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Forum Guide to Metadata
NFES 2009-805
July 2009

Appendix E. Additional Resources

This appendix lists other resources related to metadata and education data quality, including sources referenced in the document and materials available from the National Forum on Education Statistics (the Forum), the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and other organizations.

These materials may be useful to school, district, or state education agency staff developing a metadata system.

References from Text

Clyde, A. (2002) Metadata, Teacher Librarian, 30(2), 45-47.

El-Sherbini, M. and Klim, G. (2004) Metadata and Cataloging Practices, The Electronic Library, 22(3) 238-248.

Lee, H., Kim, T., and Kim, J. (2001) A Metadata Oriented Architecture for Building a Datawarehouse, Journal of Database Management, 12(4), 15-25.

Michener, W.K., et al. (1997) Nongeospatial Metadata for the Ecological Sciences, Ecological Applications, 7(1), 330-342.

Shankaranarayanan, G. and Even, A. (2006) The Metadata Enigma, Communications of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.), 49(2), 88-94.

Other Metadata-Related Resources from the National Forum on Education Statistics

The National Forum on Education Statistics has produced a wide range of publications related to data quality and data management. These resources are available at no cost..

NCES Nonfiscal Data Handbook for Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education (2007)


The NCES Handbooks are a valuable source of metadata for organizations and individuals interested in education data. These print and online resources define standard education terms for students, staff, schools, local education agencies, intermediate education agencies, and state education agencies. The handbooks are intended to serve as reference documents for public and private organizations (including education institutions and early childhood centers), as well as education researchers and other users of education data. In order to improve access to this valuable resource, NCES has also developed the NCES Handbooks Online, a web-based tool that allows users to view and download information from the Handbooks via an electronic table of contents, a drill-down finder, element name and first letter searches, and advanced query options.

NCES Handbooks Online State Customization Tool (2007)

This is the content administrator site for NCES Handbooks Online (see above). The customization tool allows authorized state education agency staff to modify data elements, instances, and options for state use while still retaining the basic structure and organization of the NCES Handbooks Online. Access to this site requires a password.

Accounting for Every Student: A Taxonomy for Standard Student Exit Codes (NCES 2006-804)

This "best practices" guide presents an exhaustive and mutually exclusive exit code taxonomy that accounts, at any single point in time, for all students enrolled (or previously enrolled) in a particular school or district. It is based on exit code systems in use in state education agencies across the nation and a thorough review of existing literature on the subject.

Forum Guide to the Privacy of Student Information: A Resource for Schools (NFES 2006-805)

This publication was written to help school and local education agency staff better understand and apply the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that protects privacy interests of parents and students in student education records. It defines terms such as "education records" and "directory information"; and offers guidance for developing appropriate privacy policies and information disclosure procedures related to military recruiting, parental rights and annual notification, videotaping, online information, media releases, surveillance cameras, and confidentiality concerns related specifically to health-related information. Much of the guidance in this publication would be of interest to organizations generating business rules about privacy policies.

Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies (NCES 2004-330)

This guide presents a general overview of privacy laws and professional practices that apply to information collected for, and maintained in, student records. The document also provides an overview of key principles and concepts governing student privacy; summarizes federal privacy laws including recent changes; identifies issues concerning the release of information to both parents and external organizations; and suggests good data management practices for schools, districts, and state education agencies. Much of the guidance in this publication would be of interest to organizations generating business rules about privacy policies.

Additional Resources


Forum Unified Education Technology Suite (2005)

This free online resource combines material from previously published NCES/Forum guides into one comprehensive document that will be updated periodically. The publication presents a practical, comprehensive, and proven approach to assessing, acquiring, instituting, managing, securing, and using technology in education settings.

Forum Guide to Building a Culture of Quality Data: A School and District Resource (NCES 2005-801)

Awareness has grown about the link between effective teaching, efficient schools, and quality data. The quality of information used to develop an instructional plan, run a school, plan a budget, or place a student in a class depends on the school data clerk, teacher, counselor, and/or school secretary who enter data into a computer. With that in mind, the focus of this report is on data entry—getting things right at the source.

Forum Curriculum for Improving Education Data: A Resource for Local Education Agencies (NCES 2007-808)

This curriculum supports efforts to improve the quality of education data by serving as training materials for K-12 school and district staff. It provides lesson plans, instructional handouts, and related resources, and presents concepts necessary to help schools develop a culture for improving data quality.

Links to Selected State Education Agency Data Dictionaries


Alaska: http://www.eed.state.ak.us/data_mgmt/handbookuser/index.asp
Colorado: https://cdeapps.cde.state.co.us/DataDictionary
Kansas: http://kids.ksde.org under the Documents Tab
Minnesota: http://education.state.mn.us/mde-dd
Oregon: http://www.ode.state.or.us/data/kids/datadictionary
Utah's data warehouse documentation: http://www.schools.utah.gov/warehouse

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