Common Education Data Standards, Jack Buckley


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Jack Buckley, Commissioner for the National Center for Education Statistics, presented at the Content in Context Metadata Lab on the work the U.S. Department of Education has done on the Common Education Data Standards.

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  • [K12-Postsecondary version]The high school may be trying to communicate information about a student to a university out of state. Even the most basic information about a student can be misunderstood without a common vocabulary (or standard).
  • So what is CEDS? CEDS is a national collaborative effort to develop a voluntary, common vocabulary. <click> It provides standards for a key set of education data elements: names, definitions, option sets, technical specifications, and more. <click> Simply put, it is a Voluntary Common Vocabulary for education data. <click>
  • Why do we need this common vocabulary? We all know educator and policymakers need accurate, timely and consistent information to inform decisionmaking. <click> We also need to share and compare these data across our P-20 sectors.While many data standards have been used in the field for decades, there has not emerged a universal language that can serve basic information needs across all sites, levels, and sectors throughout the P-20 environment. By identifying, compiling, and building consensus around the basic, commonly used elements across P-20, CEDS meets this critical need. 
  • There are misconceptions that pop up on any project of this size so let’s be clear on what CEDS is not --Required – CEDS is a voluntary vocabulary-All or nothing – there are many different use cases that CEDS covers and not all elements have to be utilized to find benefits-A data collection – this tends to be our biggest misconception, that CEDS is a giant federal data collect, I assure you, it is not-An implementation – there is no one implementation that will work for every user. CEDS will not provide physical implementations. We will leave that up to those in the field and assume we will see many different implementations form.-Solely an ED undertaking – NCES is developing these standards with a group of stakeholders and with several public review cycles (more on our stakeholders is coming)-A federal unit record system – I know I already explained CEDS is not a data collection. We have found it doesn’t hurt to repeat that this is not a student-record system, collection, or anything like that.
  • This is a very high level look at some of the major steps in our process. We got some important folks together, looked at the work already done, made sure we mapped up with the field, made our ideas public, modeled the elements to see if they worked telling our story, put our information in tool and then released. (This is a transition to next slides summarizing stakeholder groups.)
  • We are very pleased by the breadth and depth of the folks we have working on this project with us. We have folks representing the entire P-20 spectrum on our stakeholder group. What is interesting is the different representation we have even within SEAs, LEAs, and IHEs. [Read list…]
  • Note – federal staff from outside USED
  • This is a view of the CEDS website’s home page,, from which you can access the CEDS elements, models, tools, and more.
  • CEDS can now be viewed and interacted with in three key ways: -By element: Via the CEDS Elements page, users can access a searchable glossary of the CEDS "vocabulary," including names, definitions, option sets, technical specifications, use cases, and more. -By relationship: Through the CEDS Data Model, users can explore the relationships that exist among entities and elements—viewable both through a Domain Entity Schema and a Normalized Data Schema. -By comparison: Supplemental tools, including the CEDS Alignment Tool enable users to take the next step and put CEDS into practice.
  • In CEDS, a standard is comprised of several pieces of information that provide context for and describe the data items:Elements, including name and definitionOption sets, including name and definitionRelated entitiesRelated use casesAlternative names and other notesHere you see the component parts of a standard -- in this case, for the element “Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity.” On the right side, which is shows the Element Details as provided on the CEDS website, you can see the element name, definition, and option set are provided. In addition, the Domain and Related Entities provide context for how this particular element is commonly used in a data model or data system. In addition, CEDS provides a collection of related use cases.The left side of the slide represents the relationship graphically, with the entity Student in the center, next to the element along with the option set.
  • What is the CEDS Data Model?  The CEDS Data Model presents logical view of the standards, its a system-agnostic representation that contains attributes, shows cardinality, and uses the commonly-used names for all entities. When planning to build or modify a database or implementation to align with CEDS, the Data Model provides a high-level framework to translate common entities, elements and relationships into physical models for a specific database platform that addresses the indexing, performance optimization, and normalization or denormalization appropriate for the specific application addressing local information needs.
  • The ERD, along with XML Schema, is another one of the ways the data model is being expressed. <click> It provides a “snapshot” or “picture” of what the data model looks like. Users can navigate between the entities, or major “buckets,” and readily identify their relationships with other components within the data model.
  • We do most of our work in three main sub-groups: early learning, K12 and postsecondary. This year we will also be expanding into workforce, CTE, adult education, and race to the top assessments.
  • Let me highlight some of the K12 work going on.1. Teaching and Learning - Formative AssessmentsBuilding on the work of othersProviding context2. Supporting Teaching and Learning InitiativesCCSS IdentifiersLRMISLC/SLI3. Portable Student Records – supportinginteroperabilty work for our mobile student population.
  • Here is a quick view of how we are approaching formative assessments. This work is being done directly with our school district stakeholders. We are looking at different parts of this process and what elements are needed to support each one.
  • Finally, we have just started some work to support the Race to the Top Assessments…
  • Finally, we have just started some work to support the Race to the Top Assessments…
  • Common Education Data Standards, Jack Buckley

