Why EDFacts Matters to Local Education Agencies
Education Information Management Advisory Consortium (EIMAC)
Forum Task Force/Working Group Updates
Summer 2007 Forum Meeting and NCES Summer Data Conference
NCES Announces FY 2007 Task Order Awards
2006–2007 Forum Officers
Links to Past Issues of the Forum Voice
Susan VanGorden, Lakota Local School District (OH)
Linda Rocks, Bossier Parish Schools (LA)
Levette Williams, Georgia Department of Education
Kathy Gosa, Kansas State Department of Education
Ghedam Bairu, National Center for Education Statistics
State Customization Tool for the NCES Handbooks Online—The State Customization Tool for the NCES Handbooks Online is now available. Building on the existing structure and organization of the NCES Handbooks, this new tool allows states to add their own state-specific data elements, instances and options to the Handbooks database. Access the tool at http://surveys.nces.ed.gov/handbooksea/index.asp.
Winter 2007 Forum Meeting Notes & Evaluation Summary—Notes from the 2007 Forum Meeting in Atlanta have been posted to the Forum website at http://nces.ed.gov/forum/winter_02_07.asp. This page contains summaries of all committee and task force meetings as well as highlights from presentations on new NCES initiatives, data demands on state and local education agencies after Hurricane Katrina, EDEN EdFacts progress, and the new NCES teacher salary survey. Along with these notes, take a look at the Evaluation Summary (108 KB) to find out what attendees thought of the proceedings.
Member Handbook—Forum members interested in finding out about the organizationís purpose, organization, membership, member responsibilities, and resources will soon be able to reference all of these in a single document. A near final draft should be available online later this spring along with a print version, which will be mailed out to all new members.
Forum Website Revision—The Forum site was recently treated to an update, which reorganized content and simplified navigation in addition to making it more easy on the eyes. The renovation was guided by substantial changes to NCES standards for website presentation and programming. Please review the new and improved look, at http://nces.ed.gov/forum and forward comments to Ghedam.Bairu@ed.gov.
Outreach Toolkit—Spreading the word about the Forum and its products just got easier. Members can now access the Outreach Toolkit while planning presentations and other outreach activities about the Forum to present to or circulate among colleagues at gatherings such as at state- and district-wide conferences and meetings. This collection of support materials includes a one-page Forum Publication Overview containing abstracts and reference information for recent Forum publications, a set of individual publication abstracts, as well as a customizable PowerPoint presentation. This last item can be modified by members to focus on only those Forum publications that are of the most interest to their conferences and audiences.
Forum Voting Tool—This new online tool will streamline Forum member voting on issues such as publication approvals and the adoption of new policies and procedures. This username- and password-driven instrument will produce fast and reliable vote tallies and will automatically generate reports on those results.
EDFacts is a U. S. Department of Education (ED) initiative designed to collect state-reported elementary and secondary education data and place it at the center of policy, management, and budget decisionmaking. As such, EDFacts integrates data supplied to ED by state education agencies (SEAs) and will reduce the burden of duplicative collections placed on states and school districts.
As elementary and secondary education data on schools, districts, and states is submitted to EDFacts, redundant items and federal collections will be reduced and eliminated. In fact, EDFacts is now in the process of consolidating and reducing the burden of the data collections associated with the Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA), the Consolidated State Performance Report, the Common Core of Data, and the Civil Rights Data Collection.
Local education agencies will see the benefits of this Federal-State partnership in the following ways: (1) common data definitions will be established to promote data interoperability; (2) state and district data collection burden will be reduced; (3) the overall quality and utility of elementary and secondary education data will improve; and (4) using higher quality and more easily accessible data will lead to better managed federal programs and discretionary grant applications over time. Although EdFacts is still under development, ED is confident that this unprecedented effort to consolidate federal collections, support online state reporting, improve accessibility, and encourage data-driven decisionmaking will benefit the entire education system—from schools to districts, state education agencies, and the U.S. Department of Education.
For more information about this important ED initiative, please visit the new EDFacts Web site at http://www.ed.gov/edfacts. This one-stop shopping site provides log-on screens for the EDEN Submission System and the EDFacts Reporting System (i.e., reporting and analytical tools). Additionally, the site provides more information about EDFacts, the Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN), and the EDEN Survey Tool, as well as access to the EDFacts newsletters, the Partner Support Center, the EDFacts Workbook, EDEN file specifications, release notes, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the system.
