While education institutions across the P-20 (early learning through postsecondary education) environment use many different data standards to meet information needs, there are certain data we all need to be able to understand, compare, and exchange in an accurate, timely, and consistent manner. For these, we need a shared vocabulary for education data -- that is, we need a common education data standard. The Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) project is a national collaborative effort to develop voluntary, common data standards for a key set of education data elements to streamline the exchange and comparison of data across institutions and sectors.
The Education Science Reform Act of 2002 gave the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) the authority to determine voluntary standards and guidelines to assist state educational agencies in developing statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs). To this end, NCES is working with key stakeholders to develop standards for a core set of data elements to ensure that states create P-20 data systems that meet the goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Standard data definitions will help ensure that data shared across institutions are consistent and comparable. This, in turn, will make it easier for states to learn how students fare as they move across institutions, state lines, and school levels.
A Common Statement of Purpose (posted to the right) was released in March 2010 by the CEDS Consortium (CCSSO, SHEEO, PESC, SIF & DQC) to communicate the overall purpose of the activities and events being undertaken and to identify scope. PESC is participating in all workgroups and subcommittees.