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Summer 2016 Forum Meeting Notes

National Forum on Education Statistics
July 10-12, 2016
Washington, DC

Forum Opening Session
Forum Agenda Review
Joint Session: How to Improve the Transparency of Your Data Practices
Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Poster Session
Joint Session: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
Joint Session: Office of Educational Technology (OET) Initiatives
National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC) Meeting Summary
Policies, Programs, and Implementation Committee (PPI) Meeting Summary
Technology Committee (TECH) Meeting Summary
Forum Closing Session
Steering Committee



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Forum Opening Session

Sunday, July 10, 2016

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Forum Agenda Review

Forum Chair Peter Tamayo (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) welcomed Forum members to the Summer 2016 Forum Meeting in Washington, DC. He introduced Marilyn Seastrom, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Chief Statistician.

Marilyn welcomed Forum members to the meeting and thanked them for their time, work, and commitment over the past year. She highlighted two recent Forum accomplishments:

  • The Forum Guide to Elementary/Secondary Virtual Education Data has benefitted state and local education agencies who are working to incorporate virtual education data into their data systems. It has also benefitted NCES, and is currently being used as part of a project to identify new measures of virtual education data in NCES surveys. The Technology Committee invited NCES representatives to discuss virtual education data during the Forum meeting, and the Forum partnered with NCES on a joint STATS-DC presentation on the topic.
  • The Forum worked closely with the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to produce the new Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy. This new guide will assist state and local education agencies as they support best practices at the school level to protect the confidentiality of student data in day-to-day instruction and administrative tasks. Importantly, the guide references many PTAC documents and will ensure that PTAC and Forum resources reach the education data staff who need them.

Marilyn commended Forum members for their ongoing work to collaborate with federal projects, national groups, and other education data stakeholders to produce new resources, and she noted that the Forum is nearing completion of several new resources.



Chronic Absenteeism Panel Discussion pdf file (1.46 MB)

Peter Tamayo (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction), Georgia Hughes-Webb (West Virginia Department of Education), and Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department [NH]), discussed their agencies’ approaches to collecting chronic absenteeism data.

Peter began the panel presentation by explaining changes to the collection of chronic absenteeism data in the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and EDFacts. The CRDC began collecting chronic absenteeism data in the 2013-14 school year and will collect it again in 2015-16. However, EDFacts will begin collecting chronic absenteeism through states starting in school year 2016-17. The move to EDFacts will be accompanied by a change in definition from the number of students who were absent 15 or more days during the school year to the number of students absent ten percent or more school days during the school year. CRDC’s recent First Look report on 2013-14 data show that over 6 million students, or 13 percent of all students, missed 15 or more days of school in 2013-14. Additional information is available on the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Chronic Absenteeism webpage at http://www2.ed.gov/datastory/chronicabsenteeism.html#intro. Peter clarified the differences among chronic absenteeism, daily attendance, and truancy: in Washington State, chronic absenteeism is defined as the percentage of students that have missed at least 18 full days (10%) of school for any reason; daily average attendance is the number of students who show up to school each day; and truancy is missing five or more full days, unexcused, within a month, or missing 10 or more full days, unexcused, within a school year. Peter then discussed the importance of school attendance and gave an overview of the causes of chronic absenteeism. He also shared information from Washington State that showed how chronic absenteeism is an equity issue.

Georgia discussed the West Virginia Department of Education’s efforts to provide new and different ways of viewing and using chronic absenteeism data. West Virginia is mandated by state legislature to maintain a statewide, centralized data system, the West Virginia Education Information System (WVEIS). WVEIS has evolved and now has a web-based interface. Absence data are recorded daily in WVEIS and school and districts can produce real-time reports to find out which students are absent. District dashboards are updated with attendance data to show trends in absenteeism and to allow filtering by student characteristics. Through the statewide system, the state education agency (SEA) is able to assist local education agencies (LEAs) with chronic absenteeism reporting requirements.

Mike provided an LEA perspective that focused on the Rochester School District’s efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism. The LEA has established a series of steps that are triggered when a student begins accumulating absences. The steps increase in severity as the number of absences rises and include letters, meetings with the principal and assistant superintendent, referral to a discipline committee, and police department interventions. School teams are convened when a student misses eight half days and these teams determine if an intervention plan should be established. Parents are involved in intervention plans, and the LEA has seen improvements as a result of educating parents of elementary-age students on the importance of attendance. The LEA also reports attendance data to the school board on a monthly basis.

Panelists engaged in a discussion with Forum members on the following aspects of chronic absenteeism data reporting and interventions:

  • Members were interested in learning more about how SEAs and LEAs report data for transient students. States with statewide systems are able to transfer records immediately. Mike noted that his LEA keeps district records of interventions so that the intervention process does not have to re-start when a student transfers schools within a district.
  • Members noted that chronic absenteeism is often a community issue that cannot be solved by school interventions alone. A broader approach, involving social service agencies, may be needed. Mike explained that the concept of chronic absenteeism as a community issue prompted his LEA to work with the police department. Georgia added that in West Virginia, judges work with LEAs to address absences and truancy and to develop community interventions. Peter noted that outside organizations can often assist with addressing the root causes of absenteeism.
  • One SEA reported linking chronic absenteeism data with student achievement data, and asked if other SEAs or LEAs have done the same. Other members reporting linking chronic absenteeism data with performance data as well as records of behavioral issues.
  • A member asked if West Virginia has a system in place to assist students who are chronically absent due to health reasons with the process of obtaining an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Georgia and Peter reported that these systems exist locally in West Virginia and Washington. Mike added that his LEA has a process for involving school nurses.
  • The Forum produced Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data in 2009. This Forum guide includes information on collecting attendance data for SEAs and LEAs.
  • Homelessness and lack of documentation may affect a student’s attendance. The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Assistance Act (http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg116.html) established policies for ensuring that homeless students have equal access to education.
  • Agencies’ treatment of excused absences varies. Some agencies consider excused absences when reporting school attendance rates and planning interventions, while others do not.
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    Joint Session: How to Improve the Transparency of Your Data Practices pdf file (2.0 MB)


    Sunday, July 10, 2016

    Michael Hawes, Statistical Privacy Advisor, U.S. Department of Education (ED) discussed methods that education agencies can use to improve the transparency of data practices. He began with an overview of ED’s role in protecting student privacy, which includes administering and enforcing federal laws; raising awareness of privacy challenges; providing technical assistance to schools, LEAs, and SEAs; and promoting privacy and security best practices. He explained why student data are collected, and noted several reasons that schools, LEAs, and SEAs should be transparent about their data practices. He also reminded participants that ED has established requirements, as well as best practice recommendations, relating to data transparency. Required notices included the Annual Notice of Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) Notices (for some surveys and for use of student information for marketing purposes) and Directory Information Notice (if disclosing Directory Information). But best practices for improving transparency go beyond the requirements of FERPA and PPRA. Parents should be provided with information about what information is collected, why it is collected, how it is protected, whether it is shared with any third parties, and contact information for an individual who can answer any questions about data practices. Additional recommendations for communicating with parents include using the school, LEA, or SEA website to share information, using clear and consistent communications, and encouraging community review of the website. Parent inquiries should be reviewed in a thoughtful and careful manner, and responses should be timely. Michael encouraged Forum members to access additional resources at http://ptac.ed.gov. Forum members engaged Michael in a discussion that focused on the use of data destruction certificates, strategies for improving transparency while ensuring data security, and challenges related to creating a data inventory.

     

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    Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Poster Session

    Sunday, July 10, 2016

    Liz Eisner, Education Research Analyst, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), provided Forum members with a brief introduction to the RELs. The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) awards five year grants for RELs. Each REL has a governing board that established the strategic direction for research, which is then carried out through research alliances. The alliances focus on researcher/practitioner partnerships. Representatives of each of the ten RELs were in attendance and presented a poster on a research topic of interest to the Forum:

     

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    Joint Session: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) pdf file (669 KB)

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    Patrick Rooney, Acting Director of the Office of State Support (OSS), and Jane Clark, Data Reporting, and Analysis Team Lead, OSS, gave an overview of proposed ESSA regulations relating to accountability, state plans, and data reporting. Patrick began by discussing the transition to ESSA and noted that ED is gathering extensive stakeholder input to inform the transition. He reviewed the major provisions included in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the contents of the Notice, the goals and measurements of interim progress, and the timeline for implementation. The proposed regulations are intended to help SEAs establish robust accountability systems that include multiple indicators. Under the proposed regulations, SEAs must establish long-term goals and measurements of interim progress for academic achievement, graduation rates, and English language proficiency. There are several statewide indicators that will be used, with each indicator having at least three performance levels. SEAs must assign a comprehensive, summative rating for each school and identify schools for comprehensive support and improvement once every three years. Moreover, SEAs must identify schools with consistently underperforming subgroups for targeted support and improvement annually. The proposed regulations include information on developing school improvement plans and interventions. Patrick further clarified what information is and is not specified in the proposed regulations regarding accountability systems, including information on subgroups, n sizes, and charter schools.

    Jane reviewed proposed regulations for SEA and LEA data reporting, including state accountability system information, achievement calculations, high school graduation rates, per-pupil expenditures, postsecondary enrollment, and educator qualifications. She encouraged Forum members to make use of resources available at http://www.ed.gov/ESSA, including the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (https://www.federalregister.gov/a/2016-12451), a fact sheet, webinars, and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. Comments on the accountability rulemaking were due August 1st and two additional Notices on assessment rulemaking were also released. Forum members were interested in learning more about the different levels required for each indicator, requirements for collecting information on military families, and how to identify schools in need of improvement. Forum members were also interested in the information that will be required on annual SEA and LEA report cards, creating the new one-page data summary, and the definition of evidence-based interventions and strategies. Patrick and Jane directed members to sections of the statute that include details on the report card requirements and a definition of evidence-based interventions and strategies.

