National Center for Education Statistics

Integrity, Independence, and Innovation: The Future of NCES

Research Project

The NCES has progressed since the NAS report, advancing well beyond the challenges articulated in that report. However, we are in a time of rapid technological change, and every facet of education is evolving. NCES needs to remain current in documenting what is being taught/learned, how it is being learned, how it is being assessed, what are the obstacles, who is being educated, where education is taking place, how it is being administered and delivered, and what its impact is on students and on society as a whole.

NISS/NCES Technical Expert Panel on the NCES Comparable Wage Index

Research Project

The National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS), at the request of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) convened a Technical Expert Panel (TEP) to review and make recommendations concerning NCES' Comparable Wage Index (CWI).

The CWI is a statistical tool developed by NCES for geographical adjustment of local education authority (LEA)-level or state-level expenditure data (for instance, per-pupil expenditures) in order to inform comparisons across units.

Confidentiality - Data Swapping

Research Project

NISS studied how to conduct data swapping, one of a number of techniques meant to distort confidentiality-threatening high-dimensional characteristics of a database while preserving non-threatening low-dimensional characteristics. Data swapping exchanges attribute values between records. The issues to be studied are selection of the swapping rate, of attributes to be swapped and of candidate data records for swapping.

Education Statistics

Research Project

 Working through the Education Statistics Services Institute-Statistics (ESSI-Stat) and NAEP Education Statistics Services Institute (NESSI), NISS has convened a series of task forces to bring nationwide expertise to bear on problems of importance to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Analysis, Exploration and Inference in Large Educational Data Sets

Case Study


Research Project

NISS was hired by the NAEP to develop new statistical methods to analyze complex surveys in the field of education. NISS developed more effective designs for answering basic questions facing education policy. A group of researchers including statisticians, psychometricians, and education researchers examined existing data sets and focused on issues related to national educational performance and its connections to demographic characteristics of students. They explored general issues in simultaneous and casual interpretation.