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The Forum Voice: Fall 2005 (Volume 8, No. 2)


Contents

NCES Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grants Awarded
NCES Announces FY 2006 Task Order Awards
Forum Task Force Updates
Forum Action Plans
NWEA Joins Forum
ASBO Facilities Masters Award Program
Florida to Host 2006 MIS Conference and Winter Forum Meeting
Upcoming Events
2005-2006 Forum Officers
Newsletter Information
Links to Past Issues of the Forum Voice

Editorial Board

Derrick Lindsay, Mississippi Department of Education
Sonya Edwards, California Department of Education
Robert Beecham, Nebraska Department of Education
Jeff Stowe, Arizona Department of Education
Ghedam Bairu, National Center for Education Statistics


NCES Statewide Longitudinal Data System Grants

The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences (IES) recently announced grants totaling $52.8 million to 14 state education departments for the design and implementation of statewide longitudinal data systems.  The grants were authorized by the Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002 for the purpose of helping states generate and use accurate and timely data to meet reporting requirements, support decision-making, and aid education research.  Recipients of the grants, which ranged from $1.5 million to nearly $6 million and extend for three years, include:

Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
Arkansas Department of Education
California Department of Education
Connecticut Department of Education
Florida Department of Education
Kentucky Department of Education
Maryland State Department of Education
Michigan Department of Education
Minnesota Department of Education
Ohio Department of Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education
South Carolina State Department of Education
Tennessee Department of Education
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

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NCES Announces FY 2006 Task Order Awards

The National Center for Education Statistics announced that four states received fiscal year (FY) 2006 State Cooperative System Task Order Awards.  The purpose of the awards is to improve federal-state cooperation in data collection, processing, and analysis by: (1) developing and implementing student identification systems in support of statewide information systems; (2) improving a State's ability to track and verify dropouts and transfers; (3) improving data quality assurance procedures at the State or local level; and (4) coordinating technical assistance or training for local education agencies in order to facilitate the adoption of state data collection and reporting systems. 

Recipients of the FY 2006 awards include:

checkmark icon   Iowa Department of Education: Project EASIER Data Quality and Collection Expansion Training Workshops
checkmark icon   Kansas State Department of Education: Increasing Capacity For Building A High Quality State Data System
checkmark icon   Oklahoma State Department of Education: XML and Web Services Project for LEA Data Submission
checkmark icon   Rhode Island Department of Education: Building an Education Portal for Rhode Island

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Forum Task Force Updates

Data Quality Curriculum Task Force
The Data Quality Curriculum Task Force met in November 2005 to refine early versions of its curriculum framework, which is intended to be a training tool based on the Forum Guide to Building a Culture of Quality Data. The task force expects to produce multiple curriculum frameworks, lesson plans, and instructional materials in digital and paper form for local education agency leaders to use for staff development.  These resources are expected to be available by December 2006. For more information, visit the Data Quality Curriculum Task Force page.

Decision Support Literacy Task Force
The Decision Support System Literacy Task Force has completed the text of its upcoming publication, The Forum Guide to Demystifying Decision Support. The purpose of the document is to help decision-makers learn to ask the right questions about acquiring, designing, and using a decision support system (DSS). The document will be released at the Winter 2006 Forum Meeting.  For more information, visit the Decision Support Literacy Task Force page.

Exit Codes Task Force
The Exit Codes Task Force has completed the text of its upcoming publication, Transfer or Dropout? A Taxonomy for Standard Student Exit Codes.  The task force has constructed an exit code taxonomy for states and districts that account for 100 percent (and not 90 percent or 110 percent) of all students.  The resulting taxonomy incorporates six broad categories of exiters in addition to 23 subcategories. The document, which also offers best-practice guidance for establishing student-level exit codes in state and local education agencies, will be released at the Winter 2006 Forum Meeting.  For more information about progress, visit the Exit Codes Task Force page.

Virtual Education Task Force
The Virtual Education Task Force represents a cooperative effort among the Forum, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) and the Schools Interoperability Framework Association (SIFA)—which are collaborating to align, modify, and develop definitions of education data elements to better meet the information and reporting needs unique to a virtual/distance education setting.  Forum members will be asked to review and approve the publication in February 2006. The final publication is targeted for release in summer 2006.  For more information about progress, visit the Virtual Education Task Force page.

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Forum Action Plans

Forum members engaged in an in-depth strategic planning session at the Summer 2005 Forum Meeting. The results of this session were translated into an Action Plan for each Forum Standing Committee (NESAC, PPI, and TECH). It is hoped that each of the activities listed in the plan will be completed by the Summer 2006 Forum Meeting.  Activities include:

  • Federal Register Training (NESAC) – Increase awareness of the Federal Registry and the Office of Management of Budget (OMB) approval process for proposed data collections, and develop a resource for Forum members concerning how to access the Federal Registry and offer feedback on postings.
  • Forum Member Affiliation Webpage (NESAC) – Collect information about the local, state, and national organizations that Forum members are associated with in order to assess possible Forum outreach opportunities.
  • Electronic Forum Signature (NESAC) – Encourage Forum members to include a reference about  their Forum membership in their e-mail signature.
  • FERPA Toolkit (PPI) – Adapt existing FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) guidance and Forum privacy publications for state and local education agency use.
  • Data Cycle (PPI and TECH) – Develop a federal education collection calendar and explore natural ways for local, state, and federal agencies to better collaborate.
  • Outreach Toolkit (TECH) – Enhance the repository of tools for sharing news about the Forum and model the use of these materials for other Forum members.
  • WebBoard/Listserv Instructions (TECH) – Revise the instructions for using the Forum’s LISTSERV and WebBoard.
  • Communications Subcommittee (Steering Committee) – Improve the ways in which the Forum communicates with its members, potential partners organizations, and other audiences.

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NWEA joins Forum

The Forum is pleased to welcome the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) as a new associate member. NWEA is a non-profit organization that provides products and services (including accurate assessments, timely reporting, and data-tools that make practical use of test results) to measure and promote student academic growth and school improvement. NWEA has more than 1800 partners and will be represented at Forum meetings by Raymond Yeagley.  As an associate member of the Forum, Raymond is eligible to participate in standing committee meetings and take an active role in committee, subcommittee, and task force activities.  Associate members do not vote for Forum officers or on policies and procedures, and do not hold elected office.

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ASBO Facilities Masters Award Program

The Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO), an associate member of the Forum, recently announced that it has established a “Facilities Masters Award Program” based on the best practices identified in the Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities, a publication developed jointly by the Forum and ASBO.  The award program recognizes school districts across the nation that have exhibited exemplary facilities maintenance practices. Forum and ASBO member Roger Young (Manchester Essex Regional School District, MA) guided the development of both the Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities and the ASBO Facilities Masters Award Program.  Applications for the ASBO Facilities Masters Award Program must be postmarked by April 1, 2006.

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Florida to Host 2006 MIS Conference and Winter Forum Meeting

The Florida Department of Education is joining the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to co-sponsor the 19th Annual NCES MIS Conference on February 22-24, 2006 in Orlando, Florida. The Winter 2006 Meeting of the National Forum on Education Statistics will precede the MIS Conference on Monday and Tuesday, February 20-21. The deadline for registering for these meetings is Friday, February 3, 2006.  Meeting registration and logistics for both the MIS Conference and the Winter Forum Meeting can be found at the NCES Conference/Training Connection.

In addition to the slate of regular Forum activities, speakers for the Forum meeting include:

  • Nancy Smith and Aimee Guidera (National Center for Education Accountability) who will discuss the recently announced Data Quality Campaign.
  • Victoria Bernhardt (Professor of Education and Communication, California State University at Chico and Executive Director of the Education for the Future Initiative) who will offer a workshop on best practices in reporting and use of longitudinal data for closing achievement gaps.
  • Pat Sherill and Ross Santy (U.S. Department of Education) who will share an update on the Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN).
  • Ron Luycx, (U.S. Department of Education) who will discuss various data initiatives currently underway at the Office of the Chief Information Officer.
  • LeRoy Rooker (U.S. Department of Education) who will share an update on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

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Upcoming Events

Contact

Forum Steering Committee Conference Call
January 13, 2006
Ghedam Bairu
Winter 2006 Forum/MIS Registration Deadline     
February 6, 2006
Mary McCrory
Winter 2006 Forum Meeting
Orlando, FL * February 20-21, 2006
Ghedam Bairu
19th Annual NCES MIS Conference
Orlando, FL * February 22-24, 2006
Mary McCrory


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2005-2006 Forum Officers


Forum Chair: Bill Smith, Sioux Falls School District (SD)
Vice Chair:  Derrick Lindsay, Mississippi Department of Education
Past Chair: Blair Loudat, North Clackamas Schools (OR)
Staff:   Ghedam Bairu, NCES
   
NESAC Chair: David Uhlig, Charlottesville City Public Schools (VA)
Vice Chair:     Sonya Edwards, California Department of Education
Staff: Tolani Adeboye, CCSSO
   
PPI Chair: Susan VanGorden, Lakota Local School District (OH)
Vice Chair:    Robert Beecham, Nebraska Department of Education
Staff:    Beth Young, QIP
 
TECH Chair: Bertha Doar, Rockwood School District (MO)
Vice Chair:   Jeff Stowe, Arizona Department of Education
Staff: Andy Rogers and Tom Szuba, QIP

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Newsletter Information

The Forum Voice is released as an electronic publication. To subscribe, visit the NCES News Flash.

To contact the Forum, e-mail Ghedam Bairu, fax: (202) 502-7475, or write: NCES-Forum, 1990 K Street, NW, Room 9095, Washington, DC 20006-5651.

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Links to Past Issues of the Forum Voice

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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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