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Summer 2017 Forum Meeting Notes



National Forum on Education Statistics
July 30–August 1, 2017
Washington, DC

Forum Opening Session
Forum Welcome
Joint Session: Using Forum Products in Local and State Education Agencies (LEAs and SEAs)
Joint Session: Update on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Student Privacy
Joint Session: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
Joint Session: Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) Panel
National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC) Meeting Summary
Policies, Programs and Implementation (PPI) Committee Meeting Summary
Technology (TECH) Committee Meeting Summary
Forum Closing Session
Steering Committee



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Forum Opening Session

Sunday, July 30, 2017

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Forum Welcome

Forum Chair Laurel Krsek (San Ramon Valley Unified School District [CA]) welcomed Forum members to the Summer 2017 Forum Meeting in Washington, DC. Laurel 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 publication of the Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic Subgroups and the Forum Guide to Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies.

Marilyn also noted that there are several Forum resources in development, including School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Version 5.0, the Forum Guide to Reporting Civil Rights Data, the Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data, and the Forum Guide to Facilities Information Management: A Resource for State and Local Education Agencies.

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Best Practices for Determining Subgroup Size in Accountability Systems While Protecting Personally Identifiable Student Information

Minimum N pdf file (752 KB)

Marilyn Seastrom, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Chief Statistician, gave an overview of an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) congressionally mandated report on determining minimum n–size: Best Practices for Determining Subgroup Size in Accountability Systems While Protecting Personally Identifiable Student Information. The report identifies best practices for determining valid, reliable, and statistically significant minimum numbers of students for each of the subgroups of students and describes how such a minimum number would not reveal personally identifiable information about students, while avoiding recommendations regarding any specific minimum number of students in a subgroup. Marilyn discussed eight key steps for determining minimum n-size; best practices for establishing a valid, reliable, and statistically sound minimum number of students for state accountability systems; best practices for protecting personally identifiable information; and the difference between universal and sample populations.

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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Panel Discussion

ESSA Opening Panel pdf file (1.78 MB)

Janice Petro (Colorado Department of Education), Raymond Martin (Connecticut State Department of Education), Peter Tamayo (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) and Dean Folkers (Nebraska Department of Education) discussed their agencies’ approaches to the ESSA state plan development process.

Janice detailed Colorado’s committee–based planning process and stakeholder engagement activities. An overarching ESSA Working Group guided the development of the ESSA state plan, and various subcommittees provided feedback, input, and recommendations to the Working Group on specific elements of the state plan. Colorado engaged stakeholders throughout the planning process through a statewide listening tour, as well as representation in the ESSA Working Group and subcommittees. Janice reviewed proposed changes included in the plan, including how schools are identified for improvement, how to measure school quality and student success, and how to ensure equitable distribution of educators. Colorado cited broad outreach and engagement, expansive representation, a monthly ESSA newsletter, and its “hub and spoke” committee processes as best practices. Lessons learned included better publicity for listening tour meetings, more focused listening tour questions, managing expectations, and clear and consistent communication.

Raymond began his presentation with an overview of Connecticut’s statewide initiatives when the ESSA planning process started. The Connecticut state plan development included multiple stages of stakeholder engagement, including a public website, in–person engagement activities, surveys, social media posts, email listserv messages, and news releases. After a series of commissioner’s round tables and a draft public comment, the plan was submitted in April 2017. Proposed changes included the addition of long–term growth goals, growth toward English language proficiency for English learners, a return to full–subgroup reporting (while maintaining the reporting on the state’s high–need supergroup), revisions to state Educator Quality Metrics, and updated school identification. Best practices and lessons learned include building on effective practices, listening to the field, and embedding flexibility in plans to allow for future changes.

Peter gave an overview of Washington State’s ESSA planning process. Washington has a “Roadmap to ESSA Consolidated Plan Submission” to guide the development of the state plan. Peter reviewed the six core concepts that guide the work of the plan development process, and the areas of proposed changes in Washington. Best practices and lessons learned focused on the need for transparency through multiple communication channels and feedback loops, the iterative nature of the state plan development process, the need for open engagement with stakeholders, and the importance of sharing ideas, strategies, and practices with other states.

Dean started by noting that his Nebraska’s ESSA plan development process shared similarities with Colorado, Connecticut, and Washington. He shared Nebraska’s detailed accountability timeline. Many elements of the ESSA planning process were already in place due to the state’s recent strategic planning process. The state engaged a project team similar to Colorado’s approach, and engaged stakeholders throughout the state. The ESSA planning process was to build on a statewide accountability framework: Accountability for Quality Education System Today and Tomorrow (AQuESTT). AQuESTT includes two foundational domains: teaching, learning, and service; and success, access, and support. Each domain includes key tenets, which aim to shift the agency from a compliance–regulator model to a service–support model. Useful practices identified include project management approaches, cross teams, iterative and developmental processes, focusing on convergence, and leveraging talent, resources, and research. Lessons learned focused on communications, change management, outcomes and equity, strategic stakeholder engagement, and understanding context.

Panelists engaged in a discussion with Forum members on the following aspects of ESSA:

  • Members were interested in learning more about the role and methods of parent engagement in the ESSA planning process. Dean noted that Nebraska was intentional about connecting with local education agencies (LEAs) and providing them with tools and resources to act as the messenger to parents.
  • A member requested clarification on how Colorado is handling parent excusals in their 95 percent assessment participation rates. Janice explained that in Colorado, LEAs will soon begin collecting parent excusal information when tests and assessments are being held. Another member noted that their agency had many parent excusals for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). After negotiating with the U.S. Department of Education (ED), parent excusals for PARCC was treated as not tested, which resulted in a discrepancy between state and federal rates.
  • A member requested clarification on Connecticut’s definition of “supergroup.” Raymond explained that Connecticut established this “supergroup” based on district need. This had previously been approved under the waiver process, and was included in their ESSA state plan.

 

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Joint Session: Using Forum Products in Local and State Education Agencies (LEAs and SEAs)

Using Forum Products pdf file (3.7 MB)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) and Marilyn King (Bozeman School District #7 [MT]) discussed how their SEAs and LEAs use Forum products. After Susan led the Forum in an interactive game featuring Forum products, Marilyn reviewed her approach to disseminating Forum products at the local and state level. Marilyn has used Forum presentation materials available through the Outreach Toolkit and Free Publications pages to deliver presentations on the School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) and the Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy. Marilyn encouraged members to use the Forum member list and listservs to network with Forum colleagues. Bozeman School District #7 (MT) used the Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A Local Education Agency Perspective to develop a research agenda, implement a standardized process to handle research requests and weigh proposals, and create a researcher reference web page. The district has also used the Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy to implement LEA data governance structures, and the Forum Guide to Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies for guidance on how to effectively communicate data to stakeholders by telling a story using data. Susan shared how Forum guides are used in the Virginia Department of Education. The Forum Guide to Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies, Forum Guide to Ensuring Equal Access to Education Websites, and Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data are used for day–to–day operations in the state, while the Forum Guide to School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Classification System and Forum Guide to Elementary/Secondary Virtual Education Data were useful for new projects and initiatives. The Forum Guide to the Teacher–Student Data Link: A Technical Implementation Resource and Managing an Identity Crisis: Forum Guide to Implementing New Federal Race and Ethnicity Categories have also provided helpful information to the state. Forum products are shared with staff through the SEA’s Educational Information Management System weekly newsletter, as well as informal events.

 

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Joint Session: Update on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Student Privacy

Student Privacy pdf file (1.2 MB)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Kathleen Styles, Chief Privacy Officer at the U.S. Department of Education (ED), provided Forum members with an update on FERPA and student privacy. Kathleen shared that a new division, called the Student Privacy Policy and Assistance Division, has been established, and is currently focusing on addressing FERPA complaints. ED recently conducted a review of its regulations and guidance documents to develop progress report recommendations for regulatory repeal, modification, or retainment. Kathleen encouraged Forum members to review the report and provide comments in response to the Federal Register Notice. Kathleen noted that almost all states have introduced student privacy bills since 2013. In response, the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is tailoring its resources for districts and partnering with state education agencies (SEAs) to provide privacy training. Kathleen encouraged members to use a new website that combines resources offered by PTAC and the Family Policy Compliance Office. Kathleen then reviewed ED guidance on student privacy, including recently released guidance and highly used guidance. Kathleen also discussed education technology in the classroom, urged users to always read the terms of service, and highlighted positive developments in protecting student privacy, including the Massachusetts Student Privacy Alliance (MSPA) and the Student Data Privacy Consortium. Kathleen then discussed data security, noting that data breaches in the education sector remain a continued concern and that breaches may not be consistently reported at the elementary and secondary levels, so the extent of data breaches is unknown. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has audited the data security of three statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs). Kathleen noted that auditing is expected to continue, and urged the Forum to prepare for SLDS security audits. Kathleen concluded by briefly discussing new public reporting requirements.

