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News Brief

Monday, February 03, 2014

NCES Releases CEDS Version 4

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced the release of Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) Version 4.  CEDS is a national collaborative effort to develop voluntary, common data standards for a key set of education data elements to streamline the exchange, comparison, and understanding of data within and across P-20W institutions and sectors.  According to NCES, CEDS Version 4 includes a broad scope of elements spanning much of the P-20W spectrum and provides greater context for understanding the standards' interrelationships and practical utility.  Version 4 includes 1,346 unique elements including 236 new elements and 85 updated elements.

A new resource is available with the release of Version 4: CEDS Extend. Now users can view NCES Handbook data elements alongside CEDS elements as part of the CEDS searchable data elements and the Domain Entity Schema.  Also included in this release are 15 tutorials on using CEDS Align and Connect as well as an expanded list of publications describing how to use CEDS (and more examples are coming).

Version 4 of CEDS can be found at the CEDS website:

The CEDS website includes three ways to view and interact with CEDS:

1.      By element: Via the Elements page, users can access a searchable glossary of the CEDS "vocabulary," including names, definitions, option sets, technical specifications, and more.

2.      By relationship: Through the CEDS Data Model, users can explore the relationships that exist among entities and elements-viewable both through a logical data model.

3.      By comparison: Supplemental tools enable users to take the next step and put CEDS into practice. CEDS ALIGN allows a user to load his or her organization's data dictionary and compare it, in detail, to CEDS and the data dictionaries of other users' organizations. This facilitates alignment with CEDS and across systems, paving the way for easier sharing and comparison of data. CEDS CONNECT enables users at different levels to consider "connections" such as metric definitions of data points, policy questions, or federal data reporting requirements by establishing the data elements necessary to answer a given connection, as well as recommend logic and routines for analysis."