The Education Information Management Advisory Consortium, or EIMAC, is the CCSSO initiative that advocates for state education agencies to reduce data collection burden and improve the overall quality of education data collected at the national level. While at first glance, EIMAC may seem quite similar to the Forum (including having many of the same members, having a comparable structure consisting of committees and task forces, and concerning itself with similar issues), there are a number of key differences that make the two organizations distinct, yet complementary bodies. First, EIMAC participation is paid for by states rather than the U.S. Department of Education, which funds participation in the Forum. In effect, while members work towards national goals when donning their Forum hats, they put their stateís interests first while working under EIMAC. Furthermore, while the Forum refrains from any type of advocacy, EIMAC members may promote positions as they see fit. EIMAC also does not include local education agency (LEA) representatives, leaving the Forum to act as the sole voice for the LEA community on issues concerning education data. And finally, while it does produce a white paper from time to time, EIMAC does not intend to develop publications for the larger education audience as the Forum does.
The differing work of EIMAC and the Forum is, in large part, complementary. And, when it comes to issues that are vital to the education data community, the participation of both organizations may be advantageous. For example, on matters such as modifications to race/ethnicity codes, EIMAC may advocate state positions on the subject while the Forum might offer the data community direction regarding best practices through publications and other resources. In this way, the overlapping work and membership of EIMAC and the Forum actually supplies an advantage rather than causing redundancy. More information on EIMAC can be accessed at by clicking here.
Data Quality Curriculum Task Force
PK–12 Data Model Task Force
Metadata Task Force
Race/Ethnicity Working Group
Members of the Forum, including representatives from local, state, and federal education agencies, and national associations, will meet in Washington, DC from July 23–25 for the annual Summer Forum Meeting. The meeting will include discussions and work to improve the quality and use of elementary and secondary education data and will cover current task force work on topics such as curriculum data, metadata, and the development of a comprehensive data model for schools and school districts.
Immediately following the Forum Meeting, the Summer Data Conference will convene. From July 25–27, NCES will hold this event to facilitate professional networking, communicate updates on federal and national activities affecting data collection and reporting, and convey information about the best new approaches in collecting, reporting, and using education statistics. Information about how the U.S. Department of Education collects and uses data and updates on developments in electronic data standards for schools, school districts, and states will also be presented. In addition, half-day training sessions for Common Core of Data Fiscal and Nonfiscal coordinators, up to the minute presentations on NCESís survey and assessment programs, and overviews of developing statewide longitudinal data systems will all take place during the conference.
Visit http://ies.ed.gov/whatsnew/conferences/?id=235 to register for the meeting, submit a data conference presentation proposal, or view the conference brochure to find out more about the events, or how to reserve a hotel room or find your way to the venue.
Summer 2007 Forum Meeting * July 23–25 in Washington, DC *
NCES Summer Data Conference * July 25–27 in Washington, DC *
Continuing its ongoing effort to improve federal-state cooperation in data collection, processing, analysis, and reporting, NCES has selected three states this year to receive State Cooperative System Special Projects awards. These awards, which range up to $80,000, are available to state education agencies to help (1) develop and implement student identification systems in support of statewide information systems; (2) improve a state's ability to track and verify dropouts and transfers; (3) improve data quality assurance procedures at the state or local level; and (4) coordinate technical assistance or training for local education agencies in order to facilitate the adoption of state data collection and reporting systems.
This year, the FY 2007 State Cooperative System Task Order Awards went to:
|Forum Chair:||Derrick Lindsay, Mississippi Department of Education|
|Vice Chair:||Susan VanGorden, Lakota Local School District (OH)|
|Past Chair:||Bill Smith, Sioux Falls School District (SD)|
|Staff:||Ghedam Bairu, NCES|
|NESAC Chair:||Sonya Edwards, California Department of Education|
|Vice Chair:||Linda Rocks, Bossier Parish Schools (LA)|
|Staff:||Nzinga Damali-Cathie, CCSSO|
|PPI Chair:||Robert Beecham, Nebraska Department of Education|
|Vice Chair:||Levette Williams, Georgia Department of Education|
|Staff:||Beth Young, QIP|
|TECH Chair:||Jeff Stowe, Arizona Department of Education|
|Vice Chair:||Kathy Gosa, Kansas State Department of Education|
|Staff:||Tom Szuba, QIP|
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.
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.