     

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    Joint Session: Office of Educational Technology (OET) Initiatives pdf file (4.36 MB)

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    Katrina Stevens, Deputy Director of the Office of Educational Technology (OET) provided Forum members with an update on OET initiatives including Future Ready, the 2016 National Education Technology Plan, #GoOpen, and Rapid Cycle Evaluations for Education Technology. Katrina began by discussing what it means to be “future ready” and noted that most communities now accept that technology is important for learning, that schools need high speed wireless in every classroom, and that it is more important to provide teachers with professional development than to just purchase new devices. In the future, she added, school and LEA leaders will be responsible for setting the vision for technology, traditional textbooks will no longer meet students’ needs, home internet access will be essential, and technology will be a tool that increases equity. OET’s Future Ready Initiative (http://tech.ed.gov/futureready/) builds on the momentum of the President’s ConnectED initiative with the launch of the Future Ready Pledge. Signing the pledge means superintendents are committing to foster and lead a culture of digital learning in their LEAs and to share what they have learned.

    Katrina provided members with a legislative update and noted that guidance will be forthcoming on educational technology related to ESSA. She then discussed the National Education Technology Plan (tech.ed.gov/netp), which is the flagship educational technology policy document for the United States. It provides a call to action; a vision for learning enabled through technology; and a collection of recommendations and real-world examples. She also briefly discussed ED’s #GoOpen campaign, which encourages SEAs, LEAs, and schools to use openly-licensed educational materials to transform teaching and learning. Forum members were very interested in rapid cycle evaluations for educational technology (http://tech.ed.gov/rcte/). The rapid evaluation tools will be available in January, 2017. Katrina also confirmed that the OET coordinates with the ED Family Policy Compliance Office.

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    National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC) Meeting Summary

    Sunday, July 10, 2016

    Morning Session
    Welcome, Introductions, and Agenda Review
    NESAC Chair Kristi Martin (Macomb Intermediate School District [MI]) welcomed members to the meeting.

    Participants introduced themselves and spoke briefly about their work. Kristi reviewed the agenda, which was developed based on input from NESAC members. Agenda topics included:

    • Chronic Absenteeism
    • Topics from the Floor
    • Data Disaggregation
    • Data Privacy
    • Data Visualization
    • School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Updates
    • EdFacts and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
    • Keeping Data Systems Up-to-Date
    • Public Data Reporting and Privacy Issues
    • Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC)
    • School Climate Surveys
    • National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
    • National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Middle Grades Longitudinal Studies
    • Recap and Planning
    • NESAC Election

    Given such a full agenda, participants were encouraged to be on time to start each meeting.

    Summer 2015 Meeting Review
    NESAC Chair Kristi Martin (Macomb Intermediate School District [MI]) briefly reviewed major activities and discussions from the 2015 NESAC Meeting, including Forum projects, Office of Special Education Program Technical Assistance Centers, the assessment consortia, NAEP, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) indicators, the CRDC, NCES School Climate Surveys, EDFacts, and the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) program. She also noted that NESAC met virtually last November to strategize and share information on how state education agencies (SEAs) can help reduce local education agency (LEA) data burdens. The virtual meeting also included a discussion of SCED. Kristi reminded members about the Forum360 webpage as a password-protected community site to continue discussions following our time together in person.

    Chronic Absenteeism Discussion
    NESAC Chair Kristi Martin (Macomb Intermediate School District [MI]) facilitated an open discussion about chronic absenteeism following the Forum Opening Session in which Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department [NH]), Peter Tamayo (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction), and Georgia Hughes-Webb (West Virginia Department of Education) discussed their agencies’ approaches to collecting chronic absenteeism data. NESAC members discussed issues related to chronic absenteeism that affect their state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs):

    • Members were interested in discussing how SEAs and LEAs are using attendance data for purposes other than reporting. Several SEA and LEA members reported that they have begun conducting research on attendance data, and this research can be used to facilitate conversations with educators and policymakers about the connections between attendance and student outcomes. SEAs and LEAs have found that comparisons of attendance data with performance measures such as graduation rates or reading and math pass rates, further disaggregated by low socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity, can reveal patterns in the data. NESAC members cautioned that absenteeism is complicated and may be a symptom of other problems. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge that additional factors may impact both attendance and performance measures, and improving attendance will not necessarily lead to performance improvements.
    • Several states have incorporated chronic absenteeism into dashboards and early warning systems. Others are using data on chronic absenteeism to pair students with family liaisons that can help to address issues affecting student attendance.
    • Data on absenteeism is sometimes difficult to capture and compare due to differences in definitions. There are variations in how states and districts categorize partial attendance (half day/whole day), excused and unexcused absences, and chronic lateness.
    • The perception of absenteeism varies according to the type of absence. For example, missing class for athletics or other student groups is often permissible, although it can affect performance.
    • Some NESAC members reported reduced absences in communities where doctors and dentists agree to conduct appointments during non-school hours, such as early morning and late afternoon. Other members reported on the success of small interventions at the school level, such as not scheduling core classes during class periods with high absence rates.
    • Teacher absenteeism is also a concern, especially when coupled with student absenteeism.
    • Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has established incentives for high attendance and created a student video competition on the topic. Winning videos from the 2016 competition are available at http://www.k12northstar.org/Page/5750.
    • The Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) are hosting a learning series on implementing and using early warning systems for dropout prevention. Information is available at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/projects/ews.asp.

    NESAC briefly reviewed Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data. Members agreed that the information in the document is still useful and suggested that the Forum could expand on this work by identifying best practices to maximize attendance and providing case studies from schools, districts, and states that have successfully improved attendance rates.

    NESAC also briefly discussed the Forum Guide to Crime, Violence, and Discipline Data, and suggested that the Forum review the document for possible updates in response to CRDC reporting requirements.

    Afternoon Session

    Topics From the Floor
    NESAC Chair Kristi Martin (Macomb Intermediate School District [MI]) invited members to discuss topics of importance in their agencies that were not included in the NESAC agenda. NESAC members briefly discussed the following topics and suggested several for follow-up via webinars:

    • Homelessness data
    • Reengagement rates for dropouts--Jan Petro (Colorado Department of Education)
    • Student achievement compared with rates of students who eat breakfast/lunch
    • School climate
    • Reporting data on students who identify as belonging to two or more racial/ethnic subgroups
    • Tracking out-of-school learning
    • State school reform and school takeovers
    • Measuring Student Engagement
    • ESSA Accountability Systems across SEAs
    • Inventory of data (suggested as a product that could be produced by the Common Education Data Standards)--Linda Rocks (Bossier Parish School System [LA])

    Forum Working Group Updates
    Representatives from three Forum Working Groups updated NESAC on the final and near-final resources under development.

    • Marilyn King (Bozeman School District #7), reported that the Forum’s Education Data Privacy Working Group recently completed work on the new Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy. The guide was developed in response to a need identified by Forum members for more information on protecting the confidentiality of student data in day-to-day instructional and administrative practices. It is intended to assist SEAs and LEAs as they support effective privacy practices in schools, and it will also be helpful to SEAs and LEAs in developing privacy programs and related professional development programs. The guide complements the work of the U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and includes links to relevant PTAC resources.
    • NESAC Vice Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) shared an update on the progress of the Forum’s Data Visualization Working Group, which is developing a new resource that will recommend sound data visualization practices to help education agencies analyze the meaning of data and then present data in a format that is appropriate for public audiences. The document is now undergoing initial review and should be released by September.
    • Peter Tamayo, (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) provided an update on the progress of the Forum’s Data Disaggregation of Racial/Ethnic Categories Working Group, which expects to release its publication in the fall. The new resource discusses why data disaggregation may be important to an education agency, addresses strategies for disaggregating data in both the needs assessment and implementation phases, and provides case studies from states and districts that already disaggregate their racial/ethnic data.

    Monday, July 11, 2016
    Morning Session
    School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Working Group Update and Discussion.
    NESAC Vice Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education), provided an update on the Forum’s School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED), which is a voluntary, common classification system for prior-to-secondary and secondary school courses. Susan provided a brief history of SCED, which was established in 2007 and has since undergone several revisions to ensure that it remains up-to-date and relevant. The Forum’s SCED Working Group is currently completing work on Version 4, which will be released this fall and will include revisions to a number of Course Subject Areas. Susan highlighted changes to SCED World Languages courses, which were updated based on SCED user feedback and extensive review by subject matter experts. In addition to creating a downloadable, sortable file of updated course codes, the Working Group is developing several resources to assist SCED users:

    • Videos: The group released an introductory video titled, School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED): An Introduction, which will soon be followed by a second video that will explain SCED course coding in more detail.
    • Master List: The group is developing a crosswalk of all course codes used in each SCED revision since the original 2007 release. The crosswalk will help users to track a single code across revisions, so that if an SEA or LEA is currently using a code from the 2007 SCED, it will be possible to easily track whether and how the code and the course description changed over time.
    • Frequently Asked Questions: The group will publish a file of questions submitted by SCED users along with answers and information on other common questions.
    • SCED Finder: The SCED Finder is a tool that helps users identify and select SCED codes. SCED Finder currently includes information from SCED Version 3; the group is updating it to reflect SCED Version 4.

    Susan led a discussion on SEA and LEA uses of SCED. NESAC members reported that they have used SCED for various purposes, including reviewing the depth and breadth of course offerings, reviewing connections between secondary course sequencing and postsecondary outcomes, and developing electronic transcripts. Members noted that SCED is especially useful in helping SEAs and LEAs to conduct research.

    EDFacts and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
    Barbara Timm and Kelly Worthington (NCES) provided an update on the EDFacts data collection. They began by discussing data security and noted that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) increased the security of its data systems following an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) system breach. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit of ED programs that focused on how data are collected, processed, and shared with Congress and the public. OIG identified a need for ED to do more extensive follow-up with states regarding data errors. As a result, EDFacts data quality procedures are being reemphasized. Most states should be accustomed to the procedures and communication with ED staff. Barbara and Kelly noted that this is a topic that will be discussed with the EDFacts coordinators during the EDFacts meeting. Due to the recently passed ESSA, there are 19 files that no longer need to be submitted in School Year 2016-17 and more files will be retired for School Year 2017-18. There are about 70 files with no changes, more than 10 files that will be retired, and 10-12 data groups that will be added. There will also be some new EDFacts Metadata and Process System (EMAPS) collections to support the new ESSA data groups. The OMB package is currently being drafted and is expected for release in August for the 60-day public comment period. The package will likely contain directed questions, and Barbara and Kelly encouraged members to submit detailed comments that address the directed questions and explain any other specific concerns. Finally, EDFacts data publishing is now occurring more quickly and on a more predictable schedule. Disclosure avoidance strategies are used to allow the publication of the lowest levels of the collection. In addition, known data limitations are documented. 

    Keeping Systems Up-to-Date
    NESAC Vice Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) led a group discussion on strategies for keeping education data systems up-to-date. She asked members to consider how they maintain continuity despite changing data definitions and reporting requirements. SEAs and LEAs are currently preparing for changes related to ESSA, and the conversation focused on challenges and strategies related to new requirements:

    • LEAs are concerned with ensuring that their systems are effectively collecting the data that will be needed to meet ESSA requirements. Required data, such as information on per pupil expenditures and military connectedness, may be housed in different systems.
    • It can be challenging to collect required data when there are privacy concerns. For example, some parents are hesitant to report military connectedness due to fears that a data breach that revealed their connection to the military could endanger their child.
    • NESAC members questioned whether Civil Rights Data Collection elements will be part of the new report card requirements, and if so, whether the data will be collected once or twice.
    • The timing of ESSA implementation is causing difficulties for SEAs and LEAs that must update data systems.
    • Susan noted the importance of submitting comments during the 60-day public comment period and encouraged NESAC members to review other comments to identify areas of concern. It is useful to expand on others’ comments to provide additional context and demonstrate that some concerns are widely shared.
    • NESAC members recommended using established data standards, such as the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS), whenever possible. However, this can be difficult when data definitions used in federal regulations do not match those used in established standards.
    • Some SEAs have found that it is useful to collaborate with Human Services agencies to identify students in subgroups, such as foster care. In turn, the SEA can provide information to LEAs.
    • The size and/or wealth of an LEA can affect the ability of staff to report certain data. For example, small LEAs often cannot afford to purchase the same data management software that larger or wealthier LEAs can afford. In addition, LEAs may forego software updates in an effort to save money, but this in turn can negatively impact data security. It is critical that data stewards, IT staff, and others inform senior management and decision makers about the importance of software for data reporting and data security.

    Privacy Protections in Public Data Reporting
    Michael Hawes and Kathleen Styles (ED) joined NESAC to discuss education data privacy. They began by responding to Forum members’ questions about the status of federal and state privacy laws:

    • There were a number of proposals introduced in Congress to amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), but no changes are anticipated in the immediate future.
    • The pace at which states are introducing new student data privacy legislation has slowed. However, some state legislation is now coming into force which in some cases will change SEA and LEA privacy practices.
    • There is no federal effort underway to reconcile various state regulations. FERPA is considered the basis for privacy legislation, which means that schools, districts, and states may have more stringent regulations, but they may not have less stringent regulations. Different state regulations concern education technology vendors, but the effect has been that many vendors are adapting to meet the most restrictive state policies.

    Michael and Kathleen then provided updates on recent developments in education data privacy and forthcoming Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) and PTAC work:

    • California’s Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA) has taken effect. Other states should be aware of SOPIPA issues because the impact of the law may extend beyond California.
    • New Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., frequently emphasizes privacy issues and has been very supportive of efforts to promote education data privacy.
    • The volume of complaints submitted under FERPA is increasing as awareness of FERPA and related state and local regulations increases. ED is directing more resources toward responding to complaints.
    • The ED Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) has released a number of “Dear Colleague” letters that are available at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/library/index.html.
    • ED is coordinating work with other agencies on privacy-related topics. ED will be issuing joint guidance with the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and unemployment insurance data privacy. Regional meetings are planned with states to discuss WIOA compliance in August and September. ED will also work with Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop resources once new Head Start program regulations are finalized.
    • FPCO and PTAC are in the process of consolidating into a single privacy website at ED.
    • PTAC is planning a regional meeting in September.
    • A number of ESSA provisions touch on privacy, most notably in relation to public reporting. ED is committed to helping to clarify how to report data while protecting privacy.

    Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC)
    Janis Brown (Office for Civil Rights) joined NESAC to provide members with an update on the CRDC. OCR enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from ED. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin is prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; sex discrimination is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. CRDC is a longstanding data collection focused on key education and civic rights issues in the nation’s public schools. It is collected every other school year.

    • The 2013-14 collection was recently finished. Over ninety-nine percent of schools were able to certify their data for the 2013-14 collection. OCR recently released a first look report (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/2013-14-first-look.pdf) as well as a new website on chronic absenteeism (http://www2.ed.gov/datastory/chronicabsenteeism.html). Issue briefs on topics such as school discipline, college and career readiness, and early learning will follow. OCR introduced a new submission tool as part of the 2013-14 collection and created tip sheets to provide LEAs with technical assistance.
    • The 2015-16 CRDC collection is currently in the pre-collection stage and reflects minor changes to a few data elements to address comments and questions raised by LEAs during the administration of the 2013-14 CRDC. The revised 2015-16 CRDC is nearly identical to the original and includes most of the items that were included in the 2013-14 CRDC. Items that were considered optional for the 2013-14 CRDC are now mandatory.
    • Challenges for the CRDC include finding a suitable time for the collection, helping LEAs to certify their data, and creating new communication methods. OCR is interested in continuing the CRDC Working Group and expanding work with states on pre-population.
    • Announcements about the 2015-16 collection are available at https://crdc.grads360.org/#program.

    NESAC members were interested in learning more about how to improve communications with OCR, the expected date of release for the final list of elements, and information on the overall 2015-16 collection timeline. NESAC members were interested in creating a working group focused on the CRDC.

    Local Education Agency Approaches to School Climate
    NESAC member Al Larson (Meriden Board of Education [CT]) discussed his work developing school climate surveys that can help school counselors identify students in social-emotional crisis. The survey is confidential but not anonymous, and is composed of forty-eight items. The survey includes trigger emails, which alert the school psychologist and appropriate administrative staff if a student answers questions that indicate he or she may be experiencing a crisis. Al is currently working on another student survey that will measure student motivation and mindset. Al’s collaborative work with university researchers has been published in the American Psychological Association’s School Psychology Quarterly publication, and will soon be republished by the American Educational Research Association. NESAC members discussed survey response rates, methods for distributing information on the survey, and outcomes.

    NESAC Election
    Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) was elected NESAC Chair and Marilyn King (Bozeman School District #7) was elected NESAC Vice Chair for 2016-17.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016
    Morning Session

    E-NAEP pdf file (2.4 MB)

    Bill Ward (NCES) provided an update on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which is transitioning to a digital format. Beginning in 2017, NAEP will be predominately digitally-based. Students will take tests on tablets that will be brought into their schools. Bill provided information on the results of the 2014 Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessment, which are available at www.nationsreportcard.gov/tel_2014. TEL focuses on three major interconnected content areas: Technology and Society, Design and Systems, and Information and Communication Technology, and three practices that cut across the content areas: Understanding Technological Principles, Developing Solutions and Achieving Goals, and Communicating and Collaborating. Bill shared selected results and a sample scenario-based task.

    Middle Grades Longitudinal Study pdf file (524 KB)

    Carolyn Fidelman (NCES) provided an overview of the Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017). The first release of data from this study is anticipated in 2019. This is the first study to follow a nationally-representative sample of sixth grade students as they enter and move through the middle grades. NCES longitudinal studies focus primarily on early education and secondary school, and this study will fill the gap that remains for longitudinal information on middle grades. Baseline data will be collected in 2018 and every year thereafter. Students will be followed in 2019 and 2020 regardless of whether they are promoted to the next grade or change schools. MGLS:2017 will be used to study students’ academic, social, and interpersonal growth; transitions from elementary school and preparations for transitions into high school; school connectedness, belongingness, and engagement; characteristics of schools serving students in the middle grades and their relationship to student outcomes; and school progress and outcomes of students with disabilities. Carolyn reviewed the timeline for the study and methods for school and student selection. She encouraged meeting participants to promote understanding of MGLS:2017, encourage schools to participate, and help NCES better understand state concerns related to the study.

    School Climate Surveys (SCLS) pdf file (630 KB)

    Isaiah O’Rear (NCES) provided an update on ED School Climate Surveys (EDSCLS), which can be administered at the school, district, or state levels. Isaiah discussed the background for the surveys, the three domains addressed (engagement, safety, and environment) and the intended respondents. There are several notable features:

    • The survey platform allows for local data storage, which is accessible only to authorized users.
    • Multiple surveys can be open at the same time.
    • A survey status report feature allows administrators to see how many respondents have finished the survey during data collection.
    • Users can generate questions to add to the survey.
    • Survey administration is web-based and mobile-compatible.
    • It includes a reporting tool.

