Fund indicators for National Postsecondary Enrollment (c) 11 and In-State Postsecondary Enrollment (c) 12.

Meeting Review and Winter 2014 PPI Planning
PPI members noted that the meeting was paced well, and the substantial blocks of time spent in Standing Committees contributed to the depth of discussion. Members suggested that future meetings should focus on question and answer sessions and discussions rather than presentations. Presentations should be framed around outstanding questions and, if necessary, presenters can share documents for PPI member review prior to the meeting.

Suggested topics for the Winter 2014 PPI meeting include

  • aspects of teacher evaluation such as different SEA approaches to teacher evaluation, models for using student growth in evaluations, the management of evaluation tools and outcomes, resources and tools for evaluating teachers in untested subjects, information on how reports are provided and to whom (teachers/public), and how LEAs can get data from partner organizations such as summer programs;
  • career readiness (representatives from either the Kentucky Department of Education or the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System were recommended as speakers); and
  • political navigation of issues surrounding CCSS and SLDS.

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Technology (TECH) Committee Meeting Summary

Monday, July 15, 2013

Morning Session

Welcome, Introductions, and Agenda Review
TECH Chair Laurel Krsek (San Ramon Valley Unified School District [CA]) welcomed everyone to the Summer 2013 TECH meeting and led the group in introductions. Laurel reviewed the TECH mission statement and reminded participants that Forum meetings are working meetings designed for Forum members only. Others interested in the work of the Forum are encouraged to attend the STATS-DC Data Conference immediately following the Forum Meeting.

Winter 2013 Review
Chair Laurel Krsek reviewed the TECH agenda and opened the floor for suggestions to add items to the agenda. Laurel pointed TECH members to the notes from the last meeting in February 2013 and reminded everyone of the discussions that helped lead to the current agenda. U.S. Department of Education Data/Community Eligibility Option (CEO) Update TECH was pleased to welcome Ross Santy (U.S Department of Education [ED]), who provided an update on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Option (CEO) as well as several other ED data initiatives. Ross shared some relevant links for Forum members to keep updated on changes to the National School Lunch Program:

The CEO implementation plan was last updated in April 2013, and CEO will be implemented nationwide in June 2014. TECH members shared concerns about increased collection burden, effects on programs such as E-rate, and conflicting elements. For example, a student could have two conflicting elements in an education data system: 1) Free and Reduced Lunch Program (FRLP) eligible based on CEO; and 2) FRLP not-eligible based on direct certification. The resource planned by the Forum's Alternative Socioeconomic Status (SES) Measures Working Group will help education agencies evaluate their "low SES" measure/flag. TECH members suggested that the Forum newsletter, Items of Note, should add notices of public comment periods on relevant topics from the USDA.

Ross also noted the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) is currently out for public comment at data.gov through August 20th. All comments received online will be addressed, and responses will be shared online. School-level counts of students with disabilities, dropouts, and graduates will be pre-populated in CRDC from EdFacts data. Membership count may be a candidate for pre-population in the future. A core piece of the new CRDC collection approach is to permit state education agencies (SEAs) to help local education agencies (LEAs) with responses (e.g., if an LEA has already shared data with the SEA, the SEA can provide the response for 2013-14). EdFacts data are published on www.data.gov and sixteen datasets are now available. Ross noted two important EdFacts updates: the EdFacts coordinator meeting is now a part of the Summer Data Conference, and the EdFacts calendar will add a "preview" period prior to release (so states can prepare) in addition to a review period. Ross encouraged members to review the 2013-14 through 2015-16 EdFacts Collection Package Documents at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewIC?ref_nbr=201302-1875-001&icID=45336.

Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) Association Update MS PowerPoint (369 KB)
Larry Fruth (SIF Association) updated the TECH standing committee with a presentation on the SIF Association. Larry showed how SIF fits into the larger picture of data/content initiatives such as the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS), Assessment Interoperability Framework (AIF), Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), The Learning Registry (LR), My Data, Ed-Fi, and inBloom. SIF v3.0 includes new infrastructure technologies, and advantages of SIF v3.0 include the ability to utilize back-end databases, reports, longitudinal systems, and data warehouses. The new focus for SIF is on learning solutions, component development, and implementation support.

Afternoon Session

TECH Election
Jay Pennington (Iowa Department of Education) was elected TECH Chair for the 2013-14 year and Mike Hopkins (Rochester Public Schools [NH]) was elected TECH Vice Chair.

Forum Membership Request for Discussion
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) requested to join the Forum as a federal Member. The NEA was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. The NEA's work at the state, local, and federal levels fits well with the work of the Forum. TECH members noted that NEA's involvement in the Forum and—by extension—education data, is consistent with IES Director John Easton's Opening Session presentation about the importance of non-cognitive factors in student development. TECH voted in favor of accepting the NEA into the Forum as a federal member.

What National Data Issues Matter to Your Agency - Discussion
LEAs: Laurel Krsek, TECH Chair, San Ramon Valley Unified School District (CA)
SEAs: Jay Pennington, TECH Vice Chair, Iowa Department of Education

TECH members divided into groups of SEA and LEA representatives for discussions about the issues and topics that are most timely and relevant to members' agencies.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Morning Session

Data Privacy: Third Parties, Vendors, and Nonprofits MS PowerPoint (918 KB)
Michael Hawes (ED) and Baron Rodriguez (Privacy Technical Assistance Center [PTAC]) joined TECH to explain ED guidance related to sharing education data with third parties such as vendors and nonprofit organizations. The presentation provided an overview of various Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations by

  • highlighting the required elements and best practices of FERPA-compliant data sharing agreements;
  • providing examples of data sharing with nonprofits allowable under FERPA;
  • reviewing examples of data sharing with Information Technology (IT) vendors allowable under FERPA; and
  • discussing alternative scenarios for sharing personally identifiable information (PII) from education records under the "School Official" and "Audit/Evaluation" FERPA exceptions.

Additional resources are available at the Family Policy Compliance Office website at www.ed.gov/fpco and the PTAC website at http://ptac.ed.gov.

Privacy Issues and Educational Software MS PowerPoint (2 MB)
Mark Schneiderman (Software & Information Industry Association [SIIA]) joined TECH to share SIIA's vision for personalized learning. Mark discussed essential elements and policy enablers to systematically increase student access to personalized learning opportunities, and noted that the SIIA Vision for K20 introduces a set of educational goals and technology benchmarks. Mark discussed the challenges of redesigning education to a personalized learning model. Student data privacy and security, in particular, present unique challenges in the face of rapidly evolving technology and the exponential growth of data. As a result, SIIA is working to create sample best practices for vendors and agencies. SIIA recommends "avoiding broad policies that curb data collection and analysis, and to balance educational opportunity with privacy and other concerns." Mark provided a list of resources that might be relevant for TECH members to learn more about SIIA's vision for personalized learning and similar topics, including the SIAA Education Division website, www.siia.net/education.

College and Career Readiness Follow Up Discussion
Elizabeth Grant and Ross Santy (ED) joined TECH to receive questions and discuss topics raised during Elizabeth's presentation, including

  • How can education become more personalized and customized through technology? Does this clash with national standards related to curricula and expectations behind standard diplomas?
  • Requiring academic coursework and assessment may not be appropriate for all kids, even if these expectations are appropriate for many students. For example, a college and career ready program might provide on-site job training that will not lead to meeting standardized diploma criteria.
  • One K12 concern about college readiness is that there is not a single standard for expectations in colleges—some colleges have different expectations for their students than others. Even within a single state's Institutes of Higher Education (IHE) system, different campuses can have different standards. Moreover, even on the same campus, different schools/departments have different expectations (e.g., differing math skill expectations between an engineering department and a college of education). So how do K12 policymakers know what "the" college readiness standard means as an expectation for K12? Ross suggested this may be an opportunity for cooperation between the Forum, the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC), and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEOO) to find common ground for expectations that might be acceptable to a large share of IHEs (but we shouldn't expect it to meet everyone's needs).
  • The impending era of online assessments will advance this discussion because of broad national expectations and standards behind the assessments.
  • Defining and measuring "readiness" is difficult and it should be because there is not a simple solution or a single measure that will accommodate the myriad needs and expectations of all districts, schools, and students.

