In an effort to make data more usable and comparable, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in collaboration with education stakeholder groups, has established voluntary standards that will help states develop their statewide longitudinal data systems by bringing consistency to the way we talk about education across learner levels and sectors.
The Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) are a shared vocabulary for education data to improve the consistency of definitions used across the states. NCES recently released its second version of CEDS that focuses on postsecondary elements in addition to the K-12 elements found in the first version.
The CEDS Web site lets users view the CEDS in three ways – by element, relationship, or comparison. For example, a user looking for a definition of a Career Technical Education (CTE) completer would type their query into the search field. Under “Career and Technical Education Completer,” the user would find a common definition, an alternate name, related categories, and other notes.
The Data Quality Campaign hosted a webinar on the topic last week, and a recording and slides are now available. During the webinar, NCES Commissioner Jack Buckley said that many comments from CTE stakeholders were received during the development of the latest version of CEDS, and that NCES plans to create a subgroup for CTE in the next version of CEDS.
To learn more, visit the Common Education Data Standards Web site.
Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst