Printer Friendly

Programs and plans of the National Center for Education Statistics, 2005 edition.

The Work of the National Center for Education Statistics

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences, collects statistics on the condition of education in the United States; analyzes and reports the meaning and significance of these statistics; and assists states, local education agencies, and postsecondary institutions in improving their statistical systems. NCES supports a wide range of activities, providing policy-relevant data on issues as diverse as enrollment trends, access of minorities to postsecondary education, the academic achievement of students, comparisons of the U.S. education system with education systems in other countries, and the association between education and employment and economic productivity.

NCES's program goals include the following:

* maintaining and analyzing major cross-sectional databases:

* at the elementary/secondary level--the Common Core of Data (CCD), the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), and the Private School Universe Survey (PSS); and

* at the postsecondary level--the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF), and the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED);

* conducting a National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) covering various education topics such as early childhood and adult education, program participation, education-related home activities, and parental involvement in education;

* supporting surveys on topics related to school crime and safety: the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and the School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS);

* conducting surveys and analyzing data from the Longitudinal Studies Program that address a variety of important education issues (from early learning through postsecondary school), including differences in early cognitive development, school readiness, student achievement, effects of financial aid on access to postsecondary education, youth employment, high school dropouts, discipline and order in schools, and the quality of education in public and private schools:

* at the early childhood level--the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS), with birth and kindergarten cohorts (the latter of which plans to follow children into high school);

* at the secondary school level--the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002) (10th-grade cohort) as well as the earlier National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 (NLS:72) (12th-grade cohort), High School and Beyond Longitudinal Study (HS&B) (10th- and 12th-grade cohorts), and National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88) (8th-grade cohort); and

* at the postsecondary level--the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS) and the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B), which follow students attending or completing postsecondary institutions;

* conducting the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which regularly assesses academic achievement at the national level in a number of subjects, including reading, mathematics, writing, science, civics, history, and geography. The reading and mathematics components of NAEP are administered every 2 years in grades 4, 8, and 12 at the national and state levels;

* participating in international surveys of educational achievement and programs to develop cross-national education data and indicators, such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS);

* administering targeted surveys that supplement ongoing data collections through the Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) and the Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS), which rapidly provide data on current policy issues;

* collecting and reporting information on libraries through the Public Libraries Survey (PLS), the Academic Libraries Survey (ALS), the School Library Media Centers Survey, and the State Library Agencies Survey (StLA);

* analyzing and reporting data on vocational education; and

* synthesizing information from various surveys for the following annual NCES publications: Digest of Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, and Projections of Education Statistics.

Programs and Plans of the National Center for Education Statistics is a comprehensive summary of the work done across NCES to achieve these program goals. In the full publication, NCES center-wide programs and services are described in chapter 2, and the various statistical programs in the following chapters. Each chapter that covers a statistical program contains a brief introduction and provides information on data uses, individual studies, publications and data files, NCES contacts, future activities, and data collection schedules.

What Kinds of Data Does NCES Collect?

NCES collects statistical data on all levels of education from preprimary education through graduate study, including adult education. NCES surveys address a full range of education issues including student access, participation, and progress; achievement and attainment of students; organization and management of education institutions; curriculum, climate, and diversity of education institutions; and financial and human resources of institutions, as well as economic and other outcomes of education. The surveys engage a broad spectrum of people and institutions involved in education. See figure 1 for the names and acronyms of the major NCES surveys, as well as those of the international surveys in which NCES participates.

The following topics illustrate the scope of NCES data collection and analysis activities:

* Adults are asked about their participation in adult education and other learning activities.

* Children's cognitive skills are directly measured.

* Students are asked about their participation in school activities.

* Parents are surveyed about their participation in their children's education.

* Teachers are asked to report information about their classes.

* School administrators are asked to report information about their schools.

* Principals are asked about crimes occurring in their schools.

* Student dropout rates and achievement are measured.

* Staffing ratios of public schools are compiled.

* Comprehensive finance data are collected.