    NCES conducted cognitive interviews to test survey items for inclusion in 2016, and in 2015 NCES conducted pilot surveys. The platform is currently available at https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/edscls.

    Steering Committee Business/Report
    NESAC Chair Kristina Martin (Macomb Intermediate School District [MI]) reported that the Forum Steering Committee is considering new Working Groups. One proposed new group would focus on an update of Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data. Another would focus on the Civil Rights Data Collection and would involve collaboration with the Office for Civil Rights.

    Meeting Review and Next Steps
    NESAC Chair Kristina Martin (Macomb Intermediate School District [MI]) led a review of the meeting.

    • NESAC members appreciate the opportunity to meet with Kathleen Styles and noted that she always leads interactive meetings. In the future, members would appreciate more time with her.
    • Speakers should be encouraged to make their presentations more interactive and to discuss topics with members rather than reading slides. Furthermore, speakers should come prepared with visuals.
    • Members found that the meeting included a good mix of information, and the most engaging speakers are those who ask for feedback.
    • Members would appreciate additional information on ESSA. A panel presentation from states would be useful.
    • The Forum should consider developing mockups of state report cards, including sample designs, to help spur ideas in other states. The mockups should use dummy data.
    • More time should be allotted for NESAC members to talk with one another.
    • Some members prefer the large round table set up.
    • The session with the Office of Educational Technology would have been a good breakout session for committees rather than a joint session.

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    Policies, Programs and Implementation Committee (PPI) Meeting Summary

    Sunday, July 10, 2016

    Morning Session
    Welcome, Introductions, and Agenda Review
    PPI Chair David Weinberger (Yonkers Public Schools [NY]) welcomed members to the meeting.

    Participants introduced themselves, noting how long they’ve been attending Forum meetings as well as sharing examples of issues currently facing their agency that might be of interest to peers in the room. Issues raised included transparency, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) planning, teacher preparation accountability (metrics and systems), data security agreements for vendors and third-parties, data validation/quality, privacy, “introducing” new systems, n-size related to ESSA, qualitative data for peer reviewing schools and districts, migrating technology from state education agencies (SEAs) to consolidated state agencies, state research agendas, and data audits and responses.

    David reviewed the PPI agenda, which includes many topics suggested by PPI members. Agenda items included:

    • Chronic Absenteeism
    • National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Accountability Reporting
    • School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Updates
    • Data Privacy
    • Data Visualization
    • Data Disaggregation
    • Data Use and Responding to Researchers.
    • National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) School Finance Data Collections
    • EdFacts and ESSA
    • Civil Rights Data Collection
    • Institute of Education Sciences (IES) What Works Clearinghouse
    • Public Data Reporting and Privacy Issues
    • NCES Middle School Longitudinal Studies
    • NCES School Climate Surveys
    • National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
    • Topics from the Floor
    • Recap and Planning
    • PPI Election

    Given such a full agenda, participants were encouraged to be on time to start PPI meetings.

    David briefly reviewed major activities and discussions from the 2015 PPI Meeting, including the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), the assessment consortia, NAEP, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) indicators, the CRDC, NCES School Climate Surveys, EDFacts, and the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) program. He also noted that PPI met virtually last March to review a draft of the Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy. He reminded PPI members about the Forum360 webpage as a password-protected community site to continue discussions following our time together in person.

    Chronic Absenteeism Discussion
    PPI Chair David Weinberger (Yonkers Public Schools [NY]) facilitated an open discussion about chronic absenteeism following the Forum Opening Session in which Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department [NH]), Peter Tamayo (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction), and Georgia Hughes-Webb (West Virginia Department of Education) discussed their agencies’ approaches to collecting chronic absenteeism data. PPI members discussed issues related to chronic absenteeism that affect their state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs):

    • It is good to see that the definition of chronic absenteeism was changed from the number of days (15) to the percentage of days (10%), which will help to more accurately account for more transient populations and reduce underreporting.
    • Nearly all state and local education agency (SEA and LEA) representatives thought they were already able to collect and report the percentage data.
    • Chronic absenteeism is being used for accountability. This is a good use because it raises awareness about the importance of attendance in the educational process, but it is also a concern because there are serious data quality issues at the school level in some places. For example, excused and unexcused absences are frequently defined and applied differently at the school level. In some places, being in school for 51% of the day’s minutes is required to be “present.” In other places, just being at school at any point in the day is counted as “present.”It will become increasingly difficult to determine what “in attendance” means in a world of virtual schools and High School/ Institutions of Higher Education blended programs.
    • From an instructional perspective, any absence (excused or not) interferes with the educational process.
    • How will the U. S. Department of Education (ED) use attendance/chronic absenteeism data? Will an SEA’s EdFacts data about chronic attendance be compared to its CRDC data submission?
    • The application of a standard definition will always potentially vary, but we need to at least have a standard definition to produce quality data.
    • Some states are considering using chronic absenteeism as the “non-academic” measure for ESSA reporting.
    • Sometimes there is a gap in time between when a student leaves one school and enrolls in another– how does that get counted?
    • There are low cost interventions for correcting chronic absenteeism, such as texting and emailing parents in addition to more formal administrative responses to days missed.

    PPI members briefly reviewed the Forum document, Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data and suggested that it is still valid (e.g., its attendance options are exhaustive and mutually exclusive) and could potentially be revised to reflect ESSA requirements.

    Afternoon Session
    National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Free and Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL)/Community Eligibility Option (CEO) and Accountability Reporting
    PPI Vice Chair Levette Williams (Georgia Department of Education) volunteered to lead a discussion regarding how new options for NSLP administration may potentially be affecting SEA and LEA accountability reporting. Economically disadvantaged status counts used to just be the FRPL number from NSLP. Now the NSLP Community Eligibility Program (CEP) has changed reporting in many states and districts. Direct certification counts raise data quality concerns because some populations choose not to participate in those programs so the counts do not accurately reflect actual need. Moreover, matching direct certification counts from social services does not always yield expected counts. Some LEAs have families fill out forms even in CEP schools so that they get counts of individuals rather than just schoolwide counts.

    In 2015 the Forum produced the Forum Guide to Alternative Measures of Socioeconomic Status in Education Data Systems, which provides “encyclopedia-type” entries for eight plausible alternative measures of socioeconomic status (SES). It is a useful resource for SEAs and LEAs considering how to collect socioeconomic status data in the future.

    Forum Working Group Updates
    Representatives from four Forum working groups updated PPI on the final and near-final publications under development.

    • Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) joined PPI to update members on the Forum’s School Courses for the Exchange of Data, or SCED, which is a voluntary, common classification system for prior-to-secondary and secondary school courses–including plans for the next update (Version 4) and new resources to assist SCED users.
    • David Weinberger (Yonkers Public Schools [NY]), Co-chair of the Forum’s Education Data Privacy Working Group, reported that the group recently completed work on the new Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy. The guide was developed in response to a need identified by Forum members for more information on protecting the confidentiality of student data in day-to-day instructional and administrative practices. It is intended to assist SEAs and LEAs as they support effective privacy practices in schools, and it will also be helpful to SEAs and LEAs in developing privacy programs and related professional development programs. The guide complements the work of the U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and includes links to relevant PTAC resources.
    • Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department, NH), Chair of the Forum’s Data Visualization Working Group, shared an update on the progress of his group, which is developing a new resource that will recommend sound data visualization practices to help education agencies analyze the meaning of data and then present data in a format that is appropriate for public audiences. The document is now undergoing initial review and should be released by September.
    • Peter Tamayo (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) provided an update on the progress of the Forum’s Data Disaggregation of Racial/Ethnic Categories Working Group, which expects to release its publication in the fall. The new resource discusses why data disaggregation may be important to an education agency, addresses strategies for disaggregating data in both the needs assessment and implementation phases, and provides case studies from states and districts that already disaggregate their racial/ethnic data.

    Data Use: Responding to Researchers
    PPI Chair David Weinberger (Yonkers Public Schools [NY]) led a discussion about how education agencies can work effectively with researchers. Discussion points included:

    • In Georgia, policymakers decided that individual student level data are not shared unless the product of the request is on behalf of the SEA. Aggregate data are shared much more liberally. This is in response to the large number of records the SEA has received in recent years, as documented by its records request system.
    • Many agencies have created Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) because of the data, legal, policy, program, and burden implications of external research requests.
    • Some states review the qualifications of the requestor, and at least one state now requires that a researcher have an advanced degree.
    • Another concern is in-house research requests from the numerous agency staff who are in the process of earning advanced degrees. For example, it can be difficult to decline requests from staff who are pursuing an MA or M.ED, but it is often necessary because of the burden as well as the fact that it isn’t always appropriate for researchers to know the students and families in the datasets they request.
    • Yet another concern is when an agency receives a court order to supply data. In such an instance, the agency is not in a position to evaluate whether the private attorneys who sometimes receive the data are qualified to understand, analyze, or protect the information.
    • PPI members were reminded not to forget about the two recent Forum guides:

     

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    Morning Session
    School Finance Data
    Stephen Cornman and Challis Breithaupt (NCES) joined PPI to discuss School Finance Data, including the National Public Education Financial Survey (NPEFS) and the School District Finance Survey (F-33).

    • The NPEFS state-level finance data on elementary/secondary education is utilized for NCES official statistics and ED uses State Per Pupil Expenditure (SPPE) data to calculate allocations for certain formula grant programs, including, but not limited to Title I, Part A of ESEA, Impact Aid, and Indian Education programs. Other programs make use of SPPE data indirectly because their formulas are based, in whole or in part, on State Title I, Part A allocations (e.g. Education for Homeless Children and Youth program).
    • The F-33 survey is co-sponsored by U.S. Census Bureau and NCES as part of the Common Core of Data (CCD). It provides comprehensive finance data for all public elementary-secondary (prekindergarten through 12th grade) local education agencies in the United States (complete universe). The F-33 includes variables for revenues by source, expenditures by function and object, indebtedness, assets, student membership counts, and identification variables.
    • When F-33 LEA data are aggregated, they are extremely consistent with NPEFs state level data.
    • Because expenditure per pupil data use membership as the denominator, it is appropriate for state fiscal and non-fiscal coordinators to collaborate. For example, it is a sound practice to ensure that finance data and membership data use the same boundaries (e.g., both finance and membership data should agree whether or not to include pre-kindergarten programs and students). Similarly, charter school adjustments should be applied consistently (e.g., if charter schools are not included in the finance data, charter school students should not be included in the non-fiscal membership denominator).

    Topics from the Floor
    Steve Smith (Cambridge Public Schools [MA]) reported on his June trip to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) National Conference on Student Assessment. As an LEA representative, this was Steve’s first time to be involved in a national assessment conference. He reported that there was a lot of conversation regarding what constitutes a “good” assessment system as well as the possibility that we might someday view assessment systems as components of “teaching/learning systems” rather than just the current summative focus.

    • Technology enhanced items (TEIs) are being used to reach all students, including both high and lower achievers.
    • In the PPI discussion, it was noted that state legislatures are getting involved in accountability and sometimes these home grown systems do not match the needs of other systems (such as those that will be necessary under ESSA). Agencies are left to decide whether, in such a case, there will be two accountability systems to meet these competing needs. This will potentially be very confusing to the public because there will likely be two sets of “answers” to accountability questions and information needs. One state is building a single local system and then trying to justify it to ESSA. Another is building an ESSA system for state use. Yet another expects to run two systems in parallel. Most of the time, the data match but there are occasionally some outliers for which the two systems point in different directions–making stakeholders think that neither system worked well (and losing credibility). Such differences between multiple systems are very difficult to explain to the non–expert public–how should they interpret variation?

    Brian Laurent (Alaska Department of Education & Early Development) led a discussion on data issues reflecting transgender student events that have been in the national news, including the recent Dear Colleague letter from President Obama.

    • Brian noted that reliable sources now estimate that younger people are more likely to identify as transgender than the adult population. The Gender data element seems to focus on identity while the Sex data element is about anatomy. But what happens when these are in conflict?
    • LEAs are starting to ask for guidance but many SEAs simply respond with directions to “refer to your local policies.”
    • What about transitions? For example, what if a student is listed as a Female for 5 years, but then is listed as a Male? How do agencies determine if that a meaningful change (e.g., such as a real identity change) or a data quality mistake? Should the change be applied retroactively?
    • If an agency asks about both Sex and Gender, it may make some people uncomfortable from a privacy perspective because they believe that the government should not ask about such a personal issue.
    • One state is using “alias”, “preferred name”, and “nickname” as fields to accommodate gender identity rather than changing legal names, which is important to remain constant from a data quality position (e.g., matching records).
    • At the school level, Gender is much more useful than Sex.
    • Comparisons of Male/Female (M/F) performance on exams will confound trend analysis if these categories change.
    • Male, Female, and Other are options but “Other” may be considered less than equally respectful.
    • EdFacts used M/F for over ten years because it reflected federal need and state capacity for high quality data. ED is looking at the statutes; for example, do the statutes state “sex” but mean “gender”?

    EDFacts and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
    Barbara Timm and Kelly Worthington (NCES) provided an update on the EDFacts data collection. They began by discussing data security and noted that ED increased the security of its data systems following an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) system breach. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit of ED programs that focused on how data are collected, processed, and shared with Congress and the public. OIG identified a need for ED to do more extensive follow-up with states regarding data errors. As a result, EDFacts data quality procedures are being reemphasized. Most states should be accustomed to the procedures and communication with ED staff. Barbara and Kelly noted that this is a topic that will be discussed with the EDFacts coordinators during the EDFacts meeting. Due to the recently passed ESSA, there are 19 files that no longer need to be submitted in School Year 2016-17 and more files will be retired for School Year 2017-18. There are about 70 files with no changes, more than 10 files that will be retired, and 10-12 data groups that will be added. There will also be some new EDFacts Metadata and Process System (EMAPS) collections to support the new ESSA data groups. The OMB package is currently being drafted and is expected for release in August for the 60-day public comment period. The package will likely contain directed questions, and Barbara and Kelly encouraged members to submit detailed comments that address the directed questions and explain any other specific concerns. Finally, EDFacts data publishing is now occurring more quickly and on a more predictable schedule. Disclosure avoidance strategies are used to allow the publication of the lowest levels of the collection. In addition, known data limitations are documented. 

    Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC)
    Janis Brown (Office for Civil Rights) provided members with an update on the CRDC. OCR enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from ED. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin is prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; sex discrimination is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. CRDC is a longstanding data collection focused on key education and civic rights issues in the nation’s public schools. It is collected every other school year.

    • The 2013-14 collection was recently finished. Over ninety-nine percent of schools were able to certify their data for the 2013-14 collection. OCR recently released a first look report (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/2013-14-first-look.pdf) as well as a new website on chronic absenteeism (http://www2.ed.gov/datastory/chronicabsenteeism.html). Issue briefs on topics such as school discipline, college and career readiness, and early learning will follow. OCR introduced a new submission tool as part of the 2013-14 collection and created tip sheets to provide LEAs with technical assistance.
    • The 2015-16 CRDC collection is currently in the pre-collection stage and reflects minor changes to a few data elements to address comments and questions raised by LEAs during the administration of the 2013-14 CRDC. The revised 2015-16 CRDC is nearly identical to the original and includes most of the items that were included in the 2013-14 CRDC. Items that were considered optional for the 2013-14 CRDC are now mandatory.
    • Challenges for the CRDC include finding a suitable time for the collection, helping LEAs to certify their data, and creating new communication methods. OCR is interested in continuing the CRDC Working Group and expanding work with states on pre-population.
    • Announcements about the 2015-16 collection are available at https://crdc.grads360.org/#program.

    PPI members were especially interested in learning more about how SEAs and LEAs can be more inclusive when reporting gender.

    How to Use the What Works Clearinghouse pdf file (2 MB)

    Diana McCallum (National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance [NCEE]) shared an update on how to use the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC). She reported that the WWC has grown as an investment at IES/NCEE since its inception in 2001, as the influence of the WWC and demand for study reviews has increased. The investment is supported by federal staff with expertise across topic areas, research methodologies, and effective dissemination strategies in education, as well as contractor support. WWC is intended to provide comprehensive and systematic reviews of the research on educational interventions (programs, products, practices, and policies) as well as create reports that help educators and decision makers make choices using scientifically-based research. The primary activities of the WWC include:

    • Produce systematic reviews that provide a comprehensive overview of the existing research.
    • Develop practice guides that combine systematic evidence and expert opinion to identify effective practices.
    • Summarize the results of individual studies.
    • Review studies submitted as evidence for the Department’s evidence-based grant competitions.
    • Actively disseminate findings via whatworks.ed.gov.

    Evidence standards for reviewing studies were modeled after other prominent systematic reviews and developed by panels of national experts. Each study review is conducted by WWC-certified reviewers and uses a protocol defining eligible studies, eligible outcomes, and required measures of baseline equivalence. The product of these reviews is a study rating (Meets WWC Standards without Reservations; Meets WWC Standards with Reservations; or Does Not Meet WWC Standards).

    The WWC also produces intervention reports (IRs), which are summaries of findings of research that meet standards on the effectiveness a given curriculum, program, practice, or policy in education. Currently over 219 IRs are available across a range of topic areas. The Find What Works Tool (http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/findwhatworks.aspx) received almost 350,000 views in the past year to access these and other WWC products.

    The WWC has also produced 20 practice guides, which are recommendations for educators to address challenges in their classrooms and schools. Each practice guide includes a declaration of the level of research evidence supporting each recommendation (minimal, moderate, or strong).

    WWC has been working on a website revision (http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/) which is expected to be released this fall.

    PPI Election
    Levette Williams (Georgia Department of Education) was elected PPI Chair and Steve Smith (Cambridge Public Schools [MA]) was elected PPI Vice Chair for 2016-17.

    Privacy Protections in Public Data Reporting
    Michael Hawes and Kathleen Styles (ED) joined PPI to discuss education data privacy. They began by responding to Forum members’ questions about the status of federal and state privacy laws:

    • There were a number of proposals introduced in Congress to amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), but no changes are anticipated in the immediate future.
    • The pace at which states are introducing new student data privacy legislation has slowed. However, some state legislation is now coming into force which in some cases will change SEA and LEA privacy practices.
    • There is no federal effort underway to reconcile various state regulations. FERPA is considered the basis for privacy legislation, which means that schools, districts, and states may have more stringent regulations, but they may not have less stringent regulations. Different state regulations concern education technology vendors, but the effect has been that many vendors are adapting to meet the most restrictive state policies.