Forum members engaged Kathleen in a discussion that focused on strategies for linking data using methods that do not require personally identifiable information (such as social security numbers), the utility of ED resources on data privacy and security, and the types of support needed by SEAs from the new Student Privacy Policy and Assistance Division.

 

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Joint Session: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

ESSA Joint Session pdf file (1.9 KB)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Melissa Siry, Jessica McKinney, Patrick Carr, and Jane Clark (U.S. Department of Education [ED]) gave an update on ESSA, with an emphasis on state plans and state and local education agency (SEA and LEA) report cards.

Melissa reviewed the expectations for what should be included in state ESSA plans and offered some strategies to help states avoid common completion issues. Melissa also reviewed state plan requirements regarding assessments.

Jessica continued the review of state plan requirements, including indicators and the school identification process, timelines, and exit criteria. Jessica noted that ED offers a number of ESSA resources to assist SEAs and LEAs.

Jane gave an overview of state and LEA report card requirements, noting that report card regulations are based on statutory requirements in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by ESSA. Jane presented a comparison of required report card indicators under ESSA and No Child Left Behind, and reviewed requirements for reporting subgroup data. Jane also offered clarification on specific state requirements, including achievement calculations and high school graduation rate calculations.

Patrick reviewed new data elements and indictors that will be required in report cards, including information submitted as part of the civil rights data collection, postsecondary enrollment, and per–pupil expenditures.

Forum members were interested in learning more about the ESSA plan resubmission time frame and requirements for collecting, calculating, and reporting data on specific indicators, including graduation rates, per–pupil expenditures, and postsecondary enrollment. Forum members were also interested in learning more about report card requirements and reporting information collected as part of the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC).

 

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Joint Session: Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) Panel

CRDC pdf file (1.6 MB)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Steve Smith (Cambridge Public Schools [MA]) moderated a panel on the CRDC that featured federal, state, and local education agency perspectives. Janis Brown (Office for Civil Rights [OCR], U.S. Department of Education [ED]), Linda Rocks (Bossier Parish Schools [LA]), and DeDe Conner (Kentucky Department of Education) discussed their agencies’ approaches to the CRDC.

Janis gave an overview of the history and current status of the CRDC. The CRDC is a biennial collection of district– and school–level data on leading civil rights indicators related to access and barriers to educational opportunity at the early childhood through grade 12 levels. During the most recent collection in 2015–16, 99.8 percent of districts submitted data, an improvement from 2013–14. The 2017–18 CRDC information collection package is within its 30–day Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance process, and Janis encouraged Forum members to review it and provide comments during the public comment period (which closed August 21, 2017).

Linda gave an overview of the Bossier Parish School System’s (LA) participation in the CRDC. Linda reviewed the iterative development of the district’s local data collection and submission for the CRDC. Previously, CRDC data was collected on paper surveys and manually entered. With vendor support, the district was able to eliminate the paper collection by leveraging data that were already collected and maintained in the district’s student information system. Linda shared some strategies for local education agencies (LEAs) to work with vendors: Use readily available support tools and resources, develop and adopt standard data definitions, scrutinize data collection questions and definitions, and scrutinize vendor systems and their results. The forthcoming Forum Guide to Civil Rights Data Collection features a case study that details the actual experiences of the Bossier Parish Schools in reporting the data required for the CRDC.

DeDe shared the Kentucky’s approach in assisting LEAs with CRDC reporting. To reduce data–reporting burdens at the local level, Kentucky’s state education agency (SEA) uses previously collected data to prepopulate CRDC data for LEAs. The SEA extracts data that are collected throughout year to populate the CRDC. The data are uploaded to the CRDC and undergo local validation; LEAs are able to check the data uploaded by the SEA. This approach reduces LEA data burden and improves data quality.

Forum members were interested in learning more about how the CRDC may be impacted by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reporting requirements. Janis confirmed that the CRDC will continue to be a biennial collection, and noted that data reported to the OCR through the CRDC may be used for state and district report cards. Janis noted that OCR will not be collecting chronic absenteeism data through the CRDC; OCR will instead use chronic absenteeism data that is collected through EDFacts, which will avoid duplication in data collection.

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National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC) Meeting Summary

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Morning Session

NESAC Committee Kickoff

Welcome, Introductions, and Agenda Review

NESAC Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) welcomed members to the meeting. Participants introduced themselves and shared three words describing why education data are important. Susan reviewed the agenda, which was developed based on input from NESAC members.

Summer 2016 Meeting Review
NESAC Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) briefly reviewed major activities and discussions from the 2016 NESAC Meeting, including Forum projects, EDFacts and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), keeping systems up to date, privacy protections in public data reporting, the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), and local education agency (LEA) approaches to school climate. She also noted that NESAC met virtually last November to discuss data inventories and share information on how state education agencies (SEAs) and LEAs measure and track out–of–school learning.

Joint Session Follow–up: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
Following the Forum Opening Session in which Janice Petro (Colorado Department of Education), Raymond Martin (Connecticut State Department of Education), Peter Tamayo (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction), and Dean Folkers (Nebraska Department of Education) discussed their agencies’ approaches to ESSA, NESAC Vice Chair Marilyn King (Bozeman School District #7 [MT]) facilitated a discussion for local education agencies (LEAs) and Laura Boudreaux (Louisiana Department of Education) facilitated a breakout discussion for state education agencies (SEAs). NESAC members discussed issues related to ESSA that affect their SEAs and LEAs.

Marilyn King (Bozeman School District #7 [MT]) reported that LEAs discussed the following:

  • How to define and track military–connected students
  • How to define and track highly mobile students, including military–connected students, children in foster care, homeless children and youth, and children with high mobility due to economic hardship. LEAs also discussed teacher mobility and its impact on student learning
  • How to collect and report data that are already collected at the state level, and how SEAs may help LEAs in implementing new data collections at the local level
  • Concerns regarding public perceptions of reported data, and how to resolve the tensions between accountability–based reporting and continuous improvement

Laura Boudreaux (Louisiana Department of Education) reported that SEAs discussed the following:

  • The types of peer and U.S. Department of Education (ED) reviewer feedback provided on ESSA plans, including requests for additional information on long–range planning and student subgroups
  • How different states are developing growth models and defining student subgroups and super–subgroups
  • How to set ambitious goals for long–range planning
  • Concerns regarding the 15–day deadline for responding to ED requests for additional information and revisions to ESSA plans

Afternoon Session

Forum Guides at Work
How Members Use Forum Documents
NESAC Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) led a discussion on state and local education agency (SEA and LEA) uses of Forum products, following the Forum Joint Session in which Susan and NESAC Vice Chair Marilyn King (Bozeman School District #7 [MT]) discussed their agencies’ uses of Forum products. NESAC members shared that Forum products are useful resources that can help to promote an understanding of best practices and how they can be applied to meet the needs of SEAs and LEAs.

Members reported that they have used many Forum products:

Members suggested the following topics that could be addressed in future Forum products:

  • Adjusted cohort graduation rates
  • Communication between stakeholders, including federal, state, and local agencies; parents; and the public at large
  • Data governance practices in relation to student data privacy
  • Data privacy, including data suppression and blurring
  • Early warning systems and predictive data
  • Evidence–based Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements
  • Mobility and impacts on student learning
  • Personalized learning

Data Visualization Online Course
NESAC Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) provided an update on the development of a new online course. As an extension of the Forum Guide to Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies, the Forum Data Visualization Online Course will convey the document’s key lessons and principles to education agency staff in an online instructional setting. The course will present the document’s recommendations in a format designed to meet the specific instructional needs of the education data and research communities–local, state, and federal education agency professionals who interpret data and communicate their meaning to a wide range of stakeholders. The first module, Introduction to Data Visualization, will introduce learners to the foundational concepts and practices of data visualization. NESAC members were interested in learning more about how to create data visualizations with small cell size data and suppressed data and noted that the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) website includes related resources for state education agencies (SEAs). Members also identified a need for best practices on adapting privacy guidelines and requirements for visualizing data.

School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Your Way
NESAC 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. The Forum’s SCED Working Group is currently developing SCED Version 5.0, which will be released this fall. The SCED Working Group has also developed several resources to assist SCED users, including a video on SCED course coding, a master list of all courses used in every version of SCED, and a Frequently Asked Questions document.

School Facilities Data
NESAC Vice Chair Marilyn King (Bozeman School District #7 [MT]) provided an update on the Forum’s School Facilities Data Working Group. The Working Group is developing a new guide that will emphasize the essential role of facilities data in the good stewardship of school buildings. This guide will incorporate recent updates to best practices in education data and facilities management and build upon the information published in the Forum Guide to Facilities Information Management: A Resource for State and Local Education Agencies.

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Using Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) to Support Research Agendas
CEDS NESAC pdf file (3.7 MB)
Representatives from the CEDS Support Team provided an update on how the Generate tool can be used to support research. Generate is a free tool for automating and simplifying EDFacts/Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) reporting and that also creates user–friendly reports for IDEA data. Generate is based on the CEDS data model and incorporates CEDS Connections built on the IDEA files. NESAC members discussed

  • when Generate or a similar tool will be available for local education agencies (LEAs);
  • how LEAs would utilize the Generate tool to report data for the Civil Rights Data Collection; and
  • what operational data stores are used by Generate.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Morning Session

School Climate and Student Engagement

Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data
Janice Petro (Colorado Department of Education) provided an update on the Forum’s Attendance Working Group. The Working Group is completing their work on the Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data. This new resource is designed to help state and local education agency (SEA and LEA) staff improve their attendance data practices–the collection, reporting, and use of attendance data to improve student and school outcomes. This guide updates and expands the information published in Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data.

Reengaging Dropouts

Janice Petro (Colorado Department of Education) led a group discussion on strategies for reengaging former students who have dropped out of school. She asked members to share how their agency uses data to identify former students who have dropped out, and whether their agency uses an early warning system (EWS) or other methods to identify current students who are at risk of dropping out. NESAC members shared the following strategies:

  • The Colorado General Assembly has funded dropout prevention programs to provide targeted support to students who are at risk of dropping out.
  • Metro Nashville Public Schools (TN) and Fairbanks North Star Borough School District (AK) use EWSs developed by their local education agency (LEA) to identify students who are at risk of dropping out. Macomb Intermediate School District (MI) also uses an EWS.
  • Delaware links its EWS to the statewide student information system, which enables teachers to identify students who are at risk of dropping out of school.
  • LEAs with the Meriden Public Schools (CT) and Loudoun County Public Schools (VA) have conducted studies to identify students who are disengaged and potentially at risk of dropping out.
  • The climate, purpose, and enrollment requirements of alternative schools can be a contributing factor in whether a student drops out of school.
  • Some state education agencies (SEAs) track student withdrawals and enrollments and work with LEAs to identify students who have moved within the state.
  • Members noted that educators, school administrators, and afterschool programs play a key role in minimizing the likelihood that a student drops out of school. Establishing positive relationships with students and providing individual student support can be very helpful in curtailing dropout rates.

Measuring School Climate for Accountability
NESAC Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) led a group discussion on strategies for measuring school climate for accountability reporting. She invited members to share how their state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) measure, collect, and/or report school climate data, and how school climate data impacts decisionmaking. Members discussed the following:

  • Specific measures and data elements related to school climate, including attendance, chronic absenteeism, level of perceived parental care, respect, school responsiveness, school safety, student engagement in personalized learning plans, and student motivation by subject area
  • The breadth and depth of school climate surveys and research studies, including SEA– and LEA– created surveys, Regional Educational Laboratory Program research alliances, the U.S. Department of Education School Climate Surveys, and others
  • How state Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans address school climate
  • The need for consistent, comparable, reliable school climate measures
  • The difference between formative assessment and summative assessment measures
  • The tension between internal accountability for continuous improvement and external accountability for reporting requirements

Cohort Graduation Rates
Gunes Kaplan (Nevada Department of Education) led a discussion on cohort graduation rates. Gunes shared Nevada’s definition of graduation cohorts and the state’s new data validation processes, then invited members to share how their state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) approach cohort graduation rates, including using data validation systems, calculating graduation rates, calculating cohort graduation rates for student subgroups, and including/excluding nontraditional schools in cohort graduation calculations and reports. Members discussed the following:

  • Certain LEAs receive previously validated data from their SEAs, which are then used for calculating and reporting cohort graduation rates. Some members noted that it may take months to validate and certify data, and requesting corrections to previously certified data may be difficult.
  • States calculate cohort graduation rates differently: 4 year only; 4, 5, and 6 year; 4, 5, 6, and 7 year; and 5/6 year. These calculations can be complicated by a variety of factors, such as dual–credit enrollment.
  • States have different criteria for including or excluding students from cohort graduation calculations and reports. Members noted that adult education and General Educational Development (GED) preparation program enrollment may be included in cohort graduation calculations, but not in cohort graduation reporting. Additionally, students who are enrolled for a brief period of time or close to their traditional graduation date may not be included in cohort graduation calculations and reports.

Afternoon Session
Topics from the Floor and State and Local Education Agency (SEA and LEA) Breakouts

NESAC members continued their discussion of how SEAs and LEAs define and use “campus” as an element. NESAC members then split into two groups to hold breakout discussions on topics of interest. NESAC Vice Chair Marilyn King (Bozeman School District #7 [MT]) facilitated a discussion for LEAs, and Laura Boudreaux (Louisiana Department of Education) facilitated a breakout discussion for SEAs.

Marilyn reported that LEAs discussed the following topics, and suggested further discussion by NESAC and the Forum:

  • Commenting on Federal Register Items
  • Data privacy and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations regarding calling systems
  • Improving direct certification processes data
  • Reporting data on students who are of two or more races, particularly for federal data collections
  • Updates on educator effectiveness initiatives implemented as a part of Race to the Top
  • Continued consideration of topics previously discussed, including cohort graduations rates, early warning systems, best practices in stakeholder and interagency communications, data privacy, data governance, highly mobile students, and the impact of teacher mobility on student learning

Laura reported that SEAs discussed the following topics, and suggested further discussion by NESAC and the Forum:

  • Collecting and reporting data on students’ nonbinary gender identities
  • Defining, classifying, and reporting data on student subgroups, particularly for graduation cohorts
  • How SEAs may leverage EDFacts reports for other types of data requests, and strategies for aligning reporting efforts

Federal Data Policy and Collections

Forum Guide to Reporting Civil Rights Data
Linda Rocks (Bossier Parish Schools [LA]) provided an update on the development of a new resource that illustrates a variety of effective methods through which local education agencies (LEAs) report civil rights data to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The Forum Guide to Reporting Civil Rights Data is designed to help LEA personnel develop strategies to effectively submit data for the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and improve their reporting of these data to OCR in order to ensure timely and accurate data. The guide includes examples of how state education agencies (SEAs) can voluntarily assist their LEAs with CRDC reporting. The Forum recently completed its review of the guide, which is scheduled to be published in early fall.

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Update from Elementary and Secondary Branch of the Administrative Data Division


EdFacts NESAC pdf file (1.7 MB)
Kelly Worthington (U.S. Department of Education), program office liaisons from the Elementary and Secondary Branch (ESB), and an EDFacts Data Quality Team representative came to NESAC to provide an update on EDFacts data quality strategy. As part of its role in supporting data stewards, facilitating data acquisition, and expanding the capacity to access and use data, ESB is implementing an expanded data quality strategy for EDFacts that provides targeted support and quality checks to ensure data quality during pre–submission, submission, and post–submission. By adopting this data quality strategy, data are available earlier for planning, policy, and management decisions at the federal, state and local levels. NESAC members discussed the following:

  • How states are leveraging EDFacts work for other reports or data stores
  • The most common issues associated with EDFacts reporting over the previous year
  • The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB’s) EDFacts collection package
  • The difference between inactive files and retired files
  • Tensions between compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and data reporting requirements
  • How changes in state education agency (SEA) processes can impact local education agency (LEA) processes

State and Local Education Agency (SEA and LEA) Approaches to Federal Reporting
NESAC Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) led a group discussion on strategies for SEAs and LEAs to collect and report quality data for federal data collections. She invited members to share how they approach federal data collections such as the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and EDFacts. NESAC members discussed the following:

  • Strategies for SEAs to assist LEAs with the CRDC, including prepopulating data, supporting early data reporting, and conducting data checks prior to data submission. Several LEAs expressed a need for assistance from their SEAs
  • Strategies for improving data reporting, including creating crosswalks between data reports. Members suggested that EDFacts create a resource that maps how data elements are related to specific legislation
  • Challenges associated with student information system reporting and development, including agency communications with vendors
  • Challenges associated with nonstandard data elements and different definitions at the federal, state, and local levels

NESAC Election
Marilyn King (Bozeman School District #7 [MT]) was elected NESAC Chair, and Laura Boudreaux (Louisiana Department of Education) was elected NESAC Vice Chair for 2017–18.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Morning Session

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Communicating Data to Stakeholders

REL NESAC pdf file (1.4 MB)

