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 Pub Number  Title  Date
NFES 2017016 Forum Guide to Data Visualization: A Resource for Education Agencies
The purpose of this publication is to recommend data visualization practices that will help education agencies communicate data meaning in visual formats that are accessible, accurate, and actionable for a wide range of education stakeholders. Although this resource is designed for staff in education agencies, many of the visualization principles apply to other fields as well.
NFES 2017017 Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic subgroups
The Forum Guide to Collecting and Using Disaggregated Data on Racial/Ethnic Subgroups discusses strategies for collecting data on more detailed racial/ethnic subgroups than the seven categories used in federal reporting. This guide is intended to help state and district personnel learn more about data disaggregation in the field of education, decide whether this effort might be appropriate for them, and, if so, how to implement or continue a data disaggregation project. Access to and analysis of more detailed—that is, disaggregated—data can be a useful tool for improving educational outcomes for small groups of students who otherwise would not be distinguishable in the aggregated data used for federal reporting. Disaggregating student data can help schools and communities plan appropriate programs, decide which interventions to select, use limited resources where they are needed most, and see important trends in educational outcomes and achievement.
NFES 2016096 Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy
The Forum Guide to Education Data Privacy was developed as a resource for state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) to use in assisting school staff in protecting the confidentiality of student data in instructional and administrative practices. SEAs and LEAs may also find the guide useful in developing privacy programs and related professional development programs.
NFES 2016095 Forum Guide to Elementary/Secondary Virtual Education Data
Forum guide to elementary/secondary virtual education data was developed to assist education agencies as they: 1) consider the impact of virtual education on established data elements and methods of data collection, and 2) address the scope of changes, the rapid pace of new technology development, and the proliferation of resources in virtual education.
NFES 2015158 Forum Guide to Alternative Measures of Socioeconomic Status in Education Data Systems
The Forum Guide to Alternative Measures of Socioeconomic Status in Education Data Systems provides “encyclopedia-type” entries for eight plausible alternative measures of socioeconomic status (SES) to help readers better understand the implications of collecting and interpreting a range of SES-related data in education agencies. Chapter 1 reviews recent changes in how SES data are collected in many education agencies and presents a call to action to the education community. Chapter 2 reviews practical steps an agency can take to adopt new measures. Chapter 3 describes each of the eight alternative measures, including potential benefits, challenges, and limitations of each option.
NFES 2015157 Forum Guide to College and Career Ready Data
The Forum Guide to College and Career Ready Data examines how data are being used to support CCR initiatives. Chapter 1 presents an overview of college and career readiness. Chapter 2 focuses on five specific uses for data to support CCR programs: fostering individualized learning for students; supporting educators in addressing student-specific needs; guiding CCR programmatic decisions through the use of postsecondary feedback loops; measuring agency progress in meeting CCR accountability and continuous improvement goals; and maximizing career opportunities for all students. Each of the use cases includes policy and program questions to consider, a list of key data needs, useful analytics, suggested feedback to request from data users, and emerging needs related to the data use. Chapter 3 outlines a number of overarching issues for the use of CCR data, and Chapter 4 summarizes key points and emerging needs identified throughout the Guide.
NCES 2015347 Financial Accounting for Local and State School Systems: 2014 Edition
This NCES handbook has been designed as the national standard for state and local education agencies to use in tracking and reporting financial data and for school districts to use in preparing their comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs). The purpose of the handbook is to ensure that education fiscal data can be reported in a comprehensive manner.

The 2014 Edition contains guidance conforming to Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statements, up to Statement 70. There are chapters on budgeting, governmental accounting and financial reporting. Account codes have been updated to reflect changes in the new reporting requirements and developments in technology and security. There are also special chapters on accounting student activity funds and a model for school level program cost accounting.
NFES 2014802 FORUM GUIDE TO School Courses for the Exchange of Data (SCED) Classification System
This guide was developed by the National Forum on Education Statistics (Forum) to accompany the release of SCED Version 2.0 Course Codes at It includes an overview of the SCED structure and descriptions of the SCED Framework elements, recommended attributes, and information for new and existing users on best practices for implementing and expanding their use of SCED.
