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NCES Handbooks

NCES developed the Handbooks Online in the 1970s to improve the consistency of data definitions and data maintenance, so that education data can be more accurately aggregated and analyzed. The Handbooks were intended to serve as a reference document for K-12 public and private education agencies, schools, early childhood centers, and other educational institutions, as well as for researchers involved in the collection of education data. The Handbooks Online was neither a data collection instrument nor did it reflect any type of federal data maintenance requirement.

How to find NCES Handbook Elements

The Handbook elements that overlap with CEDS are part of the CEDS search functions and tools. The Handbook elements that are not the same as CEDS are now included in Extend and can be accessed in four different ways:

  • Element Search Tool: When searching and viewing CEDS elements by name users may choose to "Search Extend Elements" to expand your search to include the Extend elements.
  • Domain Entity Schema: When using the drill down function of the Domain Entity Schema users may choose "Extend Your Search" to see the Extend elements.
  • Downloads: Users may choose "Include Extend Elements in Download" when using the new Excel dynamic download tool.
  • PDF Format: The zip files below contain the NCES Handbooks in their full, print formatted form.

NCES Handbook Documents

Below are the main Handbook domains in PDF format.

School Domain file School Domain (26MB)

Local Education Domain zip file Local Education Agency (LEA) Domain (15MB)

Intermediate Educational Unit (IEU) Domain zip file Intermediate Educational Unit (IEU) Domain (15MB)

State Education Agency (SEA) Domain zip file State Education Agency (SEA) Domain (14MB)

Student Domain zip file Student Domain (23MB)

Class Domain zip file Class Domain (6MB)

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Common Education Data Standards