John Hughes (Regional Educational Laboratory–Southeast), Deborah Jonas (Regional Educational Laboratory–Appalachia), and Julie Riordan (Regional Educational Laboratory–Northeast and Islands), delivered a presentation on how the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Program communicates with stakeholders. John, Deborah, and Julie reviewed communication methods and strategies for effective information dissemination, and guidelines for communicating data in written, tabular, and graphical formats. They also discussed stakeholder engagement methods and events, the REL Governing Board, REL Advisory Committees, professional associations and conferences, and Bridge events that connect researcher and practitioners. The REL program also utilizes traditional news media, social media, and online platforms for communicating REL research to stakeholders. The presenters emphasized that RELs are responsible for ensuring that their work is relevant to state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs). NESAC members discussed the following:

  • What types of information and data to share. Topics mentioned include data on coursetaking, drop–out rates, information on school choice, and socioemotional impact
  • Communicating data to stakeholders through an understandable method. Specific stakeholder subgroups discussed include English learners, afterschool program stakeholders, and community based partners
  • Whether information– and data–sharing are motivated by requirements or agency interest
  • How RELs can help SEAs and LEAs develop capacity in research and data use. RELs are available to provide training and technical support to help in these areas

The presenters invited suggestions from NESAC members on how RELs can further support SEAs and LEAs. NESAC members shared the following:

  • Members expressed appreciation for REL webinars. REL webinars specifically for Forum members may also be useful.
  • Members encouraged the Forum’s REL representatives to actively engage Forum members, such as inviting Forum members to participate in REL studies.
  • Members recommended creating a web page on the Forum website that includes Forum member contact information by REL region to help facilitate communication between REL representatives and Forum members.

NESAC Committee Business
Steering Committee Business/Report
NESAC Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) reported that the Steering Committee discussed topics of interest across the Forum’s three Standing Committees, including the Civil Rights Data Collection, school climate, personalized learning, and highly mobile students.

Meeting Review/Winter 2018 Planning
NESAC Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) and NESAC Vice Chair Marilyn King (Bozeman School District #7 [MT]) led a review of the meeting.

  • Members appreciate the interactive nature of the meeting, and found the discussion time and breakout sessions engaging and productive
  • Members suggested sharing previously published Forum resources on the Forum360 password–protected community site, as well as additional resources of interest, to make the website more useful.
  • Members requested that presentation materials and handouts be shared in advance of the meeting. This could improve discussions and enable members to ask more informed questions.
  • Members suggested that the Forum consider coordinating comments on Federal Register Items and other important topics of interest.
  • Members suggested scheduling time for an update on the Civil Right Data Collection (CRDC) Advisory Board meetings. Linda Rocks (Bossier Parish Schools [LA]) provided an update on the previous evening’s meeting. The meeting reviewed changes that will be implemented in the next collection. Meeting participants also discussed the outcomes of noncompliance with the CRDC, shared strategies for improving the data upload process, and reconciling Common Core of Data (CCD) and CRDC data submissions. Meeting participants also requested clarity in distinguishing 0 and n/a data points, and suggested developing a vendor sandbox for systems testing.

Members suggested the following topics for future NESAC meetings and webinars:

  • Evidence–based Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements
  • Monitoring English learners under ESSA
  • Navigating the federal registry and commenting on Federal Register Items
  • Personalized learning plans (PLPs), including how to use PLPs to measure school academic achievement and/or student growth

Members also suggested that the virtual meetings include breakout sessions to facilitate small group discussions.

Closing Thoughts
NESAC Chair Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) expressed sincere appreciation for the NESAC members’ participation in the meeting’s success, and thanked members for the opportunity to serve in NESAC leadership over the past two years.


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Policies, Programs and Implementation (PPI) Committee Meeting Summary

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Morning Session

PPI Committee Kickoff

Welcome and Introductions
PPI Chair Levette Williams (Georgia Department of Education) welcomed members to the meeting.

Participants introduced themselves, noting their home agency, stating how long they’ve been attending Forum meetings, and giving examples of issues they are currently dealing with in their organizations. Issues raised included the following:

  • Dealing with funding cuts and fewer resources
  • Privacy policies
  • Matching K–12 to workforce and military enlistment data
  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
  • New and evolving assessment challenges
  • Data sharing arrangements and agreements
  • Tribal engagement
  • State support to local education agency (LEA) Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) submissions
  • Research and evaluation initiatives
  • Analytics
  • The use of evidence–based frameworks

Summer 2016 Meeting Review
PPI Chair Levette Williams (Georgia Department of Education) briefly reviewed major activities and discussions from the 2016 PPI Meeting, including chronic absenteeism, National School Lunch Program, EDFacts and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), and privacy. PPI also held a virtual meeting on December 9, 2016. Members reviewed the summer 2016 Forum meeting and PPI mission statement, discussed the CRDC and student data privacy, and suggested topics of interest for the summer 2017 Forum meeting.

PPI Joint Session Follow–up: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Discussion

Following the Forum Opening Session in which Janice Petro (Colorado Department of Education), Raymond Martin (Connecticut State Department of Education), Peter Tamayo (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction), and Dean Folkers (Nebraska Department of Education) discussed their agencies’ approaches to ESSA, Brian Laurent (Alaska Department of Education & Early Development) led PPI in a discussion on ESSA. Brian focused on the process in Alaska, as well as on reviewing some of the opportunities and challenges they had:

  • Alaska convened a stakeholder advisory committee of 45 people with a range of perspectives on education in Alaska. The state education agency (SEA) convened conferences in April 2016 and April 2017 to share information about ESSA and receive feedback and comment on the state plan. A first draft was released in April 2017 and a second draft followed in July. After the public comment process, the final plan will be submitted in September 2017.
  • Alaska has 229 federally recognized tribes. It takes substantial effort to engage this many entities, but doing so resulted in improved communications and collaboration. In a state as large as Alaska, establishing relationships in person can be challenging, so much of the SEA’s engagement with federally recognized tribes was conducted virtually.
  • Alaska found the September submission date beneficial. The opportunity to see how April submissions were received helped Alaska learn from the processes other states undertook.
  • Alaska had an internal agency ESSA team, but a departmental reorganization in the middle of the ESSA planning process impacted the team’s ESSA planning effort. Alaska also faces serious budget concerns that affected engagement.

PPI members discussed the following:

  • It would be beneficial for states that have substantial Native American populations to discuss strategies for coordinating with tribal governments.
  • Pennsylvania is following the same general path as other states, but added a step for review by the governor’s office. Changes at the policy level present challenges, such as how to assess the attainment of policy goals when data are not readily available.
  • Stakeholder meetings were a common feature of ESSA planning, as agencies need to look beyond their agency staff to fully understand issues of importance.
  • Having data to implement new policies is a common challenge.
  • Having an IT support plan is critical for implementing policies and plans and warrants additional attention in many agencies.
  • In many states, ESSA planning appears to focus solely on SEA and LEA activities and does not appear to have effectively trickled down to the teacher level in spite of stakeholder outreach.

PPI members raised the issue of n–size and discussed situations where policymakers want to establish an n–size. Members noted that Marilyn Seastrom, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Chief Statistician, described a publication, Best Practices for Determining Subgroup Size in Accountability Systems While Protecting Personally Identifiable Student Information, in the opening session. This document describes a process that enables statisticians to document the statistical rationale for sound choices.

Afternoon Session

Joint Session Follow Up: Using Forum Products

PPI members very much appreciated the interactive and enlightening Using Forum Products in Local and State Education Agencies (LEAs and SEAs) joint session. Follow–up discussion included these topics:

  • Rhode Island uses Forum products extensively when giving presentations to state constituencies. Presenters adapt Forum publication presentation slides available in the Outreach Toolkit. These tools are used to help teachers learn about privacy laws (e.g., why you can’t just tell kids to log into online learning apps without considering terms of service). A lot of organizations are looking for presenters, so it is easy to sign up to offer ready–made presentations on Forum publications.
  • In Pennsylvania, new staff in the data department are required to take The Forum Guide to Data Ethics Online Course. This requirement permits the agency to tell the public that all SEA staff who work with private data have received privacy training. This training is a helpful way to help minimize the likelihood of accidental data breaches.
  • The Georgia Department of Education Data Collections unit used to conduct training on ethics and has informed districts of The Forum Guide to Data Ethics Online Course. Districts will be reminded of the course as well as other forum products in the upcoming Georgia Department of Education Data Conference.
  • Topics of interest in the Forum and broader education data community are continuously changing, so reminders of previously published Forum resources that are still relevant and available are beneficial. Members note that Forum guides include information and principles that remain current for some time. Although Forum documents are no longer printed, they can be downloaded at no cost on the Forum website.