    Michael and Kathleen then provided updates on recent developments in education data privacy and forthcoming Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) and PTAC work:

    • California’s Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA) has taken effect. Other states should be aware of SOPIPA issues because the impact of the law may extend beyond California.
    • New Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., frequently emphasizes privacy issues and has been very supportive of efforts to promote education data privacy.
    • The volume of complaints submitted under FERPA is increasing as awareness of FERPA and related state and local regulations increases. ED is directing more resources toward responding to complaints.
    • FPCO has released a number of “Dear Colleague” letters that are available at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/library/index.html.
    • ED is coordinating work with other agencies on privacy-related topics. ED will be issuing joint guidance with the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and unemployment insurance data privacy. Regional meetings are planned with states to discuss WIOA compliance in August and September. ED will also work with Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop resources once new Head Start program regulations are finalized.
    • FPCO and PTAC are in the process of consolidating into a single privacy website at ED.
    • PTAC is planning a regional meeting in September.
    • A number of ESSA provisions touch on privacy, most notably in relation to public reporting. ED is committed to helping to clarify how to report data while protecting privacy.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016
    Morning Session

    Middle Grades Longitudinal Study pdf file (524 KB)

    Carolyn Fidelman (NCES) provided an overview of the Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017). The first release of data from this study is anticipated in 2019. This is the first study to follow a nationally-representative sample of sixth grade students as they enter and move through the middle grades. NCES longitudinal studies focus primarily on early education and secondary school, and this study will fill the gap that remains for longitudinal information on middle grades. Baseline data will be collected in 2018 and every year thereafter. Students will be followed in 2019 and 2020 regardless of whether they are promoted to the next grade or change schools. MGLS:2017 will be used to study students’ academic, social, and interpersonal growth; transitions from elementary school and preparations for transitions into high school; school connectedness, belongingness, and engagement; characteristics of schools serving students in the middle grades and their relationship to student outcomes; and school progress and outcomes of students with disabilities. Carolyn reviewed the timeline for the study and methods for school and student selection. She encouraged meeting participants to promote understanding of MGLS:2017, encourage schools to participate, and help NCES better understand state concerns related to the study.

    School Climate Surveys (SCLS) pdf file (630 KB)

    Isaiah O’Rear (NCES) provided an update on ED School Climate Surveys (EDSCLS), which can be administered at the school, district, or state levels. Isaiah discussed the background for the surveys, the three domains addressed (engagement, safety, and environment) and the intended respondents. There are several notable features:

    • The survey platform allows for local data storage, which is accessible only to authorized users.
    • Multiple surveys can be open at the same time.
    • A survey status report feature allows administrators to see how many respondents have finished the survey during data collection.
    • Users can generate questions to add to the survey.
    • Survey administration is web-based and mobile-compatible.
    • It includes a reporting tool.

    NCES conducted cognitive interviews to test survey items for inclusion in 2016, and in 2015 NCES conducted pilot surveys. The platform is currently available at https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/edscls.

    E-NAEP pdf file (2.4 MB)

    Bill Ward (NCES) provided an update on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which is transitioning to a digital format. Beginning in 2017, NAEP will be predominately digitally-based. Students will take tests on tablets that will be brought into their schools. Bill provided information on the results of the 2014 Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessment, which are available at www.nationsreportcard.gov/tel_2014. TEL focuses on three major interconnected content areas: Technology and Society, Design and Systems, and Information and Communication Technology, and three practices that cut across the content areas: Understanding Technological Principles, Developing Solutions and Achieving Goals, and Communicating and Collaborating. Bill shared selected results and a sample scenario-based task.

    Steering Committee Business/Report
    PPI Vice Chair Levette Williams (Georgia Department of Education) reported that the Forum Steering Committee is considering the formation of new working groups that will focus on attendance data/chronic absenteeism, the Civil Rights Data Collection, and topics related to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Members who are interested in participating should contact Ghedam Bairu (NCES).

    Meeting Review and Next Steps
    At the next in-person or virtual meeting, PPI would like to consider the following issues:

    • How can SEAs and LEAs get ahead of federal burden? So many federal programs are coming to the Forum to tell members about new initiatives. SEAs and LEAs see benefits and understand congressional mandates, but can SEAs and LEAs be brought into planning discussions earlier in the process in order to minimize burden and enhance collaboration?
    • What about military connected data and ESSA?
      • Note that in some states, some military families do not want to identify because of potential risks related to being a target of terrorism, which results in meaningfully lower counts.
    • Other potential future topics included:
      • Finance data (per pupil expenditure).
      • School discipline data (CRDC focus).
      • Secondary-Postsecondary connection with workforce.
      • Career readiness data.
      • School climate – how can these data be integrated into accountability systems.
      • A continuation of what is expected to be an evolving conversation about transgender data issues.

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    Technology Committee (TECH) Meeting Summary

    Sunday, July 10, 2016

    Morning Session
    Welcome and Introductions
    TECH Chair Dean Folkers (Nebraska Department of Education) welcomed members to the meeting and led the group in introductions.

    Members shared topics of current interest to them including:

    • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation
    • On-line registration
    • Data use beyond federal reporting
    • Chronic absenteeism
    • Privacy
    • State education agencies (SEAs) improving partnerships with local education agencies (LEAs)

    Chronic Absenteeism Follow-up Discussion
    TECH Chair Dean Folkers (Nebraska Department of Education) facilitated an open discussion about chronic absenteeism following the Forum Opening Session in which Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department [NH]), Peter Tamayo (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction), and Georgia Hughes-Webb (West Virginia Department of Education) discussed their agencies’ approaches to collecting chronic absenteeism data. Members discussed issues related to chronic absenteeism that affect their education agencies:

    • In the joint session, New Hampshire LEA representative Mike Hopkins discussed a series of interventions that included meetings with parents. TECH members were interested in the cost of implementing these interventions.
    • Chronic absenteeism is a community issue.
    • Teacher absenteeism is also an issue that deserves attention.
    • The absence of students can impact other students and affect classroom conversations.
    • Does determining if the absence is excused or exempt matter when discussing chronic absenteeism?
    • The focus for improving attendance should be on younger students who need in-person instruction.

    TECH recommended the development of a new Forum Working Group to address what states do now about chronic absenteeism and what codes they use; examples of LEA best practices; and general recommendations.

    Afternoon Session
    Forum Working Group Updates
    Representatives from four Forum Working Groups updated TECH on the final and near-final resources under development.

    • Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) provided an update on the Forum’s School Courses for the Exchange of Data, or SCED, which is a voluntary, common classification system for prior-to-secondary and secondary school courses – including plans for the next update (Version 4) and new resources to assist SCED users.
    • TECH Chair Dean Folkers (Nebraska Department of Education) reported that the Forum’s Education Data Privacy Working Group recently completed work on the new Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy. The guide was developed in response to a need identified by Forum members for more information on protecting the confidentiality of student data in day-to-day instructional and administrative practices. It is intended to assist SEAs and LEAs as they support effective privacy practices in schools, and it will also be helpful to SEAs and LEAs in developing privacy programs and related professional development programs. The guide complements the work of the U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and includes links to relevant PTAC resources.
    • Laurel Krsek, San Ramon Valley Unified School District (CA) shared an update on the progress of the Forum’s Data Visualization Working Group, which is developing a new resource that will recommend sound data visualization practices to help education agencies analyze the meaning of data and then present data in a format that is appropriate for public audiences. The document is now undergoing initial review and should be released by September.
    • Peter Tamayo, (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) provided an update on the progress of the Forum’s Data Disaggregation of Racial/Ethnic Categories Working Group, which expects to release its publication in the fall. The new resource discusses why data disaggregation may be important to an education agency, addresses strategies for disaggregating data in both the needs assessment and implementation phases, and provides case studies from states and districts that already disaggregate their racial/ethnic data.

    Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Annual Meeting Report
    Mike Hopkins (Rochester Schools [NH]) provided an update from his attendance at the CoSN Annual Meeting. CoSN is a professional association for district technology leaders that provides management, community building, and advocacy tools. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Accelerating Success: Powered by an eLearning Culture.” It was Mike’s first time at this conference and he found the sessions very impressive. Mike noted several sessions on personalized learning.

    Personalized Learning TECH Discussion
    TECH Vice Chair Jim Hawbaker (Appleton Area School District [WI]) led a discussion among TECH members on the topic of personalized learning. Jim asked committee members to consider a few questions: is personalized learning comprehensive or project based, what does it do to graduation or credit values, and how does the technology change to support personalized learning? TECH discussion focused on several aspects of personalized learning:

    • If personalized learning is competency based, how can it be offered when systems still measure credit based on seat time?
    • Is personalized learning intended just for specific students?
    • What is the difference between individualized and personalized learning.
    • Technology is ahead of policy with regard to personalized learning.
    • An inventory of what is needed for personalized learning would be useful.

    Monday, July 11, 2016
    Morning Session
    EDFacts and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
    Barbara Timm and Kelly Worthington (NCES) provided an update on the EDFacts data collection. They began by discussing data security and noted that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) increased the security of its data systems following an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) system breach. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit of ED programs that focused on how data are collected, processed, and shared with Congress and the public. OIG identified a need for ED to do more extensive follow-up with states regarding data errors. As a result, EDFacts data quality procedures are being reemphasized. Most states should be accustomed to the procedures and communication with ED staff. Barbara and Kelly noted that this is a topic that will be discussed with the EDFacts coordinators during the EDFacts meeting. Due to the recently passed ESSA, there are 19 files that no longer need to be submitted in School Year 2016-17 and more files will be retired for School Year 2017-18. There are about 70 files with no changes, more than 10 files that will be retired, and 10-12 data groups that will be added. There will also be some new EDFacts Metadata and Process System (EMAPS) collections to support the new ESSA data groups. The OMB package is currently being drafted and is expected for release in August for the 60-day public comment period. The package will likely contain directed questions, and Barbara and Kelly encouraged members to submit detailed comments that address the directed questions and explain any other specific concerns. Finally, EDFacts data publishing is now occurring more quickly and on a more predictable schedule. Disclosure avoidance strategies are used to allow the publication of the lowest levels of the collection. In addition, known data limitations are documented. 