    1. 1. Common Education Data Standards Content in Context Metadata Lab June 2012 Jack Buckley Commissioner, National Center for Education Statistics
    2. 2. Here’s a Hmmm… new student: Did you mean: Matthe Matthew ? SmithIII Smith ?Race = Guamanian Suffix = III ? Gender = M Race = NHOPI ? Sex = M ?
    3. 3. What is CEDS?• A national collaborative effort to develop voluntary, common data standards for a key set of education data elements• A vocabulary including standard definitions, option sets & technical specifications to streamline sharing and comparingVoluntary Common Vocabulary
    4. 4. Why do we need CEDS?1. Accurate, timely, and consistent data to inform decisionmaking2. Share&compare high quality data within & across P-20 sectors
    5. 5. CEDS is Not: Required All or nothing A data collection An implementation Solely an ED undertaking A federal unit record system
    6. 6. How do we get it done?• Assemble stakeholders representing the field• Use existing sources of standards• Check alignment with the field• Review ideas with the public• Model elements• Place in tools• Release
    7. 7. Version 1• Released in September, 2010• 161 elements – focused on K-12 – Student record exchange across districts/States – Student transcripts – High school feedback reports from postsecondary to K-12
    8. 8. Version 2• Released in January, 2012• Expansion of elements and stakeholders • Added early learning • Changing focus of postsecondary beyond K12 transitions • Massive growth of K-12 elements• Development of Logical Data Model• Tools: Data Alignment Policy Questions
    9. 9. CEDS v2 Stakeholders (1 of 2)• State Agencies o State Education Agencies o State Higher Education Agencies o Social Services Agencies• Local Education Agencies o K12 o Head Start o Social Services• Institutions of Higher Education o Public o Private o Community Colleges
    10. 10. CEDS v2 Stakeholders (2 of 2)• U.S. Department of Education o NCES (SLDS, IPEDS) o Financial Student Aid o EDFacts o Office of the Undersecretary o Office of Educ. Technology o Special Education• U.S. Health and Human Services• U.S. Department of Labor• Interoperability Standard Organizations• Education Associations• Foundations
    11. 11. Standard Information: The Basics Element Definition Hispanic or Latino Option set Ethnicity Yes No NotSelected Domain K12 Entity K12 Student Related Use Cases
    12. 12. CEDS Logical Data Model• Provides a high-level framework for translating standards into physical models• System-agnostic representation• 2 distinct views: • Domain Entity Schema • Normalized Data Schema
    13. 13. Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD)
    14. 14. CEDS Align•Web-based tool that allows users to:• Import or input their data dictionaries• Align their data to CEDS• Compare themselves with others• Analyze their data inrelation to various otherCEDS-aligned efforts
    15. 15. CEDS Connect (Upcoming)Builds on the CEDS Align tool and allowsstakeholders to:• Generate specific and relevant maps toa growing pool of CEDS connections
    16. 16. Version 3 Content Areas• Early Learning• K12• Postsecondary• Workforce• Career and Technical Education• Adult Education• Race to the Top Assessments
    17. 17. K12 Development Work• Teaching and Learning – Formative Assessments• Supporting Teaching and Learning Initiatives• Portable Student Records• RTTA Consortia Support
    18. 18. Unpacking the model What data elements and structures need to be added to What process CEDS? measures should Formative become CEDS Assessment elements? Formative Feedback What additional measured output data elements - error Instructional measureddescribe learning + Decisions Related content Learner reference progressions, etc.? metadata to Learner Standards Adjusted: Competencies include, or not Learning Progressions Instruction, (less variable) Current Learning Goals (for CEDS v3)? Criteria for Success Activities, Curriculum, Unit & Lesson Plans Practice Activities, Resources (variable inputs)
    19. 19. Race to the Top Assessments• Assessment Interoperability Framework (AIF)• Identify Changes to Existing CEDS/Develop CEDS Assessment Data Elements• Beyond Data Elements and Data Model• AIF Best Practice Guidance• Prototype Demonstration• Integrate into CEDS, including updated data model and tools
    20. 20. Race to the Top Assessments