AERA Provides Comment to Federal Chief Data Officers Council on Future Activities
AERA Provides Comment to Federal Chief Data Officers Council on Future Activities

November 2021

Federal CDO Council - Council Members

On November 15, AERA responded to a Request for Information (RFI) from the Federal Chief Data Officers (CDO) Council on ongoing activities in implementing the 2018 Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. This law mandated federal agencies to appoint a chief data officer and established the CDO Council to establish best practices for a variety of data functions and the promotion of data sharing across agencies, among other duties.

The RFI sought input on questions in six categories that cover the Federal CDO Council’s work. AERA responded to questions in three of these areas: Data Sharing, Value and Maturity, and Ethics and Equity.

In the Data Sharing category, AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine highlighted ongoing initiatives such as the Common Education Data Standards and work between the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to enable linking of administrative data. The comments also included support for the creation of a National Secure Data Service.

The responses to questions in the Value and Maturity category focused on examples of work that uses administrative and survey data, including the continued development of the Stanford Education Data Archive and also grants for research use of federally supported data.

Last, responses to the Ethics and Equity questions noted the need for inclusivity in data fields and survey language, examination of how data linkages can inform policies to address the needs of underserved communities, and further studies on reducing biases in the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.