    Out-of-School Access to Digital Learning Resources
    Tom Snyder (NCES) provided an update on two reports mandated by NCES in the ESSA:

    • IES will produce a report on the educational impact of access to digital learning resources outside of the classroom. The report will focus on elementary/secondary education and it is due in June 2017. There are five analytic tasks mandated by the legislation:
    • An analysis student habits related to digital learning resources outside of the classroom.
    • The identification barriers students face in accessing digital learning resources outside of the classroom.
    • A description of the school-related challenges faced by students who lack home Internet access.
    • An analysis of how the barriers and challenges students without Internet impact instructional practice.
    • A description of effective strategies education agencies and schools use to address barriers children face in accessing digital learning resources outside the home.
    • IES will also produce a report analyzing the Title I, Part A formula and the formula’s impact on local education agencies. There are nine analytic tasks mandated by the legislation. The mandate includes a heavy focus on rural areas and small districts. NCES decided to convene an expert panel to advise on methodology. This report is also due in June 2017.

    TECH members had the following comments and suggestions for Tom:

    • What data on poverty (Title I) will the report use?
    • Will IES share findings with e-rate?
    • Will you use outside sources to also help show context?
    • Consider adding in the federal dollar amounts that have been given to the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP), E-Rate, and similar programs to show context.
    • Access and affordable access are different and both should be considered. Quality of access should also be considered.
    • Consideration of other federal data sources (FCC, etc.) should be reviewed as possible augmentations to support the study and results.

    TECH Discussion: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Implementation
    TECH Chair Dean Folkers (Nebraska Department of Education) lead a discussion about ESSA implementation. Members had the following comments:

    • Members are excited about the changes, but they thought there would be an additional year to talk with stakeholders and plan. There is still the potential for missteps with the proposed period from the current regulations draft. This is a unique opportunity for states to reframe and innovate, but requires the use of the time outlined in the legislation be followed.
    • Many TECH members are still working through the legislation to figure out the implications of the changes. There are many moving parts.
    • There are state liaisons working together to submit a comment to extend the deadline until 2018-19 through the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Draft suggestions were provided to the TECH committee to review and consider.
    • Many states have already starting working on implementation plans through task forces and town hall meetings.
    • TECH members noted that more standardization is needed for comparability, for example, on per-pupil expenditures.
    • Is the topic of per-pupil expenditures a potential Forum Working Group?

     

    Afternoon Session

    New Measures of Virtual Education Data in NCES Surveys pdf file (226 KB)

    Mark Glander (NCES) provided an update on the one data item collected by EDFacts on virtual schools. The option set is changing from yes/no to four options: 1) full virtual, 2) virtual with face to face options, 3) supplementation virtual, and 4) not virtual. Mark opened a discussion on whether states can report these categories and if they are meaningful. TECH members had the following comments:

    • Please clarify that the “face to face” time referenced in the second option is for instruction or “physical meetings for the purpose of direct instruction.”
    • Most of the schools will fall under the two middle categories.
    • Adding examples to the instructions and options would help to clarify.
    • The original yes/no question might work the best.

    TECH Election
    Jim Hawbaker (Appleton Area School District [WI]) was elected TECH Chair and Georgia Hughes-Webb (West Virginia Department of Education) was elected TECH Vice Chair for 2016-17.

    Privacy Protections in Public Data Reporting
    Michael Hawes and Kathleen Styles (ED) joined TECH to discuss education data privacy. They began by responding to Forum members’ questions about the status of federal and state privacy laws:

    • There were a number of proposals introduced in Congress to amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), but no changes are anticipated in the immediate future.
    • The pace at which states are introducing new student data privacy legislation has slowed. However, some state legislation is now coming into force which in some cases will change SEA and LEA privacy practices.
    • There is no federal effort underway to reconcile various state regulations. FERPA is considered the basis for privacy legislation, which means that schools, districts, and states may have more stringent regulations, but they may not have less stringent regulations. Different state regulations concern education technology vendors, but the effect has been that many vendors are adapting to meet the most restrictive state policies.

    Michael and Kathleen then provided updates on recent developments in education data privacy and forthcoming Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) and PTAC work:

    • California’s Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA) has taken effect. Other states should be aware of SOPIPA issues because the impact of the law may extend beyond California.
    • New Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., frequently emphasizes privacy issues and has been very supportive of efforts to promote education data privacy.
    • The volume of complaints submitted under FERPA is increasing as awareness of FERPA and related state and local regulations increases. ED is directing more resources toward responding to complaints.
    • FPCO has released a number of “Dear Colleague” letters that are available at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/library/index.html.
    • ED is coordinating work with other agencies on privacy-related topics. ED will be issuing joint guidance with the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and unemployment insurance data privacy. Regional meetings are planned with states to discuss WIOA compliance in August and September. ED will also work with Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop resources once new Head Start program regulations are finalized.
    • FPCO and PTAC are in the process of consolidating into a single privacy website at ED.
    • PTAC is planning a regional meeting in September.
    • A number of ESSA provisions touch on privacy, most notably in relation to public reporting. ED is committed to helping to clarify how to report data while protecting privacy.

    Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC)
    Janis Brown (Office for Civil Rights) joined TECH to provide members with an update on CRDC. OCR enforces several federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from ED. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin is prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; sex discrimination is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; discrimination on the basis of disability is prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. CRDC is a longstanding data collection focused on key education and civic rights issues in the nation’s public schools. It is collected every other school year.

    • The 2013-14 collection was recently finished. Over ninety-nine percent of schools were able to certify their data for the 2013-14 collection. OCR recently released a first look report (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/2013-14-first-look.pdf) as well as a new website on chronic absenteeism (http://www2.ed.gov/datastory/chronicabsenteeism.html). Issue briefs on topics such as school discipline, college and career readiness, and early learning will follow. OCR introduced a new submission tool as part of the 2013-14 collection and created tip sheets to provide LEAs with technical assistance.
    • The 2015-16 CRDC collection is currently in the pre-collection stage and reflects minor changes to a few data elements to address comments and questions raised by LEAs during the administration of the 2013-14 CRDC. The revised 2015-16 CRDC is nearly identical to the original and includes most of the items that were included in the 2013-14 CRDC. Items that were considered optional for the 2013-14 CRDC are now mandatory.
    • Challenges for the CRDC include finding a suitable time for the collection, helping LEAs to certify their data, and creating new communication methods. OCR is interested in continuing the CRDC Working Group and expanding work with states on pre-population.
    • Announcements about the 2015-16 collection are available at https://crdc.grads360.org/#program.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016

    Morning Session

    School Climate Surveys (SCLS) pdf file (630 KB)

    Isaiah O’Rear (NCES) provided an update on ED School Climate Surveys (EDSCLS), which can be administered at the school, district, or state levels. Isaiah discussed the background for the surveys, the three domains addressed (engagement, safety, and environment) and the intended respondents. There are several notable features:

    • The survey platform allows for local data storage, which is accessible only to authorized users.
    • Multiple surveys can be open at the same time.
    • A survey status report feature allows administrators to see how many respondents have finished the survey during data collection.
    • Users can generate questions to add to the survey.
    • Survey administration is web-based and mobile-compatible.
    • It includes a reporting tool.

    NCES conducted cognitive interviews to test survey items for inclusion in 2016, and in 2015 NCES conducted pilot surveys. The platform is currently available at https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/edscls.

    E-NAEP pdf file (2.4 MB)

    Bill Ward (NCES) provided an update on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which is transitioning to a digital format. Beginning in 2017, NAEP will be predominately digitally-based. Students will take tests on tablets that will be brought into their schools. Bill provided information on the results of the 2014 Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessment, which are available at www.nationsreportcard.gov/tel_2014. TEL focuses on three major interconnected content areas: Technology and Society, Design and Systems, and Information and Communication Technology, and three practices that cut across the content areas: Understanding Technological Principles, Developing Solutions and Achieving Goals, and Communicating and Collaborating. Bill shared selected results and a sample scenario-based task.

    TECH members are interested in discussing NAEP logistical information with Bill either in the Spring or at the next Forum meeting. Members also discussed the following questions and comments:

    • How will the technology be scaled up?
    • Were the new digital tests compared to the pen and paper tests?
    • Who is the vendor?
    • What type of tablet does NAEP use?
    • No individual student or school feedback results from NAEP tests.
    • Are there recommended testing procedures?
    • Technology and bandwidth are not an issue because the tablets do not connect to the internet.
    • Has there been any research into the subgroup of students who are eligible for free/reduced price school lunch?

    Future updates of the results from the E-NAEP were requested by the TECH committee members that would specifically address the technical implementation and lessons learned as part of the process.

    Middle Grades Longitudinal Study pdf file (524 KB)

    Carolyn Fidelman (NCES) provided an overview of the Middle Grades Longitudinal Study of 2017-18 (MGLS:2017). The first release of data from this study is anticipated in 2019. This is the first study to follow a nationally-representative sample of sixth grade students as they enter and move through the middle grades. NCES longitudinal studies focus primarily on early education and secondary school, and this study will fill the gap that remains for longitudinal information on middle grades. Baseline data will be collected in 2018 and every year thereafter. Students will be followed in 2019 and 2020 regardless of whether they are promoted to the next grade or change schools. MGLS:2017 will be used to study students’ academic, social, and interpersonal growth; transitions from elementary school and preparations for transitions into high school; school connectedness, belongingness, and engagement; characteristics of schools serving students in the middle grades and their relationship to student outcomes; and school progress and outcomes of students with disabilities. Carolyn reviewed the timeline for the study and methods for school and student selection. She encouraged meeting participants to promote understanding of MGLS:2017, encourage schools to participate, and help NCES better understand state concerns related to the study.