How to Request a Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Project

PPI received short presentations from several REL representatives interested in sharing information about the REL research process. REL representatives included Julie Riordan (REL–Northeast and Islands), Deborah Jonas (REL– Appalachia), Ellen Mandinach (REL–West), Jennifer Esswein (REL–Northwest), Jim Lindsay (REL–Midwest), and John Hughes (REL–Southeast). Discussions focused on the following:

  • REL programs are charged with working with state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) to support data use that improves student outcomes. This includes both shorter and longer term partnerships, as well as cross–state alliances. RELs serve the needs of SEAs and LEAs–not researchers–and address SEA and LEA data systems and research needs.
  • RELs also offer quick turnaround research and “Ask a REL” services, through which an education agency can access a technical reference desk to find out about existing research literature. RELs can also conduct evidence reviews for state Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) planning.
  • Just in Time studies are limited time opportunities focused on addressing high priority topics that directly affect policy or operational decisions and actions.
  • Examples of current research topics include early childhood education; professional development; educational equity for access and attainment; universal pre–K; strengthening workforce readiness; and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
  • RELs can also offer training on methodological techniques and conduct data summits for individual states.
  • Members that have a topic of interest were encouraged to reach out to their REL and initiate a conversation. The REL presenters noted that members should allow for planning time. The REL governing board develops a research agenda based on stakeholder interest, which is then incorporated into an annual plan, due on April 15 each year. Members should contact RELs in late winter or earlier for timely consideration in the annual planning process.
  • Moving forward, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) will be managing all REL websites. The websites are not yet active, but will be released soon. They will continue to focus on information dissemination and technical assistance.

PPI Privacy Focus

Privacy Kickoff
PPI Vice Chair Steve Smith (Cambridge Public Schools [MA]) kicked off PPI’s privacy discussions with a presentation on the Massachusetts Student Privacy Alliance (MSPA), which is a collaboration of Massachusetts school districts that share common concerns around student privacy. The goal of the MSPA is to set standards for practices and expectations around student privacy so that all parties involved have a common understanding of expectations. Steve also noted that Kathleen Styles, Chief Privacy Officer at the U.S. Department of Education (ED), mentioned click wrap agreements during the joint session Update on Student Privacy, which is an example of the type of issues school districts in Massachusetts are working to address.

Privacy Operations and Procedures
PPI Vice Chair Steve Smith (Cambridge Public Schools [MA]) continued PPI’s focus on privacy by sharing an additional example from his district. Cambridge Public Schools (MA) needed a process for ensuring that teachers were using approved technology applications and web resources. To minimize the recreation of these standard procedures, the district initially partnered with Boston Public Schools, then invited any district in MA to collaborate in developing a standard Student Data Privacy Agreement. About 60 school districts in Massachusetts are now participating in the Massachusetts Student Privacy Alliance (MSPA). The Alliance appears to have an influence on the regional marketplace as numerous vendors are signing the Agreement. This initiative has since grown into the Student Data Privacy Consortium, which is a collaborative of schools, districts, regional and state agencies, policymakers, trade organizations, and marketplace providers who share the common goal of addressing real–world, adaptable, and implementable solutions to growing data privacy concerns.

Next, Wendy Geller (Vermont Agency of Education) described her state education agency’s (SEA’s) experience in a lawsuit concerning the SEA’s decision not to share data following a public records request. The law states that agencies do not need to collect new data if the data are not available to respond to a request. Based on this experience, the agency determined that data governance procedures should be posted online so the procedures are clear and available to the public. Forum documents on privacy are great resources for supporting rational and transparent policies.

Sonya Edwards (California Department of Education [CA DOE]) reported that California is offering student privacy trainings, including Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) presentations, which are considered very beneficial. In the last two years, internal training has become mandatory for all staff with access to personally identifiable information (PII), including new employees. CA DOE also established a Twitter account for public awareness of student privacy issues. Moreover, in the last year, a public facing data request tracking website was created. The website reflects the California policy agenda and includes formal data request procedures, including steps, data destruction, and data sharing agreements.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Morning Session

Data Breach Response Training

PTAC PPI pdf file (763 KB)

PPI members participated in a Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) data breach response training exercise led by Kathleen Styles, Chief Privacy Officer at the U.S. Department of Education (ED), and members of the PTAC Support Team. This participant–driven discussion focused on decisions education agency teams might make in response to a hypothetical information technology emergency.

Lessons learned from the exercise included the following:

  • Test backup systems and procedures before it is a real emergency.
  • Determine whether the education agency has a response protocol in place. If not, it should consider developing one. If so, it should be practiced at regular intervals as makes sense to the agency’s security professionals.
  • If an event happens, don’t panic. Convene appropriate internal stakeholders to decide what the appropriate response should be.
  • Confirm whether data sharing partners are required to have security plans to protect data. This requirement may be included in data sharing agreements. Assess whether the agency asks data sharing partners to have a plan, or whether the agency reviews plans to confirm they are sufficient and reasonable.
  • Consider the need for a security professional.
  • Develop a current inventory of all machines, the data they contain, the nature of those data, and the software they run.

Forum Projects and Working Groups
School Facilities Data
As a member of the Forum’s School Facilities Data Working Group, Steve Smith (Cambridge Public Schools [MA]) reported on the work and progress of the group’s effort. The Working Group is developing a new guide that will emphasize the essential role of facilities data in the good stewardship of school buildings. This guide will incorporate recent updates to best practices in education data and facilities management and build upon the information published in the Forum Guide to Facilities Information Management: A Resource for State and Local Education Agencies. PPI members discussed the use of “campus” by their agencies.

Data Visualization Online Course
Laurel Krsek (San Ramon Valley Unified School District [CA]) joined PPI to provide an update on the development of a new online course. As an extension of the Forum Guide to Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies, the Forum Data Visualization Online Course will convey the document’s key lessons and principles to education agency staff in an online instructional setting. The course will present the document’s recommendations in a format designed to meet the specific instructional needs of the education data and research communities–local, state, and federal education agency professionals who interpret data and communicate their meaning to a wide range of stakeholders. The first module, Introduction to Data Visualization, will introduce learners to the foundational concepts and practices of data visualization. PPI members suggested a focus on Section 508 compliance of visualizations and the importance of end–of–course assessments so that the Forum can offer certificates to course completers.

School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) as a Common Language Janice Petro (Colorado 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. The Forum’s SCED Working Group is currently developing SCED Version 5.0, which will be released this fall. The SCED Working Group has also developed several resources to assist SCED users, including a video on SCED course coding, a master list of all courses used in every version of SCED, and a Frequently Asked Questions document.

Attendance Data
Janice Petro (Colorado Department of Education) reported that the Attendance Working Group is completing their work on the Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data. This new resource is designed to help state and local education agency (SEA and LEA) staff improve their attendance data practices–the collection, reporting, and use of attendance data to improve student and school outcomes. This guide updates and expands the information published in Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data.

PPI Election

Steve Smith (Cambridge Public Schools [MA]) was elected PPI Chair and Charlotte Ellis (Maine State Department of Education) was elected PPI Vice Chair for 2017–18. Steve Smith thanked Levette Williams (Georgia Department of Education) for her service in PPI leadership as chair and vice chair over the past two years.

Afternoon Session

Federal Data Policy and Collections

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Update from the Elementary and Secondary Branch of the Administrative Data Division

EdFacts PPI pdf file (1.4 MB)

Kelly Worthington (U.S. Department of Education [ED]), was joined by ED colleagues David Lee, Liz Fenning, David Murphy, and Jane Clark to lead a discussion about data being collected through the Elementary and Secondary Branch of the Administrative Data Division. EDFacts staff work with program office data stewards to review their data needs and then, when data items are approved, the business rules and technical specifications around the data items. This is a very technical, process–driven perspective so that EDFacts can define, acquire, validate, and improve usage at ED. “Authority to Collect” is an important aspect of how EDFacts interacts with program offices. For example, the legislative justification for Common Core of Data (CCD) and related regulations affect the nature and format of how EDFacts collects some data. The ED program offices, with EDFacts technical support, are primarily responsible for developing responses to public comments on the EDFacts Office of Management and Budget (OMB) collection package. EDFacts aims to notify states and districts of changing reporting requirements many months prior to delivery, but notification may be difficult this year due to ED staffing challenges. PPI members discussed the following:

  • Members stated that state education agencies (SEAs) are grateful for the consolidation of numerous collections into EDFacts. They also noted that it will be difficult for SEAs to submit data in a timely manner due to the high volume of late changes. Kelly suggested that SEAs communicate notice of delays affecting EDFacts so ED is aware of which elements are difficult for SEAs. The needs of schools and districts are important to ED, and this will help ED understand the challenges SEAs face to timely submission.
  • ED can post a report to EDFacts360 that explains which offices are the stewards of each element. PPI members suggested a public post to help SEAs and local education agencies (LEAs) explain data requests to stakeholders who question why data are collected. PPI members support this idea due to the high volume of questions about the origins of the data they request. Such a report could include financial links so stakeholders can understand that these data collections are a condition of funding that the SEAs and LEAs benefit from.