NFES 2014801 Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A Local Education Agency Perspective
This publication recommends a set of core practices, operations, and templates that can be adopted and adapted by LEAs as they consider how to respond to requests for both new and existing data about the education enterprise. .
NFES 2013802 Forum Guide to the Teacher-Student Data Link: A Technical Implementation Resource
This publication is a practical guide for implementing a teacher-student data link (TSDL) that supports a range of uses at the local, regional, and state levels. The guide addresses the considerations for linking teacher and student data from multiple perspectives, including governance, policies, data components, business rules, system requirements, and practices. It provides references to promising practices for high quality data linkages, including TSDLspecific processes such as roster verification and the establishment of the Teacher of Record. The information and opinions published here are those of the Forum and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the U.S. Department of Education or NCES.
NFES 2013801 Forum Guide to Taking Action with Education Data
The Forum Guide to Taking Action with Education Data provides stakeholders with practical information about the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to more effectively access, interpret, and use education data to inform action. The document includes an overview of the evolving nature of data use, basic data use concepts, and a list of skills necessary for effectively using data. The Guide recommends a question-driven approach to data use, in which the following questions can help guide readers who need to use data to take action: What do I want to know? What data might be relevant? How will I access relevant data? What skills and tools do I need to analyze the data? What do the data tell me? What are my conclusions? What will I do? What effects did my actions have? and what are my next steps? The Briefs that accompany the Introduction are written for three key education audiences: Educators, School and District Leaders, and State Program Staff.
NFES 2012809 Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A State Education Agency Perspective
The Forum Guide to Supporting Data Access for Researchers: A State Education Agency Perspective recommends policies, practices, and templates that can be adopted and adapted by SEAs as they consider how to most effectively respond to requests for data about the education enterprise, including data maintained in longitudinal data systems. These recommendations reflect sound principles for managing the flow of data requests, establishing response priorities, monitoring appropriate use, protecting privacy, and ensuring that research efforts are beneficial to the education agency as well as the research community.
NFES 2012808 The Forum Guide to Facilities Information Management: A Resource for State and Local Education Agencies
This guide builds on a 2003 Forum publication, Facilities Information Management: A Guide for State and Local Education Agencies. The data elements presented in this guide are described in greater detail in the NCES Handbooks Online at They have been refined and expanded to meet the latest needs of facilities managers, policymakers, and other stakeholders interested in the condition of public school buildings and grounds. In particular, data elements were added or updated to support changing expectations for sustainable design and management; community use, co-location, and joint use; and budget and finance associated with private financing for public charter school facilities. In addition, the first three levels of data reflect standards from the UNIFORMAT classifications system to create a better linkage between school district facility data and information classifications in the construction industry.
NCES 2011802 Traveling Through Time: The Forum Guide to Longitudinal Data Systems Book IV: Advanced LDS Usage
This document, Book Four of Four: Advanced LDS Usage, is the fourth and final installment of this Forum series of guides on longitudinal data systems (LDS). One goal of the Forum is to improve the quality of education data gathered for use by policymakers and program decisionmakers. An approach to furthering this goal has been to pool the collective experiences of Forum members to produce “best practice” guides in areas of high interest to those who collect, maintain, and use data about elementary and secondary education. Developing LDSs is one of those high-interest areas. These systems hold promise for enhancing both the way education agencies use data to serve students and the way they do business, from the policy level to the school office and into the classroom.
NFES 2011807 Forum Guide to Ensuring Equal Access to Education Websites— Introduction to Electronic Information Accessibility Standards
This guide is designed for use by information technology administrators, data specialists, and program staff responsible for the “content” in data reports, as well as education leaders (e.g., administrators who prioritize tasks for technical and data staff), and other stakeholders who have an interest in seeing that our schools, school districts, and state education agencies operate in an effective and equitable manner for all constituents, regardless of disability status. It is intended to raise awareness in nontechnical audiences and suggest best practices for complying with Section 508 goals at an operational level in schools, school districts, and state education agencies. It is not intended to recreate technical resources that already exist to facilitate Section 508 compliance.
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