    TECH members discussed the following questions and comments with Carolyn:

    • What type of tablet is used? Students will participate on a Chromebook that is provided by NCES and includes a Wi-Fi hub so they can connect anywhere.
    • Is it an app? No, it is a webpage.
    • Districts are already overburdened –why would they want to get involved? They may wish to get involved because there is no national survey for students in middle grades.

    Meeting Review/Planning Next Steps
    TECH Chair Dean Folkers (Nebraska Department of Education) led a discussion to review the meeting and plan the next in-person meeting. Suggestions for the next in-person meeting include having actionable activities for TECH members, more panels from states, more small group discussions with directed questions, and deeper working group updates. Additional topics suggested by TECH members included:

    • How will data be collected and fed into the one-page report card (not the summary)? Can the Forum create a supplement to support work around the required one-pager for ESSA with the Data Visualization?
    • Technical issues around ESSA.
    • School-level finance data collection.
    • Discussion about the “technical” topics associated with the implementation of these different topics and others facing SEA and LEA’s.

     

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    Forum Closing Session

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016

    NCES Update pdf file (1.4 MB)

    Peggy Carr, Acting Commissioner, NCES, provided an update on NCES work that focused on the implications of ESSA for NCES, new NCES studies, recent and upcoming NCES data collections, and recent and upcoming NCES releases.

    • As a result of ESSA, NCES will implement a Title I Formula study, a study on access to digital learning resources outside the classroom, and a report on subgroup sample size. NCES will also expand the EDFacts data collection.
    • Additional studies for NCES in 2018 include the International Early Learning Study and the International Computer and Information Literacy study.
    • Recent NCES releases include the 50th edition of the Digest of Education Statistics (April 2016), the Condition of Education (May 2016), and the Indicators of School Crime and Safety (May 2016).
    • Upcoming NCES releases include the U.S. Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Survey of Incarcerated Adults, the 2015 Trend in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), the 2015 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and the U.S. PIAAC Study of Young Adults.
    • Upcoming NCES data collections include the National Household Education Survey (NHES), and the PIAAC five-year update, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
    Peggy commended the Forum on the completion of the Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy and the Forum Guide to elementary/Secondary Virtual Education Data. She also briefly reviewed the forthcoming Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic Subgroups, the School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Version 4, and the Forum Guide to Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies.

    Standing Committee Progress Reports

    Recognition of Forum Officers and Completed Projects
    The Forum presented certificates to recognize the contributions of the Forum Officers and the members of the Working Groups that developed the Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy and the Forum Guide to Elementary/Secondary Virtual Education Data.

    Forum Election
    Forum Chair Peter Tamayo (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) presented the slate of proposed 2016–2017 officers for a vote. The slate was seconded and then the Forum voted to approve the following members as 2016–2017 officers:

    Chair: Laurel Krsek, San Ramon Valley Unified School District (CA)
    Vice Chair: Ray Martin, Connecticut Department of Education
    NESAC Chair: Susan Williams, Virginia Department of Education
    NESAC Vice Chair: Marilyn King, Bozeman School District #7 (MT)
    PPI Chair: Levette Williams, Georgia Department of Education
    PPI Vice Chair: Steve Smith, Cambridge Public Schools (MA)
    TECH Chair: Jim Hawbaker, Appleton Area School District (WI)
    TECH Vice Chair: Georgia Hughes-Webb, West Virginia Department of Education

    Closing Remarks:
    The 2015-2016 Forum Chair Laurel Krsek thanked Peter Tamayo for his leadership of the Forum. She highlighted the number of Forum presentations occurring at the STATS-DC Data Conference and encouraged members to attend these presentations. She also asked Forum members to complete the evaluation forms.

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    Steering Committee

    Sunday, July 10, 2016

    Welcome and Review of Sunday’s Events
    Forum Chair Peter Tamayo (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) welcomed members of the committee and invited everyone to share their thoughts and comments on the day’s events.

    • Members reported that Michael Hawes’ presentation on how to improve the transparency of your data practices was very well-received. Much of the information that Michael shared is available in Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) resources, but Michael provided a useful overview that is especially important for new Forum members.
    • The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) poster session represented a new approach for Forum and REL interactions. Members noted that it is good that the Forum is working on new ways to engage with the RELs since many Forum members may not be aware of the REL work in their region. In the future, the Forum should retain pictures of each poster.
    • TECH, NESAC, and PPI all devoted time on Sunday to a discussion of chronic absenteeism and updates from Forum Working Groups.
    • TECH also held a committee discussion on the topic of personalized learning, and suggested that the Forum might be able to contribute to the discussion. Steering Committee members suggested a webinar on the topic.
    • NESAC members were interested in discussing the topic of reengaging students who have dropped out of school, and suggested that this may be a topic for future Forum webinars.
    • PPI membership continues to be predominantly state education agencies, and as a result, discussions focus on state issues.

    Other Issues

    • The number of Forum products is steadily growing, and new Forum members may be unaware of the scope of Forum resources. In addition, it may be difficult for members to find specific resources on the publications page. Suggestions included adding keywords to Forum publications, adding a search function to the Forum publications page, linking specific Forum documents to Forum agenda topics, and adding information on publications to Forum360.

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    Review of Monday’s Events
    Steering Committee members discussed the two joint sessions, which focused on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Office of Educational Technology (OET) Initiatives, and time spent in Standing Committees.

    • Members need additional information on ESSA, especially once rulemaking is complete. LEA representatives noted that it will take time for information to make its way from the federal government through state education agencies to schools.
    • The scheduled OET speaker was unable to attend and a second Deputy Director presented in her place. The information shared was relevant and interesting, but the presentation was delivered very quickly.
    • Some members of TECH raised concerns that the time spent in the TECH committee was not sufficiently focused on technology-related topics and instead included too much time focusing on policies. This is in part due to timing of ESSA rulemaking and the need to focus on ESSA-related topics. Suggestions for future TECH meetings included
      • hosting a collaborative session on SEA/LEA data integration;
      • asking speakers to send questions and recommended readings to committees ahead of the Forum;
      • devoting committee time to discussing strategies and details about technical issues; and
      • revisiting the topic of data privacy and educational apps.
    • PPI members were very engaged in committee discussions on the topic of school finance and transgender issues.
    • Both PPI and NESAC members expressed concern about the timing of the OMB EDFacts package. Additional webinars are needed on topics such as file replacements.
    • NESAC members expressed an interest in learning more about different ways of reporting racial/ethnic categories, especially related to the category of two or more races. This may be an area for follow-up with Ross Santy (NCES).
    • Several members noted that they did not receive the pre-collection announcement from the CRDC, and the Forum may be able to play a role in collaborating with OCR and NCES regarding the CRDC through the creation of a Forum Working Group. Possible topics for the group to address include
      • CRDC communication with SIS vendors
      • Timely responses to LEA requests for assistance
      • Expansion to SEA pre-population of data
      • Coordination between CRDC and EDFacts

    Forum Elections
    Standing Committee Chairs reported the results of their elections. Proposed Chairs and Vice Chairs for the 2016-17 year were

    • NESAC Chair: Susan Williams, Virginia Department of Education
    • NESAC Vice Chair: Marilyn King, Bozeman Public Schools #7 (MT)
    • PPI Chair: Levette Williams, Georgia Department of Education
    • PPI Vice Chair: Steve Smith, Cambridge Public Schools (MA)
    • TECH Chair: Jim Hawbaker, Appleton Area School District (WI)
    • TECH Vice Chair: Georgia Hughes-Webb, West Virginia Department of Education

    The Steering Committee proposed Laurel Krsek (San Ramon Valley Unified School District [CA]) as the Forum Chair and Ray Martin (Connecticut Department of Education) as the Forum Vice Chair for 2016-17.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2016

    Welcome to New Steering Committee Chairs
    Newly-elected Chair Laurel Krsek (San Ramon Valley Unified School District [CA]) welcomed new Steering Committee Members to the meeting.

    Review of Tuesday’s Events
    Steering Committee members reviewed the time spent in Standing Committees and the Closing Session.

    • PPI suggested a new Forum Working Group to help SEAs and LEAs accurately collect data on military connectedness. The Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program (SLDS) is currently doing work on this topic. Steering members noted that military connectedness data may be one aspect of a larger data subgroup: highly-mobile students.
    • TECH members suggested that the Forum could contribute to a better understanding of the one-page LEA report required under ESSA. TECH also suggested the creation of a new Forum Working Group to focus on attendance and chronic absenteeism.
    • NESAC members would like for future meetings with ED representatives to include more dialogue. Members are interested in partnering with NCES and providing feedback, not just receiving presentations.
    • Forum members appreciated Acting Commissioner Peggy Carr’s NCES update and suggested inviting her to open the Forum in the future since many of her updates are relevant to Forum conversations.

    Other Issues
    Steering Committee members noted that the earlier NCES can announce the dates for the Forum and STATS-DC, the easier it will be for members to confirm their attendance and arrange travel.

    Some SEA and LEA representatives from the same state do not know one another. Potential solutions include assign seats by state at the next Forum Opening Session and sending members a link to the website with information on SEA and LEA representatives organized by state. Additional suggestions for promoting networking among Forum members included providing a room where members can bring their lunch and eat together and providing opportunities for LEAs and SEAs to talk with one another.

    Mentors are encouraged to continue working with new members.

    Steering Committee conference calls will resume in September, 2016. They are usually scheduled for the third Friday of each month at 1:00 pm (Eastern).



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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.