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Free Publications

The National Forum on Education Statistics develops free resources on a variety of issues that affect schools, school districts, and state education agencies. Each publication is based on extensive, objective research and the collective experience and expertise of a wide variety of education professionals. Past publications are reviewed and updated periodically to keep up with changes in a dynamic educational system.


All Forum Publications

Forum Guide to Early Warning Systems   Forum Guide to Early Warning Systems
This publication is designed to help state and local education agency staff education agencies plan, develop, implement, and use an early warning system in their agency. This publication includes a review of early warning systems; best practice suggestions for system planning, development, implementation, and use; and seven case studies.
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Forum Guide to Facilities Information Management: A Resource for State and Local Education Agencies   Forum Guide to Facility Information Management: A Resource for State and Local Education Agencies
This publication is designed to help state and local education agencies plan, design, build, use, and improve their facility information systems. It includes a review of why school facilities data matter and recommends a five-step process that an education agency can undertake to develop a robust facility information system around goals, objectives, and indicators.
PDF acrobat (5.4 MB)  
     
Forum Guide to Reporting Civil Rights Data   Forum Guide to Reporting Civil Rights Data
This publication is designed to help local education agency staff report civil rights data to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. This publication includes an overview of the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), a discussion of the challenges and opportunities in reporting civil rights data, an explanation of the CRDC reporting process, and six case studies.
PDF acrobat (5.4 MB)  
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic subgroups (2016)   Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data
This publication is designed to help state and local education agency staff improve their collection, reporting, and use of attendance data to improve student and school outcomes. This publication includes best practice suggestions and real – life examples, provides a set of voluntary attendance codes, and features tip sheets for a wide range of education agency staff.
PDF acrobat (4.3 MB)  
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic subgroups (2016)   Forum Guide to Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies
The purpose of this publication is to recommend data visualization practices that will help education agencies communicate data meaning in visual formats that are accessible, accurate, and actionable for a wide range of education stakeholders. Although this resource is designed for staff in education agencies, many of the visualization principles apply to other fields as well.
PDF acrobat (13 MB)  
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic subgroups (2016)   Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic Subgroups
This publication is intended to identify some of the overarching benefits and challenges involved in data disaggregation; recommend appropriate practices for disaggregating racial/ethnic data in districts and states; and describe real–world examples of large and small education agencies disaggregating racial/ethnic data successfully.
PDF acrobat (2 MB)  
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy   Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy
This publication presents 11 case studies designed to assist schools and education agencies in protecting the confidentiality of student data when using online instructional apps, responding to requests for student contact information, sharing student data within schools, sharing data among community school partners, using student data in presentations and training materials, and using social media.
PDF acrobat (5 MB)  
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Elementary/Secondary Virtual Education Data   Forum Guide to Elementary/Secondary Virtual Education Data
This publication provides information on the impact of virtual education on established data elements and methods of data collection and addresses the scope of changes, the rapid pace of new technology development, and the proliferation of resources in virtual education.
PDF acrobat (6.60 MB)  
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Alternative Measures of Socioeconomic Status in Education Data Systems   Forum Guide to Alternative Measures of Socioeconomic Status in Education Data Systems
This publication provides “encyclopedia-type” entries for eight plausible alternative measures of socioeconomic status (SES) and, as such, will help readers better understand the implications of collecting and interpreting a range of SES-related data in education agencies.
PDF acrobat (6.15 MB)  
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to College and Career Ready Data   Forum Guide to College and Career Ready Data
This publication outlines the data needs and helpful analytics for five use cases (individual learning plans, educator support systems, postsecondary feedback loops, accountability systems, and career technical and education programs) that support SEA and LEA college and career ready initiatives.
PDF acrobat (6.68 MB)  
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Classification System (2014)   Forum Guide to School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Classification System
SCED is a voluntary, common classification system for prior-to-secondary and secondary school courses. This guide includes an overview of the SCED structure and descriptions of the SCED Framework elements, recommended attributes, and information for new and existing users on best practices for implementing and expanding their use of SCED.
PDF acrobat (2.20 MB)  
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A Local Education Agency Perspective   Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A Local Education Agency Perspective
This publication recommends a set of core practices, operations, and templates that can be adopted and adapted by LEAs as they consider how to respond to requests for both new and existing data about the education enterprise.
PDF acrobat (2.20 MB)  
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to the Teacher-Student Data Link: A Technical Implementation Resource   Forum Guide to the Teacher-Student Data Link: A Technical Implementation Resource
This guide introduces the teacher-student data link (TSDL) and provides information on TSDL components, use cases, and strategies for overcoming implementation challenges.
PDF acrobat (8.31 MB)  
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Taking Action with Education Data   Forum Guide to Taking Action with Education Data
This Guide provides practical information about the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to identify, access, interpret, and use data to improve instruction in classrooms and the operation of schools, local education agencies, and state education agencies.
PDF acrobat (3.3 MB)*EPUB *MOBI
  > Accessing E-Books (849 KB)
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A State Education Agency Perspective (2012)   Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A State Education Agency Perspective
This Guide recommends a set of core practices, operations, and templates that can be adopted and adapted by state education agencies as they consider how to respond to requests for data about the education enterprise, including data maintained in longitudinal data systems.
PDF acrobat (2.2 MB)*EPUB *MOBI
  > Accessing E-Books (849 KB)
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Facilities Information Management: A Resource for State and Local Education Agencies (2012)   Forum Guide to Facilities Information Management: A Resource for State and Local Education Agencies
This Guide provides a framework for collecting, evaluating, and maintaining education facilities data. It includes best practices for the design, development, implementation, and use of facilities management information systems, along with a list of standard data elements.     
PDF acrobat (10.6 MB)
     
