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White Papers & Briefings


PDF Statutory Requirements for Federal Agencies and Standards-Setting Bodies. 1995/1998. The National Transfer of Technology & Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995, the Executive Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Circular A-119 from 1998, and the 1998 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), as amended, together stipulate the roles and responsibilities of federal agencies in the standards development process.

PDF A Stonger Nation Through Higher Education. June 2013. Lumina Foundation for Education. Included in this year's report: the higher education attainment rate of the U.S. and every state, showing how rates have changed since last year's report; the attainment rate for every county and the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.; breakdowns of the attainment data, including by race and ethnicity; one scenario for how to reach Goal 2025; a description of other metrics Lumina uses to track progress toward increasing college attainment.

PDF Condition of Education 2013. May 2013. National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. This report presents 42 indicators of important developments and trends in U.S. education. These indicators focus on population characteristics, participation in education, elementary and secondary education, and postsecondary eduation.

PDF Education Standards Working Together Toward Best Practice. February 13, 2013. Annual NCES MIS Conference. A presentation made by representatives of SIF, IMS, PESC, the Dell and Gates Foundations (Larry Fruth, Rob Abel, Michael Sessa, Lori Fey and Brandt Redd, respectively) on the importance of linking specification and standards development with implementation.

PDF MyDataButton. February 14, 2013. Annual NCES MIS Conference. A presentation made by PESC Member representatives Jeffrey Alderson of ConnectEDU and Shawn Bay of eScholar on the current status of this initiative, an update on a number of state pilots and what to expect for next steps in the project.

PDF Benefitting Students, States and Schools with Improved Transcript Services. February 15, 2013. Annual NCES MIS Conference. A presentation made by PESC Member representatives Doug Falk of the National Student Clearinghouse, Ron Hyman of Parchment and Jim Wager of SCRIP-SAFE on the value and importance of new and expanding etranscript services emerging in the industry as a result of improved technology and emergence of much needed standards.

PDF Forum Guide to Taking Action with Education Data. December 2012. National Forum on Education Statistics. (NFES 2013-801). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. This paper is the introduction to a series of briefs intended to serve as a guide to the skillful and appropriate use of education data. The purpose of this resource is to provide readers with practical information about the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to identify, access, interpret, and use data to improve instruction in classrooms and the operation of schools, local education agencies (LEAs, also known as school districts), and state education agencies (SEAs).

PDF The Economic Benefit of Postsecondary Degrees - A State and National Level Analysis. December 2012 by SHEEO authored by Katie Zaback and Andy Carlson and Matt Crellin of NCHEMS. A report from the SHEEO State Policy Resource Center with support from the Lumina Foudation.

PDF ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012. September 2012. Produced by EDUCAUSE and authored by Eden Dahlstrom, EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research. The annual ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology is an invaluable resource for monitoring the ongoing evolution of undergraduate student' relationship with the digital technology that is increasingly integrated into their academic lives..

PDF FY2012 Agency Financial Report: U.S. Department of Education. November 16, 2012. Produced by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Education. This report provides an overview of the Department's financial performance and results and detailed information about our stewardship over the financial resources entrusted to us. Additionally, as required by OMB Circulars A-11 and A-136, the report provides information about our performance as an organization, our accomplishments and initiatives, and our challenges.

PDF Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2012. September 2012. Produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

PDF Collaborating for the Greater Common Good of Student Achievement: PESC Update. January 16, 2013. Provided by PESC President & CEO Michael D. Sessa at SIFA's Annual Meeting in Crystal City.

PDF FSA Five Year Strategic Plan. September 2010. Produced by Federal Student Aid (FSA) of the US Department of Education.

PDF National Education Technology Plan. November 2010. Produced by the Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education.

PDF NCES Forum Survey of State Education Agencies (SEAs) on Use of Standards. November 2009. Provided by the NCES Forum for Education Statistics. This survey of 40 states (10 did not respond) identifies which states are using PESC Approved Standards and which states plan on using them by 2012.

Excel AACRAO SPEEDE Committee Report on Status of Electronic Student Data Exchange by US State. 4th Quarter 2010. Produced by the Standardization of Postsecondary Education Electronic Data Exchange Committee of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

PDF GAO Postsecondary Report: Many States Collect Graduates' Employment Information, but Clearer Guidance on Student Privacy Requirements is Needed. September 2010. Produced by the Government Accountability Office of the US Government.

PDF FSA Annual Report 2009. Provided by Federal Student Aid of the U.S. Department of Education. With William J. Taggart, FSA's 3rd Chief Operating Officer appointed to the position since FSA was legislatively granted the status of Performance Based Organization, this report provides an in-depth overview of all of FSA's complex and multi-billion dollar operation.

PDF Strong Foundations: The State of State Postsecondary Data Systems. July 2010. Produced by SHEEO, this report describes existing state postsecondary student-level data systems and provides examples of how they have been used.

PDF The State of State Standards--and the Common Core--in 2010. July 21, 2010. By Sheila Byrd Carmichael, Gabrielle Martino, Kathleen Porter-Magee, W. Stephen Wilson. Produced by Thomas B. Fordham Institute for Advancing Educational Excellence. The K-12 academic standards in English language arts (ELA) and math produced in June 2010 by the Common Core State Standards Initiative are clearer and more rigorous than today's ELA standards in 37 states and today's math standards in 39 states, according to the Fordham Institute's newest study. In 33 of those states, the Common Core bests both ELA and math standards. Yet California, Indiana and the District of Columbia have ELA standards that are clearly superior to those of the Common Core. And nearly a dozen states have ELA or math standards in the same league as Common Core. Read on to find out more and see how your state fared.