Joint Session Follow–Up: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Group Discussion Following the Forum Opening Session and Joint Session on the ESSA, PPI members discussed their perspectives on ESSA:

  • Members shared concerns about the denominator of the data request relating to the percentage of eligible students enrolled in pre–kindergarten. Some states expect to use the American Community Survey (ACS) as the denominator, while others plan to use birth records where available.
  • The National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) provides postsecondary enrollment information for a fee, covering most, but not all, 2– and 4–year colleges. PPI members questioned whether the NSC offered different contracts to different states. Given the fees charged by NSC, state education agencies (SEAs) might be interested in coordinating with each other to ensure that SEAs receive high–quality data.
  • PPI members discussed how to collect data about military enlistment. The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services receives military enlistment data, but the Ohio Department of Education has not yet been able to gain access to it. Members noted that parents may be reticent to share data on military connected status. Local education agencies (LEAs) expressed interest in resources that explain the rationale for collecting these data.

Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) Discussion
Janis Brown (Office for Civil Rights [OCR], U.S. Department of Education [ED]) joined PPI to discuss the CRDC. Implementing the collection occurs in multiple phases. In the Collection Phase, technical assistance is delivered, including data collection templates for file organization. OCR also asks districts to update contact information to ensure that notifications go to staff responsible for the CRDC submission. The standard submission period is 75 days, but extensions are common to ensure a suitable response and superintendent certification. In the Quality Phase, districts receive automated warnings during submission, and additional quality checks occur after submission. Privacy is ensured through the application of a disclosure avoidance methodology. Finally, during the Analysis and Reporting Phases, issue briefs are released on specific topics, such as discipline or early childhood education, and downloadable data files are published for analysis. OCR is working to deliver data files for state and local education agency (SEA and LEA) use of CRDC data.

PPI members discussed the following:

  • Templates for the 2017–18 collection will be available upon receipt of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance. PPI members recommended that the templates be identical to the online submission window so that it is easier to prepare and enter data.
  • Members noted that some districts may be unfamiliar with the Federal Register, and suggested that comment period announcements be actively sent to LEA contacts and to SEA contacts who can send announcements and guidance to the LEAs.
  • Members suggested that OCR consider asking SEAs to help contact LEAs and reduce the likelihood of late submissions.
  • SEAs are invited to join the CRDC SEA Engagement Workgroup. Signup information is available through the CRDC Resource Center.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Morning Session

Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC): Joint Session Follow–up
Following the Forum Joint Session in which Janis Brown (Office for Civil Rights [OCR], U.S. Department of Education [ED]), Linda Rocks (Bossier Parish Schools [LA]), and DeDe Conner (Kentucky Department of Education) discussed the CRDC, PPI members discussed their perspectives on the CRDC:

  • It is difficult for state education agencies (SEAs) to validate local education agency (LEA) data submissions to CRDC, given that submissions do not go through SEA validation processes. For example, discipline data often don’t match, but the SEA cannot determine whether LEA data are correct. Even when SEAs prepopulate data for an LEA, the LEA can override or otherwise change it since it is its submission.
  • It would be beneficial to publicly explain why CRDC data may differ from EDFacts data. An official explanation of these differences would be helpful to SEAs; reasons may include variance in definitions, reporting procedures, auditing systems, and differences in data granularity. Ideally, this explanation would be provided by ED rather than the Forum because it needs to be as official of an explanation as possible.
  • Some SEAs are limited to collecting only federally mandated data. Since the CRDC is a local, not state, requirement, these SEAs may face limitations in their ability to assist LEAs with the CRDC.
  • One member noted that up to one–third of the CRDC data submission staff in their state’s LEAs have less than three years of experience due to staff turnover.
  • The CRDC has a working group of SEA and LEA representatives who are advising OCR on how to continue recent improvement to the collection. For example, OCR is inviting SEAs to prepopulate LEA submissions, which has reduced burden and improved quality in the past few years. This effort to engage representative data providers represents another step in improving the collection.

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Using Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) to Support Policy Agendas

CEDS PPI pdf file (3.9 MB)

Representatives from the CEDS Support Team provided an update on how the Generate tool can be used to support policy. Generate is a free tool for automating and simplifying EDFacts/Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) reporting that creates user–friendly reports for IDEA data. Generate is based on the CEDS data model and incorporates CEDS Connections built on the IDEA files.

Topics from the Floor

PPI members identified and discussed the following topics of interest:

PPI Meeting Review/Winter 2018 Planning

Members shared the following topics and suggestions for future PPI meetings and webinars:

  • Members expressed interest in per pupil expenditures and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) report cards. Members also requested interactive activities like the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) data breach response training. Learning how peers handle these things during the discussion portions was very valuable to PPI members.
  • PPI members encouraged agenda–setting and meeting discussions through the lens of the PPI mission.
  • PPI members would like the PPI meeting room to be set as a hollow square for the Summer 2018 Forum meeting.
  • PPI members expressed interest in more cross–committee (joint) discussions between the Forum Standing Committees.
Closing Thoughts

PPI Chair Levette Williams (Georgia Department of Education) thanked members for a productive and enjoyable meeting and for the opportunity to serve in leadership over the past two years. Vice chair Steve Smith (Cambridge Public Schools [MA]) thanked Levette for her commitment to PPI and the Forum.

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Technology Committee (TECH) Meeting Summary


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Morning Session

TECH Committee Kickoff

Welcome and Introductions

TECH Chair Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department [NH]) welcomed members to the meeting and led the group in introductions.

Members shared topics of current interest to them, including these:

  • Data standards
  • Testing students out of grade
  • Vendor certification
  • School report cards
  • Doing more with less
  • Data visualization
  • Moving data to the cloud
  • Technology plans
  • Privacy and security
  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation

Data Visualization Online Course
TECH Chair Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department [NH]) provided an update on the development of a new online course. As an extension of the Forum Guide to Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies, the Forum Data Visualization Online Course will convey the document’s key lessons and principles to education agency staff in an online instructional setting. The course will present the document’s recommendations in a format designed to meet the specific instructional needs of the education data and research communities–local, state, and federal education agency professionals who interpret data and communicate their meaning to a wide range of stakeholders. The first module, Introduction to Data Visualization, will introduce learners to the foundational concepts and practices of data visualization. Members asked questions regarding its release data, whether it can be a plug and play module, and whether Section 508 compliance of data visualization will be included.

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Afternoon Session

Data Definitions and Tools

Technology Implementation of the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS)
CEDS TECH pdf file (1.8 MB)
Representatives from the CEDS Support Team provided an update on CEDS technical implementation through the Generate solution, including highlighting state work in this area. Generate is a free tool for automating and simplifying EDFacts/Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) reporting that creates user–friendly reports for IDEA data. They also discussed integration/collaboration with the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) and Edify Data Standard, and provided a high–level overview of the technology and structure that underlies the tool and effort. Members discussed the following:

  • The Generate tool and its ability to complete edit checks and include explanation in the file itself
  • Whether Generate will eventually include all EDFacts files and all states
  • How a state education agency (SEA) would utilize CEDS when it has already developed a state standard

School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Finder Tool
Susan Williams (Virginia Department of Education) provided a brief demonstration of the Forum’s School Courses for the Exchange of Data SCED Finder Tool. SCED Finder can be used without logging in, and users can search or browse subject codes. The search function searches in the course title and description for the search term(s) entered by the user. The SCED Working Group is developing an enhancement to return search results with other courses in the same subject area. TECH members had a discussion on their uses of SCED.

Attendance Working Group
TECH Chair Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department [NH]) provided an update on the Forum’s Attendance Working Group. The Working Group is completing their work on the Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data. This new resource is designed to help state and local education agency (SEA and LEA) staff improve their attendance data practices–the collection, reporting, and use of attendance data to improve student and school outcomes. This guide updates and expands the information published in Every School Day Counts: The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data.

School Facilities Data Working Group
Allen Miedema (Northshore School District [WA]) provided an update on the Forum’s School Facilities Data Working Group. The Working Group is developing a new guide that will emphasize the essential role of facilities data in the good stewardship of school buildings. This guide will incorporate recent updates to best practices in education data and facilities management and build upon the information published in the Forum Guide to Facilities Information Management: A Resource for State and Local Education Agencies. TECH members had a discussion on the use of “campus” by their agencies.

