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Appendix F—Forum and Other NCES Resources


The Forum Guide to Data Ethics (NFES 2010–801)

Forum Guide to Metadata: The Meaning Behind Education Data Every day, educators collect and use data about students, staff, and schools. Some of these data originate in individual student and staff records that are confidential or otherwise sensitive. And even those data that are a matter of public record, such as aggregate school enrollment, need to be accessed, presented, and used in an ethically responsible manner. While laws set the legal parameters that govern data use, ethics establish fundamental principles of "right and wrong" that are critical to the appropriate management and use of education data in the technology age. This guide reflects the experience and judgment of experienced data managers; while there is no mandate to follow these principles, the authors hope that the contents will prove a useful reference to others in their work.

Crisis Data Management: A Forum Guide to Collecting and Managing Data about Displaced Students (NFES 2010–804)

Forum Guide to Metadata: The Meaning Behind Education Data This publication provides guidelines that can be used by elementary and secondary education agencies to establish policies and procedures for collecting and managing education data before, during, and after a crisis.

The Forum Guide to Metadata: The Meaning Behind Education Data (NFES 2009–805)

Forum Guide to Metadata: The Meaning Behind Education Data This guide offers best practice concepts, definitions, implementation strategies, and templates/tools for an audience of data, technology, and program staff in state and local education agencies. This resource was developed to improve these audiences' awareness and understanding of metadata and, subsequently, the quality of the data in the systems they maintain.

Every School Day Counts: Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data (NFES 2009–804)

Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data

This guide offers best practice suggestions on collecting and using student attendance data to improve performance. It includes a standard set of codes to make attendance data comparable across districts and states. The publication includes real-life examples of how attendance information has been used by school districts.


NCES Handbooks and NCES Handbooks Online


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 (LEA), intermediate education agencies, and state education agencies (SEA). 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 drilldown finder, element name and first letter searches, and advanced query options.


National Education Data Model

Forum Guide to the Privacy of Student Information: A nResource for Schools The National Education Data Model (NEDM) is the first non-proprietary, national education data model developed to help schools, LEAs, and states design or guide the selection of systems for instructional delivery, data-driven decisionmaking, data collection, operations, and reporting. The model provides a national blueprint to help schools evaluate and improve instructional tools; communicate needs to their umbrella agency or to vendors; enhance the movement of student information from one LEA to another; and, in the end, have better tools to inform instruction. NEDM can be used by educators, vendors, and researchers to understand the information required for teaching, learning, and administrative systems.

Managing an Identity Crisis: Forum Guide to Implementing New Federal Race and Ethnicity Categories (NFES 2008–802)

Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies This best-practice guide was developed to help state and local education agencies implement the 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.

Forum Guide to Core Finance Data Elements (NFES 2007–801)

Forum Curriculum for Improving Education Data: A Resource for Local Education Agencies This publication establishes current and consistent terms and definitions for maintaining, collecting, reporting, and exchanging comparable information related to education finances. It is designed to accompany Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems: 2003 Edition by identifying common reporting requirements and defining frequently used indicators and calculations that use data elements from accounting and other data systems.

Forum Curriculum for Improving Education Data: A Resource for Local Education Agencies (NFES 2007–808)

Forum Guide to Education Indicators This resource 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 other resources; and presents concepts necessary to help schools develop a culture for improving data quality.

Forum Guide to Decision Support Systems: A Resource for Educators (NFES 2006–807)

Forum Guide to Education Indicators This Forum guide was developed to help the education community better understand what decision support systems are, how they are configured, how they operate, and how they might be developed and implemented in an education setting.

Forum Guide to Virtual Education (NFES 2006–803)

Forum Guide to Education Indicators This publication offers recommendations for collecting accurate, comparable, and useful data about virtual education in elementary and secondary education settings. It highlights policy questions and data elements critical to meeting the information needs of policymakers, administrators, instructors, and parents of students involved in virtual education.

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

Forum Guide to Education Indicators 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 the privacy interests of parents and students with respect to information maintained 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 health-related information.

Accounting for Every Student: A Taxonomy for Standard Student Exit Codes (NFES 2006–804)

Forum Guide to Education Indicators This publication was developed to help education agencies develop effective information systems for tracking students' enrollment status. It presents a student-level exit code taxonomy for states and districts that accounts for 100 percent (not 90 or 110 percent) of all students. It also offers "best practice" advice regarding tracking students, collecting exit codes data, and distinguishing among high school completion credentials.

Forum Guide to Education Indicators (NFES 2005–802)

Forum Guide to Education Indicators This publication provides encyclopedia-type entries for 44 commonly used education indicators. Each indicator entry includes a definition, recommended uses, caveats and cautions, related policy questions, data element components, a formula, commonly reported subgroups, and display suggestions. The document will help readers better understand how to appropriately develop, apply, and interpret commonly used education indicators.

Forum Guide to Building a Culture of Quality Data (NFES 2005–801)

Forum Guide to Education Indicators This publication focuses on data entry: getting things done right at the source. It recommends a practical process for developing a "Culture of Quality Data" based around individual tip sheets for individuals involved in providing data, including principals, teachers, office staff, school board members, superintendents, data stewards, and technology staff.

Forum Unified Education Technology Suite (2005)

Forum Guide to Education Indicators This publication presents a practical, comprehensive, and tested approach to assessing, acquiring, instituting, managing, securing, and using technology in education settings. It is written for individuals without extensive experience with technology who have been tasked with leading technology initiatives in a school or district setting.

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

Forum Guide to Education Indicators This publication presents a general overview of privacy laws and professional practices that apply to information collected for, and maintained in, student records. The guide provides an overview of key principles and concepts governing student privacy; summarizes federal privacy laws; 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.

Facilities Information Management: A Guide for State and Local Education Agencies (NCES 2003–400)

Forum Guide to Education Indicators This publication provides a framework for identifying a basic set of school facilities data elements and definitions that will meet the information needs of school and community decisionmakers, school facility managers, and the general public. It presents recommendations for designing and maintaining an information system that addresses the condition, design, use, management, and financing of elementary and secondary education facilities. Commonly used measures, data elements, and additional resources for the practitioner are also included.

Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities (NCES 2003–347)

Forum Guide to Education IndicatorsThis publication is intended to help school facilities managers plan for efficient and effective operations. It provides practical advice on a range of topics, including how to conduct a facilities audit, plan for maintenance to ensure smooth operations and avoid costly surprises, manage staff and contractors, and evaluate maintenance efforts.