PDF Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan, March 16, 2010. Produced by the Federal Communications Commission, the National Broadband Plan lays out a bold roadmap to America's future. These initiatives will stimulate economic growth, spur job creation, and boost our capabilities in education, healthcare, homeland security and more.

PDF Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology, March 5, 2010. Produced by the Office of Educational Technology under the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, this paper outlines the National Educational Technology Plan 2010.

PPT Presentation by Federal Student Aid (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Education for Software Developers Conference, August 2009. This presentation contains the talking points for the day long conference coordinated by the CIOs office of FSA.

PDF Smart Options: Investing the Recovery Funds for Student Success by the Coalition for Student Achievement, April 2009. This paper outlines the unprecedented investment in American education through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) with specific emphasis on improved student achievement through quality data use, data-driven decision-making, and data systems.

PDF For U.S. Eyes: Re-Learning Higher Education in the Age of Convergence 04-2009 by Clifford Adelman, Senior Associate, Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), April 2009. This paper provides an in-depth overview of the status of the Bologna Process in Europe, how the various countries in Europe are working together, which countries are moving forward to lead this effort, and how the U.S. is impacted by this progression.

PPT It's the Law: Standards Body Participation Requirements for All Federal Agencies by Michael Sessa, PESC, April 7, 2009. This presentation outlines statutory requirements included in the National Technology Transfer Act of 1995, OMB Circular A - 119 from 1998, and the 1998 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965. All speak to how Federal agencies should participate in standards-setting bodies with specific requirements for the Secretary of Education and the Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid of the U.S. Department of Education.

PDF The Next Step: Using Longitudinal Data Systems to Improve Student Success by the Data Quality Campaign, March 2009. This paper outlines the strategic direction of the Data Quality Campaign for its next phase focused on bridging and aligning data systems between PK-12 and higher education, now informally referred to as PK20.

PDF Authentication: The Status of Shibboleth by Arnie Miles of Georgetown University, February 24, 2009. This paper defines and discusses in-depth Shibboleth, its relationship to other industry specification like SAML, and highlights important factors and issues for implementation in higher education and beyond.

PDF The Bologna Club: What U.S. Higher Education Can Learn from a Decade of European Reconstruction by Clifford Adelman, Senior Associate, Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP).

pdf icon Testimony for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, June 5, 2007. PESC Executive Director Michael Sessa testified before the ACSFA on the importance of standards and interoperability in higher education.

pdf icon The Right Data to the Right People at the Right Time: How Interoperability Helps America's Students Succeed. In June 2007, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) presented a quarterly briefing on the importance of interoperability. Written by Laurie Collins and Larry Fruth of SIFA, Michael Sessa of PESC, and Elizabeth Laird of the DQC, this briefing, geared toward policymakers, discusses the benefits of interoperability and attempts to raise the level of urgency around the need for interoperability.

pdf icon SIFA and PESC White Paper: On February 14, 2007, SIFA and PESC announced a new collaborative data partnership to bridge pK-12 and higher education. This white paper provides the details of that agreement.

pdf icon Meteor Project. In January 2007, with the launch of PESC's EA2 Task Force, a briefing on the Meteor Project and its federation was presented to the members of the Task Force.

pdf icon The Value of Standards - A Delphi Study. At the 2nd Annual Conference held in May of 2005, Thomas Koulopoulos, President and Founder of the Delphi Group, presented findings from this study that illustrate how standards equal liquidity.

pdf icon Briefing on the Assessment of Documentation Standards: In May of 2005, the Steering Committee of PESC?s Standards Forum for Education formally requested that the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) review the most common documentation standards and provide strengths and weaknesses of each as input toward determining if a documentation standard should be set for PESC. This document provides that review, the assessment, and recommends further PESC action.

pdf icon Web Services: In October 2003, Bob King of Citibank lead a PESC effort to study, analyze, and report on Web Services. Included in this white paper are definitions and descriptions along with examples of web services in higher education today, and recommendations on how PESC and the education community should address and structure web services.

pdf icon IFX and ebXML: Comparison and Compatibility by Michael Rawlins for the XML Forum for Education, March 14, 2001. This paper provides a brief overview of the differences between IFX Forum standards and ebXML technical specifications and standards based on them.

pdf icon Namespaces and Schema Organization: Introduction and Issues by Michael Rawlins for the XML Forum for Education, March 2, 2001. This paper provides a brief introduction to namespaces and schema organization and highlights many issues associated with the choices the XML Forum must make.

pdf icon Public Key Infrastructure and Higher Education: An Introduction May 2000 - PESC created a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) workgroup to determine how PKI can serve the needs of the higher education community. In this paper we examine the purpose of PKI and how it works in general, show how it has been implemented to date in higher education and elsewhere, discuss various models of PKI and the issues involved in an open PKI system, and present our recommendations for PESC support of PKI in higher education.

pdf icon Student Identifier: PESC created a Student Identifier workgroup in May 2000 to consider student identifiers currently in use within higher education by institutions, participants in student aid delivery systems, testing services, and service providers. The workgroup looked at identifiers that might have potential as single student identifiers to be used when appropriate across the higher education enterprise, advantages and disadvantages of various identifying numbers, and presents policy makes with the pros and cons of using potential single identifiers.

pdf icon Extensible Markup Language for Electronic Transactions in Higher Education: May 2000. Extensible Markup Language (XML) has become one of the hottest topics in electronic commerce and the Internet. Some have predicted that XML will rapidly make traditional EDI obsolete, while others downplay XML as just EDI in different clothing. This report has been developed to assist the members of PESC and the broader postsecondary education community, in making sense of XML developments and how they relate to the needs of the PESC community. It presents a future vision for the relationship between traditional EDI and XML, both at the standards development level and the technical implementation level. This vision should assist both standards developers and implementers with developing strategies for using XML.