TECH Member Panel and Discussion: State and Local Education Agencies (SEAs and LEAs) Working Together

TECH Chair Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department [NH]) noted that at the last TECH meeting, the idea of how SEAs and LEAs collaborate in different states was brought up as a topic of interest. A few TECH members shared how agencies are collaborating in their states:

  • Dean Folkers (Nebraska Department of Education) noted that Nebraska’s SEA had the goal of creating teacher–facing dashboards (through an SLDS grant), with the need surfacing as a result of feedback from districts. The SEA worked with a pilot group of districts to develop the dashboards, but the districts had many different systems (plus versions) across the state. The districts became key informants in developing the process and envisioning the ideal outcomes. As discussions continued, the project’s goals expanded to include using state–centralized data to pull state–required reports. District participation helped drive and modify the project’s direction.
  • Laurel Krsek (San Ramon Valley Unified School District [CA]), noted that the California Department of Education (CA DOE) is very good about intervening with districts if they see a data problem, even within a difficult environment, where control is based on scope and the number of different data systems. She noted that partnership with the state is chiefly about compliance; specifically, CA DOE is doing a good job of adapting models and modules developed in districts and distributing them broadly throughout the state. For example, the CA DOE built upon a privacy training that one LEA developed and shared the training with all the LEAs in the state.
  • Georgia Hughes–Webb (West Virginia Department of Education) noted that West Virginia’s SEA data governance committee includes LEA representation to ensure that they take into consideration the breadth of experience LEAs have. The committee asked their LEA representatives to be active participants and provide feedback regarding all decisions, specifically regarding the consistency of data standards. LEA representatives share what makes sense at the local level and what needs to be changed. As an example, the committee recently proposed consolidating state attendance codes, but retained the current coding system after LEAs provided feedback on the proposal.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Morning Session

Topics from the Floor

TECH Chair Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department [NH]) opened the discussion by summarizing some of the topics noted during introductions. Members discussed the following issues:

  • Data visualization and strategies members use to select tools to display data. Michael noted that using the recently published Forum Guide to Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies would help members focus on their visualization needs for a tool
  • Whether agencies should purchase tools or build one in–house, and what are the key criteria in this decision. One of the challenges members noted was the availability of agency staff with both the technical and creative skills needed to develop the tools; another challenge is creating one tool that will meet the needs of internal users and the many different external users of data
  • Whether the Forum should create a resource to assist in choosing technology tools
  • Technology plans, including planning processes and frameworks
  • Emerging technologies and how TECH can identify emerging trends
  • Commitments to technology at the district level
  • How to align technology supports and services and minimize “shiny object syndrome”

Technical Issues with Security and Privacy
Technical Solutions for Data Privacy
TECH members held an open discussion about technical solutions for data privacy. Larry Fruth II (Access 4 Learning) provided a short demonstration of the Student Data Privacy Consortium’s searchable databases. These publicly available resources include model contract clauses, appropriate federal and state laws, and examples of other jurisdictions’ model contracts. The Consortium’s website also includes an online community so members can develop new model contracts.

Security of Systems and Devices
Kathleen Styles, Chief Privacy Officer at the U.S. Department of Education (ED), and members of the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Support Team joined TECH members to provide a presentation on the security of systems and devices. They noted that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is the minimum, not the maximum, for determining whether an agency has done all that it can to protect student privacy. Different compliance laws were discussed, as well as the level of detail included in specific security controls. It was noted that compliance is not the same thing as security and there are several steps that can be taken to ensure security: focus on the threat, get to know your agency, put on a black hat, start from the topic, communicate and train, and then look at the compliance requirements. Kathleen noted that when FERPA is reauthorized, more details on security should be expected.

Afternoon Session

Federal Data Policy and Collections

TECH Discussion: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
TECH Chair Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department [NH]) opened the discussion about the two ESSA joint sessions at the Forum. Members agreed that the report card details received from the federal panel were most relevant to what they were working towards now in their agencies. There was some discussion on the differences that may exist between Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) report card data, what is reported to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and what is published by OCR. Ross Santy (U.S. Department of Education [ED]) noted that ED plans on providing states with their CRDC data so they can use these data for public report card reporting. Members expressed interest in receiving continued updates on ESSA.

Update from Elementary and Secondary Branch of the Administrative Data Division
Kelly Worthington, Barbara Timm, and Rob Stillwell (U.S. Department of Education [ED]), came to TECH to provide an update on the technical aspects of the EDFacts reporting and data quality system. They noted that ED is changing its host, trying to bring more systems in–house, and consolidating systems to help control security. EDFacts is also trying to keep up with regular questions and requirement updates from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). They are hoping to get to the point where the entire Common Core of Data (CCD) can be submitted, reviewed, and published more easily and quickly, ideally within two months of the submission. TECH members asked about how/where Generate fits into the EDFacts systems model.

Civil Rights Data Working Group Update
Sonya Edwards (California Department of Education) provided an update on the development of a new resource that illustrates a variety of effective methods through which local education agencies (LEAs) report civil rights data to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The Forum Guide to Reporting Civil Rights Data is designed to help LEA personnel develop strategies to effectively submit data for the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and improve their reporting of these data to the OCR in order to ensure timely and accurate data. The guide includes examples of how state education agencies (SEAs) can voluntarily assist their LEAs with CRDC reporting. The Forum recently completed its review of the guide, which is scheduled to be published in early fall.

TECH Election

Georgia Hughes–Webb (West Virginia Department of Education) was elected TECH Chair and Kenneth Hutchins (Appoquinimink School District [DE]) was elected TECH Vice Chair for 2017–18.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Morning Session

NCES Reports on Internet Use

Internet TECH pdf file (347 KB)

Tom Snyder (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES]) provided an update on a forthcoming Institute of Education Sciences (IES) report due September 2017. The report is on the educational impact of access to digital learning resources outside of the classroom at the elementary/secondary education level. Tom reviewed some of the major preliminary findings included in the draft report. There are five analytic tasks mandated by the legislation:

  1. An analysis of student habits related to digital learning resources outside of the classroom
  2. The identification of barriers students face in accessing digital learning resources outside of the classroom
  3. A description of the school–related challenges faced by students who lack home Internet access
  4. An analysis of how the barriers and challenges students without Internet face ultimately impacts instructional practice
  5. A description of effective strategies education agencies and schools use to address barriers children face in accessing digital learning resources outside the home

TECH members had discussions on several related topics:

  • How TECH members’ agencies measure Internet use at home, if at all
  • Now that many schools have devices, members noted that they are moving away from measuring devices and moving towards measuring bandwidth and infrastructure in their schools
  • The idea that it may be more valuable to collect policies around technology than to count the numbers of devices
  • How data on this topic could be collected through EDFacts
  • One–to–one laptop initiatives
  • Reimagining instructional time and snow day initiatives
  • Staff roles and responsibilities for technology use, integration, and maintenance
  • Discrepancies between student and teacher skills and comfort in using technology and digital tools

TECH Committee Business
Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Annual Meeting Report Marilyn King, (Bozeman School District #7 [MT]) provided an update from her attendance at the CoSN Annual Meeting. CoSN is a professional association for district technology leaders that provides management, community building, and advocacy tools. The March 2017 conference focused on global competencies and using technology to promote educational equity and increase learning opportunities. Marilyn reported on her attendance at sessions addressing the interface between technology and instructional practice.

Meeting Review/Planning Next Steps
TECH Chair Michael Hopkins (Rochester School Department [NH]) led a discussion to review the meeting and plan the next in–person meeting. Topics suggested by TECH members included:

  • Future–oriented planning
  • Strategies for collecting accurate data on technology use
  • How local education agencies (LEAs) commit themselves to technology
  • How LEAs evaluate new technologies
  • Use of the National Education Technology Plan
  • Technology demonstrations by TECH LEA members
  • Security training
  • Data breach training

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Forum Closing Session


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Update
NCES Update pdf file (2.0 MB)
Peggy Carr, Acting Commissioner of NCES, provided an update on NCES work that focused on new NCES projects, tools, and data collection approaches, and recent and upcoming NCES releases.:

  • The NCES State Coordinator Program, currently a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), responds to the need for improved response rates and coordination across NCES data collections.
  • The NCES Administrative Data Division has developed two new tools: Generate and the Common Core of Data–Data Management System (CCS DMS). The goal of these tools is to improve the efficiency, access to, and quality of data collection and reporting.
  • NCES is implementing adaptive design for survey design and sampling in order. This approach will help produce the most representative data possible by increasing response rates and reducing response bias.
  • The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is transitioning to digitally based assessments in 2017. Of the large–scale NCES assessments, the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (ePIRLS) have adopted digitally based assessments; the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) will transition to digitally based assessments in 2019.
  • Recent NCES reports include Best Practices for Determining Subgroup Size in Accountability Systems While Protecting Personally Identifiable Student Information (January 2017) and Certification Status and Experience of U.S. Public School Teachers: Variations Across Student Subgroups (March 2017).
  • Forthcoming NCES reports include Student Access to Digital Learning Resources, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Study on the Title I, Part A Formula, Mapping State Proficiency Standards onto NAEP Scales: 2015 Reading & Mathematics, 2015 Survey of School Crime and Safety, 2015–16 National Teacher and Principal Survey, Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Collaborative Problem Solving 2015, and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and ePIRLS 2016.

