The Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) are a national, collaborative effort to develop voluntary, common education data standards for a key subset of K-12 (e.g., demographics, program participation, course information) and K12-to-postsecondary education transition variables. Participants in the Initiative include representatives from states, districts, higher education organizations, and key non-profit organizations. The CEDS Initiative's goal is to identify a list of key K-12 and K12-to-postsecondary transition variables (expansion into PreK and the workforce will be considered in the future) and agree upon standard definitions, code sets, business rules, and technical specifications for those variables. This will increase data interoperability, portability, and comparability across states, districts, and higher education organizations.
The Interagency Working Group on Expanded Measures of Enrollment and Attainment (GEMEnA) is pursuing four strands of work designed to improve the federal government’s ability to measure how adults acquire the skills and credentials needed for work, including occupational certificates, the attainment and maintenance of certification and licensing, on-the-job training, and basic skills development.
NCES has established the National Forum on Education Statistics to improve the collection, reporting, and use of elementary and secondary education statistics. The Forum deals with issues in education data policy, sponsors innovations in data collection and reporting, and provides technical assistance to improve state and local data systems.
The U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) awarded grants to 41 states and the District of Columbia to aid them in the design and implementation of statewide longitudinal data systems. These systems are intended to enhance the ability of states to efficiently and accurately manage, analyze, and use education data, including individual student records. The data systems developed with funds from these grants should help states, districts, schools, and teachers make data-driven decisions to improve student learning, as well as facilitate research to increase student achievement and close achievement gaps.