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 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 via an electronic table of contents, a drill-down finder, element name and first letter searches, and advanced query options.
This guide offers best practice suggestions on collecting and using student attendance data to improve performance. A standard set of codes to improve the comparability of attendance data across districts and states is included. The publication also presents real-life examples of how attendance information has been used by school districts.
This resource provides a catalog of the data used in PK–12 education and a description of the relationships among those data. The supporting website includes helpful documents, usage vignettes, a web-based tool for browsing the Data Model, and links to open-source tools that can be used for viewing, exploring, and applying the model.
This best-practice guide was developed to help state and local education agencies implement new federal race and ethnicity categories, thereby reducing redundant efforts within and across states, improving data comparability, and minimizing reporting burden. Users may select and adopt strategies that will help them quickly begin the process of implementation in their agencies.
This curriculum supports efforts to improve the quality of education data by serving as training material for K–12 school and district staff. Lesson plans, instructional handouts, and related resources are provided, as are concepts necessary to help schools develop a culture for improving data quality.
This publication helps school and local education agency staff better understand and apply the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that protects the 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 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 relating to privacy policies would be of interest to organizations generating business rules about the topic.
This best-practice 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 used in state education agencies across the nation, and on a thorough review of existing literature on the subject.
This online resource combines material from previously published Forum guides into one comprehensive document that will be updated periodically. The suite presents a practical, comprehensive, and proven approach to assessing, acquiring, instituting, managing, securing, and using technology in education settings.
This publication asserts that good data, like good students, are produced in schools. While it is undeniably harder to teach a student than it is to collect statistics, certain procedures can help achieve both goals. Recently, 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.
This guide presents a general overview of privacy laws and professional practices that apply to information collected for, and maintained in, student records. It 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 parents and external organizations; and suggests good data management practices for schools, districts, and state education agencies. Much of the guidance relating to privacy policies would be of interest to organizations generating business rules about the topic.
The purpose of this guide is to empower people to more effectively use data as information through the use of metadata (data about data). To accomplish this, the publication explains what metadata are, why they are critical to the development of sound education data systems, what components comprise a metadata system, what value metadata bring to data management and use, and how to implement and use a metadata system in an education organization.