Peggy commended the Forum on the completion of the Forum Guide to Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies and the Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic Subgroups. She also briefly reviewed the forthcoming Forum Guide to Reporting Civil Rights Data, Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Attendance Data, Forum Guide to Facilities Information Management: A Resource for State and Local Education Agencies, and School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Version 5.0.

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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 Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies, the Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic Subgroups, and the forthcoming Forum Guide to Reporting Civil Rights Data. Peggy Carr, Acting Commissioner of NCES, commended the Forum on its work.

Forum Election
Forum Chair Laurel Krsek (San Ramon Valley Unified School District [CA]) presented the slate of proposed 2017–18 officers for a vote. The slate was seconded and then the Forum voted to approve the following members as 2017–18 officers:

Chair: Raymond Martin, Connecticut State Department of Education
Vice Chair: Allen Miedema, Northshore School District (WA)
NESAC Chair: Marilyn King, Bozeman School District #7 (MT)
NESAC Vice Chair: Laura Boudreaux, Louisiana Department of Education
PPI Chair: Steve Smith, Cambridge Public Schools (MA)
PPI Vice Chair: Charlotte Ellis, Maine State Department of Education
TECH Chair: Georgia Hughes–Webb, West Virginia Department of Education
TECH Vice Chair: Ken Hutchison, Appoquinimink School District (DE)

Closing Remarks
2017–18 Forum Chair Raymond Martin (Connecticut State Department of Education) thanked Laurel Krsek (San Ramon Valley Unified School District [CA]) for her leadership of the Forum. Raymond highlighted the number of Forum presentations occurring at the STATS–DC Data Conference and encouraged members to attend these presentations. Raymond also asked Forum members to complete the evaluation forms.

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Steering Committee

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Welcome and Review of Sunday’s Events

Forum Chair Laurel Krsek (San Ramon Valley Unified School District [CA]) welcomed Steering Committee members to the meeting and invited everyone to share their thoughts and comments on the day’s events.

  • Members appreciated the extended new member orientation time frame and breakout discussions between mentors and mentees. Members suggested that future orientation sessions continue to use this new format, and suggested including a brief icebreaker game to make the orientation more interactive.
  • Members thanked Marilyn Seastrom for her presentation on the report Best Practices for Determining Subgroup Size in Accountability Systems While Protecting Personally Identifiable Student Information.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) panel presentation illustrated similarities between the four states, while also highlighting unique approaches. Members from states that have not yet submitted their ESSA plans noted that the panel was helpful in assessing their own state’s approach. Members also noted that the focus and consistency of topics between speakers was very helpful, and the presenters suggested creating a similar presentation template for future joint session presentations.
  • The Using Forum Products session opened with a game highlighting Forum products. This interactive game represented a new approach for Forum, and was very well received by members. Members appreciated the opportunity for everyone to participate in the game, and noted that new members found it helpful to see the breadth and depth of Forum products. Members also shared their appreciation for printed–and–bound copies of older Forum guides.
  • Members reported that Kathleen Styles’ presentation on student privacy was also very well received. The Technology (TECH) and Policies, Programs, and Implementation (PPI) Committees are both devoting time to discussing privacy, and National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC) members expressed an interest in privacy for future meetings. Members noted that the Forum’s related resources web page may benefit from additional resources offered by the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and Common Education Data Standards (CEDS).
  • NESAC, PPI, and TECH all devoted open time on Sunday to break–out discussions on topics of interest to their members. Members reported that discussions were strong across all Standing Committees.
  • TECH members expressed a strong interest in data visualization, as well as security.
  • NESAC members were interested in discussing how to implement improvements in their agencies based on Forum products. Members suggested that Forum products could address how to take action based on the information included in these resources. The ESSA breakout discussions were helpful for state education agencies (SEAs) to better understand local education agencies (LEAs).

Other Issues

  • PPI membership continues to be predominantly SEAs, and as a result, discussions focus on state issues. TECH membership is also predominantly SEAs. Members appreciated opportunities for LEAs to contribute their perspectives to Standing Committee discussions.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Review of Monday’s Events

Steering Committee members discussed the morning joint sessions, which focused on Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and time spent in Standing Committees.

  • Members continue to have questions regarding ESSA. Members suggested invited Jane Clark (U.S. Department of Education [ED]) to deliver a virtual presentation to the full Forum and respond to member questions.
  • National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC) members desired clarification on Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and EDFacts data elements. Members noted that clear definitions from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on CRDC data elements and summary tables that map the relationships between federal legislation and EDFacts data elements would be useful.
  • NESAC members discussed a variety of issues related to school climate, but concluded that it remains unclear how to measure and collect data on school climate.
  • NESAC members suggested a number of topics of interest, including:
    • Cohort graduation
    • Data privacy and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    • Direct certification in the National School Lunch Program
    • Educator effectiveness
    • Organizational data governance frameworks
    • Personalized learning
    • Reporting data on students’ nonbinary gender identities
    • Reporting data on student subgroups
    • Tracking and reporting data on highly mobile students
  • Policies, Programs, and Implementation (PPI) members continued to engage in robust conversations.
  • Technology Committee (TECH) members continued to discuss data visualization, including the Forum’s forthcoming Data Visualization Online Course. Members expressed interest in content that would address how to select specific data visualization tools, and how to develop and test visualizations for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.
  • TECH members suggested methods and documentation on data imports to help improve consistency between state education agencies and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs). SEAs also expressed interest in technology planning.

Forum Elections

Standing Committee Chairs reported the results of their elections. Proposed Chairs and Vice Chairs for the 2017–18 year were

  • NESAC Chair: Marilyn King, Bozeman School District #7 (MT)
  • NESAC Vice Chair: Laura Boudreaux, Louisiana Department of Education
  • PPI Chair: Steve Smith, Cambridge Public Schools (MA)
  • PPI Vice Chair: Charlotte Ellis, Maine State Department of Education
  • TECH Chair: Georgia Hughes–Webb, West Virginia Department of Education
  • TECH Vice Chair: Kenneth Hutchins, Appoquinimink School District (DE)

The Steering Committee proposed Raymond Martin (Connecticut State Department of Education) as the Forum Chair and Allen Miedema (Northshore School District [WA]) as the Forum Vice Chair for 2017–18.

Other Issues

  • Members discussed ways to improve member knowledge of Forum products. Suggestions included reviving the Forum Communication Subcommittee and sharing previously published resources with Forum members via monthly emails.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Welcome to New Steering Committee Chairs

Newly elected Chair Raymond Martin (Connecticut State Department of Education) 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.

  • Members appreciated the interactive nature of the Standing Committee meetings, and found the discussion time and breakout sessions engaging and productive.
  • Members appreciated Acting Commissioner Peggy Carr’s NCES update.
  • National Education Statistics Agenda Committee (NESAC) members expressed an interest in learning more about how to comment on federal legislation.
  • Members noted that the Forum can promote a better understanding of state and local education agency (SEA and LEA) perspectives by defining and clearly articulating how issues are important to both perspectives.

Other Issues

Steering Committee members devoted time to discussing how to engage new Forum members:

  • New Forum members may be unaware of whether they are eligible to vote on Forum publications and participate in the Forum’s decisionmaking processes.
  • The Steering Committee could hold a virtual meeting with new members to discuss their experiences at the 2017 Forum meeting.
  • A virtual meeting before Forum meetings would also benefit new members and improve their understanding of the Forum. A joint meeting for Steering Committee members and new members, scheduled after the Forum closing session, would help establish relationships between new Steering Committee members and new Forum members.

Members noted that a mobile app meeting scheduler would be useful. Additionally, sharing presentation materials and handouts in advance of the meeting could improve discussions and enable members to ask better questions.

Members discussed how to improve the visibility of Forum products, and suggested developing a communications strategy for the Forum. Members also suggested best practice resources that address communication between state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs), and communication between Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) and Forum members.

Steering Committee members suggested sharing the meeting evaluation results with immediate–past Chairs.

Steering Committee conference calls will resume in September 2017. They are usually scheduled for the third Friday of each month at 1:00 pm (Eastern).

 

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.