Afternoon Session

Cloud Computing and Security Issues in Education
Kathleen Styles, Chief Privacy Officer of ED, joined Standing Committees to provide updates from her office, including

  • ED and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are continuing to develop joint guidance.
  • A lawsuit that involves the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) should be ending soon. TECH members would like to hear more about this issue at it unfolds, including the range of possible ramifications to the interpretation and application of FERPA
  • The Fordham Center for Law and Information Policy is currently conducting a study on Cloud Computing, which should be released in the next three to six months.
  • FERPA was recently amended in order to share information with Child Welfare Agencies
  • A new Family Policy and Compliance Office website modeled after the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) will be released in September. It will include more content and be more user-friendly.

TECH members were interested in learning more about whether FERPA applies to the privacy of teacher evaluation data. Members also discussed interagency data sharing, military personnel employment, and "debunking" privacy myths.

Privacy Open Discussion
TECH members engaged in an open discussion of privacy issues, including the following topics

  • Could the Forum (or ED) develop a template for an acceptable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) / Letter of Agreement for state education agencies (SEAs) to use when requesting military data, unemployment insurance (labor) data, early childhood data, etc. The Forum Steering Committee could take the lead on this or, perhaps, give TECH the responsibility to pursue it.
  • The Department of Defense (DoD) is interested in SEAs not blocking quick movement of records when military families move; 42 states have signed on.
  • Several MoU templates are available in the Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A State Education Agency Perspective.

Emerging Educational Technologies Follow-up Discussion
Richard Culatta (ED, Office of Educational Technology [OET]) joined TECH for a discussion of emerging educational technologies. The group discussed a wide variety of education technology issues:

  • School Broadband: There is a substantial broadband gap which will affect the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing. Broadband is needed for accessing information and learning, but the assessments help bring urgency to the issue. EducationSuperHighway is a non-profit organization with the mission of ensuring that every K12 school in America has reliable, high capacity (100MB+) Internet access so they can take advantage of the promise of digital learning. As such, they developed a speed test that calculates the bandwidth of the nation's schools (www.schoolspeedtest.org). The more bandwidth a school has, the more it uses—in other words, schools do not bother to take kids online when they know it is slow and frustrating to use, whereas schools that have good bandwidth want to use it. Similarly, the ConnectED initiative (www.ed.gov/connect) announced by the President on June 6, 2013 aims to connect 99% of schools across the country to broadband in 5 years—with an emphasis on broadband in the classroom (i.e., connection only at the front office is not good enough). The OET is looking to share stories about schools and districts that found innovative ways to get acceptable broadband installed, as well as stories about effective public-private partnerships. Richard requested that TECH members alert him of any exemplary models to share. Achieving this capacity is ongoing and requires a sustainability strategy—e.g., routers and firewalls age, become less serviceable (compared to new ones), and need to be replaced to maintain effective service over time. The greatest expense related to capital costs rather than service costs and E-rate funds should be adequate on this front. This is achievable without congressional approval or other activities that require much time and willpower, but it is not going to happen without people like Forum members helping to push it along (e.g., provide feedback to the Federal Communications Commission as it makes its plans).
  • Mobile Technology: LEAs have spent much time and money moving to mobile technologies, but the assessment consortia seem to be encouraging computer labs. This is not acceptable. Computer labs are a part of the past, but the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) seem to be telling LEAs and SEAs that they should be moving technologies back into labs in order to facilitate testing. Richard offered to speak with consortia representatives about their communications to districts regarding computer labs.
  • Learning Registry (LR) Update: The LR is an open project and directory of education resources. Organizations with content (e.g., the Smithsonian Institution, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Khan Academy) are provided with a login. The LR is basically a database that provides information about what is available. OET just released the Federal Registry for Educational Excellence website at http://free.ed.gov/ which allows users to see close to 300,000 objects in the LR. ILSharedlearning.org is the Illinois browser for open education resources in the LR. Most people accessing the LR database use Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LMRI), so that is an appropriate format for entering objects into the LR.
  • MyData button personal learning profile project: The only individual-level data ED maintains is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the National Student Loan data. One fifth of ED visitors to the site have downloaded their data to MyData, but given that ED has very little individual data, OET encourages SEAs and LEAs to adopt the MyData button for their students and parents.
  • Teacher Professional Development: The traditional professional development model for teachers appears to be failing us. If a professional development session is generally relevant to all teachers, it often is not particularly relevant to any of them. How can a Spanish teacher wrestling with teaching the passive conjunctive need the same professional development as a physics teacher struggling to find real-world applications of high school physics content? Professional development needs to be differentiated and customized. "Connected Educator Month" at OET encourages teachers to make virtual connections with peers in order to build their own virtual support networks. TECH members were encouraged to share news about Connected Educator Month, and suggested sharing information via the Forum Items of Note newsletter and other Forum outreach. Richard noted that ED will be supporting another Connected Educator Month in October 2013. Additional information is available at http://connectededucators.org/ and TECH members can stay informed about the work of OET by visiting http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/technology/.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Morning Session

