Updated Data Standards Released

by Rachel Zinn
February 18, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education recently released a fifth version of the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS), a voluntary set of data elements that states can use to manage information for a variety of education and workforce programs.

This version includes more than 100 new elements. Most apply to early learning or K-12, but some are designed to capture information about staff and participants in postsecondary, career/technical and adult education, and workforce development programs.

Career pathways program participation was redefined to include more students and workers, and new elements were added to record start and end dates for career pathway participation.

The CEDS approach moves toward the career pathways measurement framework proposed by the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways (AQCP), a project of CLASP.


CEDS also added data elements about participation in developmental education, which can be an important step for career pathway students.

To develop and update CEDS, the Department consults with an array of educators and policy experts. WDQC Policy Analyst Michelle Massie served on a work group for this CEDS version.

CEDS may help states as they build out longitudinal data systems, and can lay a foundation for states to share comparable data.