There are two aligned but separate CEDS-based activities currently underway: (1) the NCES-convened Stakeholder Group is developing the standards including definitions and formats for a subset of key data elements and (2) a group of partners (“The Consortium”) is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support CEDS advocacy, communication, adoption and implementation efforts. This Alert focuses only on the Stakeholder standards development process.
Version 1.0 of the standards was released on September 10, 2010 and focused on a subset of key elements related to three critical uses of student data: K-12 student record exchange, electronic transcripts (among K-12 institutions and between K-12 and postsecondary), and high school feedback reports (from postsecondary). The intent was to start with a manageable number of elements to ensure quality, focus on critical uses and address the key persons, places and transitions in K-12 and postsecondary sectors.
This first version of the standards was developed by the Technical Working Group (TWG) (precursor to the Stakeholder Group) which included representatives from: State Education Agencies (SEAs), Local Education Agencies (LEAs), state higher education organizations, institutions of higher education, USED program offices, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), the SIF Association, the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
The TWG reviewed and compared existing standards (i.e., definitions, code sets, and formats) from commonly used standards such as the NCES Handbooks, Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF), Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC), Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN), and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for each of the CEDS elements. After review and discussion among TWG members, draft CEDS elements were shared with education stakeholders via the CEDS website for review and comment. The TWG and its staff reviewed and discussed comments from the public and reached consensus on the CEDS elements in Version 1.0.
Development of CEDS Version 2.0 is currently underway by a reconvened and renamed Stakeholder Group. The group was charged with the following:
- Focus on linkages and transitions
- Be mindful of project scope but at a minimum, cover mandatory federal reporting
- Build on the past by incorporating existing standards
- Build towards the future including increased attention on postsecondary outcomes, early childhood and connections to the workforce.
Version 2.0 of the CEDS development includes more comprehensive postsecondary participation including institutional representatives. The focus for the postsecondary component of Version 2.0 is on the data elements required to complete IPEDS reporting. There is an acknowledgment that postsecondary education and data requirements are different from K-12 and a large number of the postsecondary institutions are private institutions, that not all of the institutions are included in state-level data systems and that the common thread for all postsecondary institutions is IPEDS reporting. The goal is to develop foundational data standards and not performance standards. CEDS also is not:
- Required: Adoption of any or all of the Common Education Data Standards is entirely voluntary.
- A data collection: CEDS does not collect data.
- A Federal unit record system or database: CEDS is a best practice for data standardization to enable sharing between education systems.
- Solely a U.S. Department of Education under-taking: CEDS is a collaborative effort including state and federal education agencies, districts, schools, state higher education organizations, institutions of higher education and national organizations.
Implications for Institutions
Institutional Researchers will want to follow The Common Education Data Standards development given the increased interest at institutional, state and national levels on data sharing and interoperability across the entire PK-20/W spectrum. The CEDS data definitions also are being incorporated into the Race to the Top and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) reporting requirements. While these reporting requirements are largely K-12 responsibilities, there are increasing expectations for linkages to postsecondary data systems for the state-level systems being developed with these funds. The standards are also likely to be referenced in several current metrics initiatives including Complete College America and the National Governors Association Common Completion Metrics.
In addition, institutions should take the opportunity to review the draft standards and respond with comments reflecting any concerns during the two public review periods detailed in the timeline below.
The proposed schedule for CEDS 2.0 is as follows:
|Mid May 2011||Meeting: Define Scope with Stakeholder Group|
|May/June||Develop draft variables and technical specifications|
|Late June||Stakeholder Group feedback of draft variables and technical specifications|
|July 18 ||Draft #1 of CEDS 2.0 released to the public|
|July/August||Public review and comment|
|Mid-August||One month public comment period closes|
|Mid-August||Meeting: Review comments from first draft|
|August/September||Revise variables and technical specifications Stakeholder response report
|Early October||Draft #2 of CEDS 2.0 released to the public|
|October||Public review and comment|
|Early November||One month public comment period closes|
|Early November||Meeting: Review comments from second draft|
|November/December||Revise variables and technical specifications|
|January 2012||CEDS 2.0 elements and technical specifications released|
|Late January||Meeting: Evaluation of version 2 and planning version 3|
NCES website with information on the standards development process including resource material on the NCES Handbooks, current SIF specifications, PESC standards, and EDFacts and IPEDS reporting. (http://nces.ed.gov/programs/ceds/)
Consortium website focused on advocacy, communication, adoption and implementation activities, FAQs, “myth busters,” and resource materials for different audiences. (http://commoneddatastandards.org)
Representatives on the CEDS V2.0 Stakeholder (standards development) Group can be found at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/ceds/representatives.asp.
For more information on the CEDS development process contact Beth Young at Quality Information Partners at bethyoung@QI-PARTNERS.COM or Tate Gould (NCES) at Tate.Gould@ed.gov
For more information on Consortium activities contact John Blegen at The State Higher Education Executive Officers at email@example.com
Author: Hans P. L’Orange, Vice President for Research and Information Resources, State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO). All opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Association for Institutional Research.
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