     
Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Ensuring Equal Access to Education Websites (2011)   Forum Guide to Ensuring Equal Access to Education Websites
This resource guides education institutions in improving the accessibility of websites and other electronic information technology, and in complying with accessibility standards and laws.     
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Cover image thumnail of the Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems, Book IV: Advanced LDS Usage (2011)   Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems, Book IV: Advanced LDS Usage
This document, the final installment of a four-part Forum Guide series on longitudinal data systems (LDS), addresses issues important to the effective use of longitudinal data.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Crime, Violence, and Discipline Incident Data   Forum Guide to Crime, Violence, and Discipline Incident Data
The Forum Guide to Crime, Violence, and Discipline Incident Data focuses on the use of crime, violence, and discipline data to improve school safety. 
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Cover image thumbnail of the Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to  Longitudinal Data Systems, Book III: Effectively Managing LDS Data (2011)      Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems, Book III: Effectively Managing LDS Data
This document, the third installment of a four-part Forum Guide series on longitudinal data systems (LDS), addresses the management of data.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems, Book II: Planning and Developing an LDS (2011)   Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems, Book II: Planning and Developing an LDS
This document, the second installment of a four-part Forum Guide series on longitudinal data systems (LDS), discusses the critical planning and development phases of an LDS project.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems, Book I: What is an LDS? (2010)    Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems, Book I: What is an LDS?
By facilitating the collection and use of detailed, high quality student- and staff-level data linked over time, longitudinal data systems (LDSs) hold promise for enhancing both the way education agencies use data to serve students and the way they do business, from the policy level to the school office and into the classroom.
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Cover image thumbnail of the The Forum Guide to Data Ethics (2010)   Forum Guide to Data Ethics
Each and 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.
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Cover image thumbnail of the The Forum Guide to Data Ethics (2010)   Crisis Data Management: A Forum Guide to Collecting and Managing Data About Displaced Students
This document 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.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Shared Knowledge for Shared Success (brochure) (2010)      Shared Knowledge for Shared Success (brochure)
The Forum brochure, Shared Knowledge for Shared Success, is available to help raise awareness of the National Forum on Education Statistics and its many free resources.