Alternative Socioeconomic (SES) Measures Working Group
Matt Cohen (Ohio Department of Education), Chairs of the Forum's Alternative Socioeconomic (SES) Measures Working Group, provided background information on the project and an update on working group efforts. The group has met several times and is developing a new Forum resource that will likely include suggestions about possible approaches state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) can take to measure socioeconomic status following changes to the National School Lunch Program's (NSLP) Free and Reduced Price Lunch (FRPL) measure. The group intends to have a draft document to share by the Winter 2014 Forum. TECH members discussed the group's progress and offered suggestions on the issues:

  • Anything that the Forum can send out as an early warning resource would be helpful. Many agencies are not focusing on this and would benefit from a warning from a trusted source. The Forum document needs to have the set of compelling arguments about why this matters.
  • Continuity is a major concern as agencies undertake this issue. We do not want to see a tremendous reallocation of support resources within states and districts simply because the measure has changed.
  • What is a student's SES category if he or she is eligible in a Community Eligibility Option (CEO) school on count day, but then moves to another school?
  • Schools and districts need lead time. The sooner they see the choice of measures and pick one, the better.
  • If an agency collected an SES measure that looked exactly like the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) measure, but did it for education, it could use it for both education and lunch programs. The issue is that you cannot use it for education if you collect it for the USDA's NSLP. In Kentucky, in non-CEO schools, they use the regular USDA NSLP application. In CEO schools, they get an education form that is identical to the NSLP application, but it is an education form.
  • It is possible to "game the system" with the CEO approach and the careful placement of just a handful of kids to get the entire school over the threshold. The obvious question is why would you want to do this, but in many places, additional money comes in based on FRPL counts that will add up if you get to claim the entire school because of 41%.
  • FRLP-eligible is not the same as "low SES," which can include cultural and socioeconomic factors other than just income level.
  • FRPL is a program. Economic disadvantaged status is a description of a need.

LEA Data Use Working Group Update MS PowerPoint (360 KB)
Christina Tydeman (Hawaii State Department of Education) chairs the Forum's LEA Data Access for Researchers Working Group, which is nearing completion of the Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A Local Education Perspective. This new resource is intended as a companion guide to the Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A State Education Agency Perspective and it expands the core practices and operations discussed in the state education agency (SEA) document with information tailored to the needs of local education agencies (LEAs). Topics addressed include best practices for supporting the collection of primary data on students and staff, distinguishing requests to conduct new research from requests to access existing data sources, LEA resource allocation and return on investment, and the impact of research on human subjects. Appendices include examples of best practices, templates, and other information for researchers.

School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Working Group Update
Kathy Gosa (Kansas State Department of Education) updated TECH on the School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Working Group. This group is working to update the codes as well as a best practice guide. They will have one more webinar and expect to publish the final documents by the end of 2013. The next iteration of the codes will kick off later this year.

