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STATS-DC 2008 NCES Data Conference

Concurrent Session II Presentations

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

II–A New Grants for Evaluation of State and Local Education Programs; Case Study: Effects of Teacher Policies on Student Achievement
Allen Ruby, National Center for Education Research
Jim Wyckoff, CALDER and University of Virginia
    Jim Wyckoff walked presentation participants through a policy evaluation case study in which he used New York City longitudinal administrative records to measure how assessment-based accountability policies and new routes into teaching affected teacher labor market, the distribution of teacher qualifications, and student achievement. The analyses show that policy changes in New York dramatically affected teacher qualifications and resulted in improved student achievement. Perhaps most intriguing, they also show that much larger gains could result if teachers with strong teacher qualifications could be recruited. Allen Ruby of the National Center on Education Research (NCER) then discussed a new competitive grants program to evaluate state and local education policies and programs. This program could supply the funds for your states and districts to do evaluations similar to the one presented by Jim Wyckoff.

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Sessions in LDS track:

II–B Data Audits for Impacting Data Quality
Ted Carter and Kathy Gosa, Kansas State Department of Education
    This presentation included information on the processes and results of the Kansas State Department of Education's (KSDE) automated data audit initiative. Presenters discussed how the audits were selected and implemented and included preliminary results based on student-level data for all students in Kansas. The presentation also included discussion of how KSDE intends to move forward with the initiative and how the results of these audits will be used to inform schools and districts and to drive the improvement of data quality.

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Sessions in Statewide LDS track:

II–C EDFacts and the State Education Data Center
Ross Santy and Deborah Newby, U. S. Department of Education, EDFacts
Alyssa Alston, Council of Chief State School Officers
    As EDFacts becomes institutionalized within ED, the repository of information at its core has become more complete. States have been rising to the challenge of meeting the EDFacts collection requirements. At the same time, numerous independent organizations (research and policy groups, non-profits, and parent sites) are requesting data from state education offices as well. The State Education Data Center (SEDC) was created by the Council of Chief State School Officers to help states meet the challenges of these many, and often, disparate information requests. This session provided an overview of the current status of EDFacts and the SEDC, and explained how the two efforts are working together to ease the data reporting burden for state education agencies.

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Sessions in EDEN/EDFacts track:

II–F Deeper Into Data and Geographic Scope: National, State, and Local Insights-Part 1
Doug Geverdt, U.S. Census Bureau
George Dailey and Former Governor Jim Geringer, ESRI

    Common Core of Data (CCD) School and District Geographic Information, the opening portion of this session reviewed school and school district geographic information available from the CCD. These data include identifiers that show spatial relationships with counties, Congressional Districts, and metropolitan/micropolitan areas, as well as indicators of geographic locale that are used to determine eligibility for many federal education programs. The presentation also discussed additional resources that supplement the standard CCD geographic indicators for school districts, and it explained how to combine the CCD indicators with free spatial data for analysis in a geographic information system (GIS).

    Building from the CCD geographic overview, the remaining portion of the session used GIS software to explore some of the fiscal and non-fiscal data directly available from the CCD for states, districts, and schools. The discussion also reviewed some of the latest mapping resources and analyses by the Research Center at Editorial Projects in Education.

Sessions in GIS strand:

Sessions in Federal track:

II–G Race/Ethnicity: It's All in the Codes or Is It?
Bethann Canada, Virginia Department of Education
Judi Barnett, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (Pennsylvania)
Jason Wrage, Integrity Technology Solutions
Barbara Anderpont, ESP Solutions Group
Moderator: Laurie Collins, Schools Interoperability Framework Association
    With the upcoming need to switch to the new method of collecting and reporting race and ethnicity data, the SIF Association has been working with LEAs, SEAs and the vendor community to understand and determine how to support the new codes along with the old codes, and how the transition between the two can be handled in the SIF Specification and the various software applications. As SEAs work with their LEAs to make the change we also realize that the change brings many questions and additional SEA needs. The presenters discussed their work and sought additional thoughts and comments on this very important topic.

Sessions in SIF track:

II–H Metadata System Guidance for State and Local Education Agencies
Tom Ogle, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Ghedam Bairu, National Center for Education Statistics
Tom Szuba, Quality Information Partners
    Metadata are "data about data." But what does that really mean to an education organization? Given the different perspectives from which people view data—as something to be stored (the database manager), something to be catalogued and searched (the librarian), something to be maintained (the data steward), or something to be used and reported (the program manager)—it is not surprising that multiple definitions have arisen for the term. The National Forum on Education Statistics is developing a resource that explains what metadata are, why they are a critical component of sound education data systems, what value they bring to data analysis, and how to implement a metadata system in a state or local education agency. This session provided an update on the progress of this effort.

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Sessions in Forum track:

II–I The Forum Curriculum for Improving Education Data Goes Online
Michael Derman, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (Pennsylvania)
Jill Abbott, Schools Interoperability Framework Association
    An overview of the online version of the Forum Curriculum for Improving Education Data. Two courses, one for all stakeholders and one for data stewards and coordinators, are available on the School Interoperability Framework Association University (SIFA U) website. This presentation discussed how to access and participate in the course.

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Sessions in Forum track: