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Common Education Data Standards


While education institutions across the P-20W (early learning through postsecondary and workforce) 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 common education data standards. The Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) project is a United States 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.

Common Education Data Standards is abbreviated as CEDS. This is usually pronounced as "C-E-D-S" not "Keds" or "Saids".

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of Education document "What is CEDS".



  • Required: Adoption of CEDS is voluntary.
  • All or nothing: Not all CEDS elements have to be utilized to realize benefits.
  • A data collection: CEDS collects no data.
  • An implementation: There is no single implementation that will work for every user. Physical implementation decisions will be made by practitioners and solution providers in the field based on their specific objectives.
  • Solely an US Department of Education (USED) undertaking: NCES is developing these standards with a group of stakeholders and publishes drafts for several public review cycles.
  • A federal unit record system: CEDS is not a student record system.
  • [1] CEDS Main Web Page
  • [2] CCSSO Common Data Standard's Page
  • [3] National Education Data Model Page
  • [4] Blog on CEDS in Educause
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