Education Enterprise Architecture
Rick Rozzelle (Connecting Education, Leadership, and Technology [CELT] Corp) joined Standing Committees to discuss enterprise architecture as it applies to education systems. Rick works with the ED's Race to the Top (RTT) Reform Support Network Community of Practice around instructional improvement and data systems. This group is developing an education-oriented guidebook that states can use to begin developing their enterprise architecture. Education Enterprise Architecture is a practice that uses the discipline of architecture and purposeful design to clarify how an organization performs its work and organizes its information assets. Rick shared a draft document and asked for feedback. Comments from TECH members included

  • This is a critical issue, but the handout Rick shared would probably overwhelm program staff. It would benefit from a rewrite that is customized for program staff (less technical, more conceptual) and another one for IT staff (like the current handout).
  • Nothing in the handout mentions alignment with existing national data initiatives like the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS).

Rick encouraged Forum members to contact him with feedback at rrozzelle@celtcorp.com.

Next Meeting Ideas
TECH members discussed topics and potential speakers for the Winter 2014 meeting, including

  • best practices around collecting teacher attendance—Lee Rabbit (Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education), Denise Salyers (Bureau of Indian Affairs), Tom Purwin (Jersey City Public Schools [NJ]), and Laurel Krsek (Napa Valley Unified School District [CA]);
  • assessment consortia (there is too much disconnect between curriculum, assessment, and data/IT—how will this be integrated?); and
  • additional planning to be conducted virtually.

Closing Thoughts
Chair Laurel Krsek thanked TECH members for their contributions to the great meeting.

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Forum Closing Session MS PowerPoint (750 KB)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

NCES Update MS PowerPoint (2.1 MB)
Jack Buckley, Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), addressed Forum members with updates regarding NCES reorganization, National Assessment of Educational Progress's (NAEP's) Technology and Engineering Literacy Assessment (TEL), the College Scorecard and related tools, and Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) Version 4.

Changes in administrative education data require fundamental rethinking of the role and structure of NCES, and NCES has been approved to reorganize into three line divisions: an Assessment Division, a Sample Surveys Division, and an Administrative Data Division. NCES looks forward to using statistics and taking advantage of usable applications that give information back to decisionmakers.

NAEP's TEL pilot is based only on an 8th grade sample. This pilot is designed to measure students' capacity to use, understand, and evaluate technology as well as to understand technological principles and strategies needed to develop solutions and achieve goals. The results for the computer-based assessment are expected in 2015.

Jack discussed the central role of Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data for tools and resources that will improve college decisionmaking processes while also reducing the costs of college. Jack described the utility of three tools: the College Navigator (http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/), the College Affordability and Transparency Center (http://collegecost.ed.gov/catc/), and the White House College Scorecard (http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education/college-score-card). The Scorecard was released in January 2013, and planning for Version 2 of the Scorecard is set for Fall 2014.

Jack updated Forum members on CEDS Version 4, which is scheduled for release in January 2014. Content development will continue through this summer, a public review period is scheduled for September 2013, and content revisions and data modeling will occur in the fall. There are new content areas in early learning, K-12, postsecondary, and adult education and workforce. Additional CEDS V4 work includes moving forward on developing the Align (https://ceds.ed.gov/alignmentTool.aspx) and Connect (https://ceds.ed.gov/connect.aspx) tools.

Standing Committee Progress Reports

Recognition of Forum Officers and Working Group Members
The Forum thanked the 2012–2013 Officers for their service, and presented them with plaques. The Forum also presented plaques to recognize the contributions to the development of new Forum resources made by members of the Teacher-Student Data Link and LEA Data Access for Researchers Working Groups.