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Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Metadata: The Meaning Behind Education Data (2009)   Forum Guide to Metadata: The Meaning Behind Education Data
This document 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.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Managing an Identity Crisis: Forum Guide to Implementing New Federal Race and Ethnicity Categories (2008)   Managing an Identity Crisis: Forum Guide to Implementing New Federal Race and Ethnicity Categories
This best-practice guide is developed to assist state and local education agencies in their implementation of the new federal race and ethnicity categories—thereby reducing redundant efforts within and across states, improving data comparability, and minimizing reporting burden.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Core Finance Data Elements (2007)   Forum Guide to Core Finance Data Elements
This document provides an overview of key finance data terms. It also covers the 2 NCES public school finance surveys: the state-level National Public Education Financial Survey and the School District Finance Survey (or F-33).
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Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Curriculum for Improving Education Data: A Resource for Local Education Agencies (2007)   Forum Curriculum for Improving Education Data: A Resource for Local Education Agencies
This curriculum supports efforts to improve the quality of education data by serving as training materials for K12 school and district staff.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Decision Support Systems: A Resource for Educators (2006)   Forum Guide to Decision Support Systems: A Resource for Educators
This document was developed to remedy the lack of reliable, objective information available to the education community about decision support systems.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to the Privacy of Student Information: A Resource for Schools (2006)   Forum Guide to the Privacy of Student Information: A Resource for Schools
This guide helps school and local education agency staff to better understand and apply FERPA, a federal law that protects privacy interests of parents and students in student education records.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Accounting for Every Student: A Taxonomy for Standard Student Exit Codes (2006)   Accounting for Every Student: A Taxonomy for Standard Student Exit Codes
This "best practice" guide presents an exhaustive and mutually exclusive exit code taxonomy that accounts, at any single point in time, for all students enrolled (or previously enrolled) in a particular school or district.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Education Indicators (2005)   Forum Guide to Education Indicators
The Forum Guide to Education Indicators provides encyclopedia-type entries for 44 commonly used education indicators. Each indicator entry contains a definition, recommended uses, usage caveats and cautions, related policy questions, data element components, a formula, commonly reported subgroups, and display suggestions.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Unified Education Technology Suite (2005)   Forum Unified Education Technology Suite
The Forum Unified Education Technology Suite presents a practical, comprehensive, and tested approach to assessing, acquiring, instituting, managing, securing, and using technology in education settings.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Building a Culture of Quality Data: A School and District Resource   Forum Guide to Building a Culture of Quality Data: A School and District Resource
There has been a growing awareness that effective teaching, efficient schools, and quality data are linked. A "Culture of Quality Data" is the belief that good data are an integral part of teaching, learning and managing the school enterprise.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies (2004)   Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies
This Guide presents a general overview of privacy laws and professional practices that apply to information collected for, and maintained in, student records.
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Cover image thumbnail of the National Forum on Education Statistics: History (2004)   National Forum on Education Statistics: History
The National Forum on Education Statistics: History provides an overview of the activities of the Forum since its inception in 1989. The document also reviews the planning and design of the Cooperative System, its authorization, the establishment of the Forum, the Forum's mission, and current strategies for achieving this mission.
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Cover image thumbnail of the NCES Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems: 2003 Edition (2003)   NCES Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems: 2003 Edition
This NCES Handbook is designed to be the national standard for state departments of education when reporting financial data and for school districts when preparing comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs).
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Cover image thumbnail of the Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities (2003)   Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities
This Guide was prepared by members of the National Forum on Education Statistics to help school facilities managers plan for efficient and effective operations.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Power Tools for Your Schools (brochure) (2003)   Power Tools for Your Schools (brochure)
The Forum brochure Power Tools for Your Schools is available for promoting free resources from the National Forum on Education Statistics.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Putting Numbers to Work for Schools   Putting Numbers to Work for Schools
The Forum brochure Putting Numbers to Work for Schools is available for promoting activities and publications of the National Forum on Education Statistics.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Safety in Numbers: Collecting and Using Crime, Violence, and Discipline Incident Data to Make a Difference in Schools (2002)   Safety in Numbers: Collecting and Using Crime, Violence, and Discipline Incident Data to Make a Difference in Schools
This document is designed for use by school, district, and state staff to improve the effectiveness of their efforts to collect and use disciplinary incident data.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Privacy Issues in Education Staff Records (2000)   Privacy Issues in Education Staff Records
This report discusses key concepts in protecting and managing information in staff records. It does not provide legal guidelines, but does address the federal Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts and offers principles of best practice.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Recommendations of the Crime, Violence, and Discipline Reporting Task Force (1996)   Recommendations of the Crime, Violence, and Discipline Reporting Task Force
The document was written as a model for voluntary use by state and local education agencies interested in developing or improving the system for collecting data on crime, violence, and discipline.
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Cover image thumbnail of the Standards for Education Data Collection and Reporting (SEDCAR) (1991)   Standards for Education Data Collection and Reporting (SEDCAR)
This document describes education data collection and reporting standards through the combined efforts of data providers, producers, and users at the local, state, and federal levels.
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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.