National Center for Education Statistics

Setting Priorities for Federal Data Access to Expand The Context for Education Data

Research Project

Passage of the Evidence Act in July 2019 opened opportunities to integrate administrative data across agencies. For the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Evidence Act this opportunity to broaden the context for NCES data bases expands the potential scope for education research and enables enrichment of the information base for educational policy.

Post COVID Surveys

Research Project

The Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent changes to lifestyles and education practices have focused the American attention intensely on education and learning, both processes and progress. The shifts from in-classroom to virtual learning and from social to asocial learning and isolated environments have profoundly affected students and teachers as well as education administrators at all levels who are faced with making decisions based on whatever information is available.

Innovative Graphics for NCES Online Reports

Research Project

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has moved the distribution of its reports from paper to online. A benefit of this change is that new ways of displaying data in the reports are more easily available. For a start, the need for terseness is lessened, so that graphical displays can be more abundant and need not be limited to the most efficient representation or only the most important findings. The new technology for information delivery can also provide a way to deliver a greater variety of data displays.

Metadata and Paradata: Information Collection and Potential Initiatives

Research Project

Metadata and/or paradata accompany federal statistical agency data files to describe or define the data elements and the collection and processing of these data. Practices vary across the Statistical Community of Practice (SCOP). Distinctions between the two terms are not well-defined, and there are no generally accepted standards in use by all the federal statistical agencies.

Teacher Compensation Survey

Research Project

The Technical Expert Panel (TEP) was convened to evaluate the quality and utility of the Teacher Compensation Survey (TCS). The TCS is a research and development effort to see whether or not it is possible and realistic to collect and publish teacher-level data from the administrative records that reside in state departments of education. The TCS data files are flat files with one record per teacher assignment, with assignment being one teacher’s instructional activities at one school.

In particular, the panel was asked to:

Remote Sensing to Estimate US K-12 Physical Plant

Research Project

While the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) collects annually and maintains administrative data on all K-12 schools in the United States, there is no comparable collection of information on schools’ physical plant (buildings, grounds and other infrastructure necessary for each school). Yet decision-makers at all levels need this kind of information as they set policy and develop facility plans.

Constructing Full Sample and Replicate Weights for NAEP Teacher Data

Research Project

Data weights are constructed in order for statistical analyses of data to correctly represent results presented on a national scale, to accurately reflect the composition of the national population and to provide estimated standard errors for all reported statistics. The goal of this study was to explore the feasibility and utility of constructing full sample and replicate weights for the set of teachers whose data is collected by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Compendium on Good Practices for Graphics and Maps

Research Project

This compendium is an outgrowth of the Technical Expert Panel on Maps and Graphics organized in 2009 by the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) on behalf of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The purpose of the panel was to “assist the NCES [in] reviewing and revising, if necessary, maps, graphics and graphical displays in its publications and on its web site.”

Citing Significance in NCES Data Reporting

Research Project

The vigorous national dialogue about how to describe the “significance” of research findings that an NCES-NISS Expert Panel addressed in 2018 has shifted. No longer is it about whether to move away from dichotomizing results into “significant” or “non-significant” (e.g., p < 0.05) but rather about how to do it and what information must now be supplied. That earlier panel determined that whether findings are reported as a data summary or as in-depth analyses, their importance must reflect both the magnitude and the associated uncertainty.