Forum Election
Chair Tom Ogle presented the slate of proposed 2013–2014 officers for a vote. The slate was seconded and then the Forum voted to approve the following members as 2013–2014 officers:

Chair: Lee Rabbitt, Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Vice Chair: Tom Purwin, Jersey City Public Schools (NJ)
Past Chair: Tom Ogle, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
NESAC Chair: Allen Miedema, Northshore School District (WA)
NESAC Vice Chair: Janice Petro, Colorado Department of Education
PPI Chair: John Metcalfe, Fremont County School District #1 (WY)
PPI Vice Chair: John Kraman, Oklahoma State Department of Education
TECH Chair: Jay Pennington, Iowa Department of Education
TECH Vice Chair: Mike Hopkins, Rochester School Department (NH)

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was voted into the Forum as a federal member.

Closing Remarks
Tom Ogle reflected on his time as Forum Chair and commended his Forum colleagues for their dedication to making the world a better place for children through education. Lee Rabbitt led the Forum in recognizing Tom for his leadership and noted that his dedication, professionalism, and humor all contributed to the Forum's success. She expressed her hope that the Forum will continue to bring the voices of state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and partners to national conversations on education.

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Steering Committee

Monday, July 15, 2013

Welcome and Agenda Review
Forum Chair Tom Ogle (Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) welcomed members of the committee and reviewed the agenda.

Sunday Review
School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Working Group
The SCED Working Group met prior to the Forum on Sunday, July 14. The group is currently updating course codes and developing a best practice guide, which is expected to be released at the end of the year. Work on the next update will commence in the fall of 2013.

Alternative Socioeconomic Status (SES) Measures Working Group
The Alternative SES Measures Working Group also met on Sunday, July 14th. The group has met several times and is in the process of developing a new Forum resource that will likely include a set of suggestions about possible approaches state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) can take to measure socioeconomic status following changes to the National School Lunch Program's Free and Reduced Price Lunch measure. The group intends to have a document to share by the Winter 2014 Forum.

Review of Monday's Events
New Member Orientation
The Orientation was well-attended by new members, who received an overview of the Forum and information on the work of each Standing Committee.

Opening Session
John Easton's presentation was well-received by Forum members, who appreciated the depth and breadth of the information John discussed. Steering Committee members noted that the focus on non-cognitive skills was timely and relevant.

Our Future, Our Teachers
The information practitioners need has not yet been released. Steering Committee members suggested that the Forum should be a conduit for transmitting information to members when new information is available.

Regional Educational Laboratories (REL) Alliance Roundtables I and II
REL representatives provided information on the process of alliance formation, research project development, and alliance challenges. Future presentations from RELs should include a focus on the content addressed by each alliance. RELs provided useful information on how SEAs and LEAs can join alliances, access technical assistance, and obtain information on alliance tools and publications.

Standing Committee Time
Chairs reported that the time spent in Standing Committees was informative and productive. NESAC members discussed topics including the School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Working Group, the Alternative Socioeconomic Status (SES) Measures Working Group, and the National School Lunch Program's Community Eligibility Option. TECH members had presentations from Ross Santy (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development) and Larry Fruth (Schools Interoperability Framework Association [SIFA]), and also divided into SEA and LEA groups to discuss emerging issues in education technology. PPI members held a contest focused on promoting the Forum, which allowed members to share their approaches and also provide feedback to the Alternative SES Measures Working Group.

Other Issues
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Membership Request
The Steering Committee voted to approve the NEA's request for federal membership. Standing Committee Chairs reported that the NEA request for membership was supported by members of each committee. PPI also recommended that the Forum reach out to other potential federal members such as the National Science Foundation (NSF). Steering Committee members were concerned that a number of federal and associate member groups do not have Forum representatives. These organizations will be removed from the Forum website, but may be added again if they designate a Forum representative.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review of Tuesday's Events
College and Career Readiness (Joint Session)
Elizabeth Grant (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education) addressed relevant and timely topics that may be issues for further Forum discussion, such as the development of college and career readiness indicators. She also recommended several research reports that may be of use to Forum members. Committee members discussed the possibility of convening a new Forum Working Group to compile an inventory of the measures states are using to determine college and career readiness. Marilyn Seastrom, Chief Statistician of the National Center for Education Statitistcs (NCES), suggested that the Committee first check with the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) to determine the scope of current work on readiness, especially work done by Sharon Boivin and Lisa Hudson at NCES.

