About the Forum
The National Forum on Education Statistics (Forum) is a voluntary, democratic, participative group that is committed to improving the quality, comparability, and utility of elementary and secondary education data while remaining sensitive to data burden concerns.
The work of the Forum is a key aspect of the National Cooperative Education Statistics System (Cooperative System). The Cooperative System was established by the Hawkins-Stafford Education Improvement Amendments of 1988 (Public Law 100-297) to “produce and maintain, with the cooperation of the States, comparable and uniform educational information and data that are useful for policy making at the federal, state, and local levels.” It retains this responsibility under the mandate of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (Public Law 107 -279). The National Center for Education Statistics established the Forum to assist in meeting the goals of the Cooperative System by improving he collection, reporting, and use of elementary and secondary education statistics.
To plan, recommend, and develop education data resources that support local, state, and national efforts to improve pre-kindergarten through secondary education throughout the United States. To read more about the Forum's mission and goals, please see the Forum Brochure.
The Forum meets to discuss and work on data issues and specific topics related to education data in the U.S. Department of Education (ED), state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs), and schools. The Forum achieves its mission and objectives primarily through the deliberations and work of the Forum Steering Committee and three standing committees that are designed to address the major interests of the Cooperative System. The committees may propose and support working groups, which are appointed for a specified time to develop products about a specific topic (for example, data privacy, education technology, and data governance).
The Forum membership includes representatives from federal offices involved with education data, including ED, and representatives from SEAs and LEAs in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. All Forum SEA and LEA representatives are appointed by their respective chief state school officers. The Forum also includes representatives from education agencies in the extra-state jurisdictions and national organizations with an interest in elementary and secondary education data.
The Forum develops free resources on a variety of issues that are of interest to schools, school districts, and state education agencies, including best practice publications, online courses, and the School Courses for the Exchange of Data. The Forum has produced close to a hundred publications and online tools designed to promote good practices relating to the comparable collection, maintenance, and use of education data.