Skip Navigation

Common Acronyms

Like many organizations, the Forum uses numerous acronyms to communicate. The following is a list of acronyms that are likely to be used throughout this meeting.

C  |  E  |  F  |  H  |  L  |  N  |  P  |  S  |  T
Council of Chief State School Officers
CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions.

Common Education Data Standards
The CEDS Initiative, sponsored by NCES, is a national, collaborative effort to develop voluntary, common data standards (definitions, code sets, business rules, and technical specifications) for a key subset of K–12 and K12-to-postsecondary education transition variables. Participants in the Initiative include representatives from states, districts, higher education organizations, and key non-profit organizations.

U.S. Department of Education
Education Data Exchange Network
EDEN is a centralized portal through which states submit their educational data to the U.S. Department of Education. EDEN is comprised of three main components: (1) the EDEN Submission System (ESS), an electronic data system capable of receiving data on over 100 data groups at the state, district and local levels; (2) the EDEN Survey Tool (EST), which collects data supplementary to the ESS data; and (3) the EDEN staging database, a holding area for newly submitted data.
A U. S. Department of Education initiative to put performance data at the center of policy, management and budget decisions for all K-12 educational programs. EDFacts centralizes performance data supplied by K-12 state education agencies (SEAs) with other data assets, such as financial grant information, within the Department to enable better analysis and use in policy development, planning and management. The purpose of EDFacts is to: (1) Place the use of robust, timely performance data at the core of decision and policymaking in education. (2) Reduce state and district data burden and streamline data practices. (3) Improve state data capabilities by providing resources and technical assistance. (4) Provide data for planning, policy, and management at the federal, state, and local levels.
Electronic Data Interchange
EDI is the act of exchanging records (e.g., student records) electronically.
Education Information Management Advisory Consortium
EIMAC is a CCSSO-sponsored body that represents and advises SEA chiefs and staff on national data issues, both current and future.


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
The Student Data Handbook, Staff Data Handbook, etc.
This body of data handbooks is collectively referred to as "The Handbooks" or "The NCES Handbooks." They define standard education terms for students, staff, schools, local education agencies, intermediate education agencies, and state education agencies. The Online Handbooks are available at
Local Education Agency (i.e., a school district)
National Center for Education Statistics (U.S. Department of Education)
NCES sponsors the National Forum on Education Statistics as an effort to support federal-state-local cooperative efforts to improve the accuracy, timeliness, and utility of education data.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
The NCLB Act, which reauthorizes the ESEA, incorporates principles and strategies such as increased accountability for States, school districts, and schools; greater choice for parents and students, particularly those attending low-performing schools; more flexibility for States and local educational agencies (LEAs) in the use of Federal education dollars; and a stronger emphasis on reading, especially for our youngest children.
National Education Statistics Agenda Committee
A Forum standing committee that supports the development of comparable and effective elementary and secondary education data systems.


Policies, Programs, and Implementation Committee
A Forum standing committee that addresses the policy implications of the Forum's work on national education data issues.
State Education Agency (i.e., a state department of education)
State Educational Technology Directors Association
SETDA is an associate member of the Forum and is the principal association representing state directors for educational technology in all fifty states.
Schools Interoperability Framework Association
The SIF Association is an associate member of the Forum and a non-profit membership organization that is creating a set of platform independent, vendor neutral rules and definitions for sharing education information.
Technology Committee
A Forum standing committee that considers methods, especially technology-related strategies, for improving data collection and communication within states and between states and the federal government.


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.