EdFacts and Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) Connections (SEA Session)
SEA members of the Steering Committee reported that Ross Santy and his colleagues gave an informative and well-received presentation. Committee members cautioned that data-related projects may be subject to misinterpretation, but noted that the CEDS project has very clearly indicated its scope and goals and clarified that CEDS is not a data collection.

School-Level Finance Data (LEA Session)
LEA members of the Steering Committee reported that Stephen Cornman (NCES) and his colleagues provided information on school-level finance elements considered for inclusion in the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), but the structure of the presentation left little time for participant feedback. Members discussed concerns about the burden of increased data collection and the usefulness of these additional data elements. LEAs and SEAs are encouraged to submit feedback as part of the public comment period through the Federal Register. The Forum will also explore other methods for providing feedback such as webinars.

Standing Committee Time
Standing Committee Chairs reported on time spent in each committee:

  • TECH members had several presentations and group discussions on various aspects of data privacy.
  • PPI members discussed project sustainability, received an update on the Perkins Act, and provided feedback to Rick Rozzelle (Connecting Education, Leadership, and Technology [CELT] Corporation) on the topic of education enterprise architecture.
  • NESAC members held a discussion about changes to the CRDC and shared concerns about the timeframe of the collection, element definitions, and collection burdens. NESAC also reviewed the Forum Guide to Elementary/Secondary Virtual Education and recommends that the Forum update the document.

All committees reported the results of their elections. Proposed Chairs and Vice Chairs for the 2013-2014 year are as follows

  • NESAC Chair: Allen Miedema, Northshore School District (WA)
  • NESAC Vice Chair: Jan Petro, Colorado Department of Education
  • PPI Chair: John Metcalfe, Fremont County School District #1 (WY)
  • PPI Vice Chair: John Kraman, Oklahoma State Department of Education
  • TECH Chair: Jay Pennington, Iowa Department of Education
  • TECH Vice Chair: Michael Hopkins, Rochester School Department (NH)

Other Issues
Memoranda of Understanding with the Department of Defense
Several Steering Committee members suggested that SEAs and LEAs would benefit from a memorandum of understanding (MOU) template for data sharing with federal agencies such as the Department of Defense (DoD). Grants such as the Workforce Data Quality Initiative require information on student postsecondary entry into the workforce or education, and data sharing with the DoD could improve the quality of such information. Marilyn Seastrom, Chief Statistician of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), suggested a Forum webinar with the DoD to discuss grant requirements. A data privacy group located in the office of Kathleen Styles, Chief Privacy Officer of the U.S. Department of Education, may also be able to provide assistance.

Forum Election
The Steering Committee elected Lee Rabbitt (Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) as the Forum Chair and Tom Purwin (Jersey City Public Schools [NJ]) as the Forum Vice Chair for 2013–2014.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Welcome to New Steering Committee Chairs
Newly-elected Chair Lee Rabbitt (Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) welcomed new Steering Committee members to the meeting.

Review of Wednesday's Events
Standing Committee Time
Standing Committee Chairs reported on the day's events as well as recommendations from each committee:

  • PPI members suggested that committee time is best spent in conversations with colleagues and question and answer sessions with speakers around topics of interest rather than presentations. Members asked that speakers share information ahead of future meetings.
  • TECH members expressed an interest in learning more about how to collect teacher attendance data. Members were also interested in additional, ongoing information from the assessment consortia.
  • NESAC members discussed concerns about the Civil Rights Data Collection and identified ways to assist LEAs with providing comments on the collection.

Closing Session
Steering Committee members reported that the Closing Session went well, and that Forum members appreciate Commissioner Jack Buckley's NCES updates.

Other Issues
Steering Committee members discussed a possible role for the Forum in addressing the topic of college and career readiness. Members noted that current discussions often focus on college readiness, not career readiness.

Next Conference Call
The next Steering Committee conference call was scheduled for Thursday, August 29, 2013, at 2:00 pm (EDT).

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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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