Forum New Member Training Suite

Welcome to the National Forum on Education Statistics (Forum)! The Forum is a collaborative group whose members share a commitment to improving the quality, comparability, and utility of elementary and secondary education data while remaining sensitive to data burden concerns.

The Forum has developed this training to introduce newly appointed members to the Forum and provide information on Forum history, processes, and resources. The materials on this page are designed to help new members learn important content and understand their responsibilities as Forum members. The training outlines six steps to guide users through the process, which include an introduction to the Forum, more in-depth resources, an assessment for new members, and information about how to get involved in the Forum.

Step 1: Watch the About the Forum video.

"About the Forum" provides an introduction to the history, purpose, and goals of the Forum. It describes the role of Forum members, highlights the types of education data issues addressed by the Forum, and explains the types of resources developed by the organization.

Step 2: Learn about the many resources developed by Forum members.

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The Forum Resources presentation offers information about the Forum's many free resources, including best practice guides, online courses, and videos. These resources address topics in education data collection, management, and use; data standards; and data privacy and security.

Step 3: Review the Forum Member Handbook.

The member handbook is designed to serve as a comprehensive resource about the purpose and operations of the Forum. It is written for Forum members to improve their understanding of the Forum's goals and objectives, the processes and mechanisms the Forum uses to accomplish those goals and objectives, and the resources it develops for the education community. New members may find the Forum Member Handbook helpful as they prepare for their roles in the Forum, whether as a federal agency member, a liaison from a state or local education agency (SEA or LEA), or an associate member. Typically, it takes some time for a new member to become familiar with the Forum's culture, processes, and opportunities; consulting the member handbook should help expedite and simplify that process.

Step 4: Review the New Member PowerPoint presentation.

This presentation highlights key points from the New Member Handbook, and new members can use it as a review tool before taking the New Member Assessment.

Step 5: Take the New Member Assessment.

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Click here to take the Forum New Member Assessment. If you correctly answer at least 80 percent of the questions you will earn a certificate upon completion. This assessment is intended for members who want to test their knowledge or use the assessment as professional development.

Step 6: Get involved!

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After your official appointment, you can expect to receive additional information from an established Forum member who will serve as your mentor. You also will receive newsletters, webinar announcements, and email updates from the Forum. As the annual Forum meeting approaches, you will receive information about the new member orientation and ways that you can contribute your ideas to help develop the meeting agenda.

Throughout the year, you can expect to receive invitations to review and contribute to new Forum resources that are in development. Feedback from Forum members is essential to developing each new resource and ensuring that resources meet the needs of education agencies across the country. In addition, opportunities often arise for new members to take part in Working Groups, the Communications Subcommittee, and project groups that develop the Forum's online resources. Be sure to share your thoughts at Forum meetings, and consider ways to volunteer your expertise!