* Postsecondary education student participation rates in financial aid programs are gathered.

* Institutions indicate program offerings.

* Libraries report information on usage.
Figure 1. NCES survey names and acronyms

* ALL: Adult Literacy and Lifeskills

* ALS: Academic Libraries Survey

* B&B: Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study

* BPS: Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study

* CCD: Common Core of Data

* CivEd: Civic Education Study

* CPS: Current Population Survey (U.S. Census Bureau survey used in
NCES studies)

* ECLS-B: Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort of 2001

* ECLS-K: Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Class of
1998-99

* ELS:2002: Education Longitudinal Study of 2002

* FRSS: Fast Response Survey System

* HS&B: High School and Beyond Longitudinal Study

* HSTS: NAEP High School Transcript Study

* IALS: International Adult Literacy Survey

* IPEDS: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System

* NAAL: National Assessment of Adult Literacy

* NAEP: National Assessment of Educational Progress

* NELS:88: National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988

* NHES: National Household Education Surveys Program

* NLS:72: National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of
1972

* NPSAS: National Postsecondary Student Aid Study

* NSOPF: National Study of Postsecondary Faculty

* PEQIS: Postsecondary Education Quick Information System

* PIRLS: Progress in International Reading Literacy Study

* PISA : Program for International Student Assessment

* PLS: Public Libraries Survey

* PSS: Private School Universe Survey

* SASS: Schools and Staffing Survey

* SCS/NCVS: School Crime Supplement to the National Crime
Victimization Survey (NCES and the Bureau of Justice Statistics)

* SDDB: School District Data Book

* SED: Survey of Earned Doctorates

* SSOCS: School Survey on Crime and Safety

* StLA: State Library Agencies Survey

* TFS: Teacher Follow-up Survey

* TIMSS: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
(formerly known as the Third International Mathematics and Science
Study)

* TIMSS-R: Third International Mathematics and Science Study-Repeat
(now referenced as TIMSS 1999)


Which Surveys Cover Specific Education Levels and Topics?

NCES provides data and tabulations at various reporting levels: that is, on individual institutions, school districts, states, and the nation. Whether particular data are available at one or more than one of these reporting levels is based on a variety of factors, including survey design and confidentiality of data.

The data reporting level required for a particular use can be an important determinant in the selection of the most appropriate survey database. For example, those who are interested in national-level public school enrollments have a variety of possible sources of information, while those needing enrollments for specific schools have fewer sources. Some sample surveys, such as NHES, are limited to national-level estimates because of the design of the survey. Data from other surveys, such as the CCD, are published as state-level summaries and district tabulations for large districts. In addition, CCD data files contain school- and school district-level records. Detailed data for individual schools, school districts, and colleges generally are made available only through electronic products because of the size of the data files. Table 1 presents the survey sources of NCES data by topic, by education level (elementary/secondary, postsecondary, and lifelong learning), and by reporting level (from institutional to national).

Who Uses NCES Statistics--and for What Purposes?

Education statistics are used for a variety of purposes, from research to policy formation. Congress uses data to study education issues, to plan federal education programs, to apportion federal funds among the states, and to serve the needs of constituents. Federal agencies (such as the U.S. Departments of Defense, Labor, and Commerce, and the National Science Foundation) are concerned with the supply of trained manpower coming out of schools and colleges, and also with the subjects that are being taught. State and local officials confront problems of staffing and financing public education. They use NCES statistics in all aspects of policy development and program administration. Education organizations and professional associations use the data for planning, policy development, and research. The news media (such as national television networks, national news magazines, and many of the nation's leading daily newspapers) frequently use NCES statistics to inform the public about such matters as student achievement, school expenditures per student, and international comparisons. Business organizations use trend data on enrollments and expenditures to forecast the demand for their products. The general public uses education statistics to become more knowledgeable and to make informed decisions about current education issues.

How to Access NCES Data

To meet the demand for statistical information, NCES issues nearly 100 products each year in print and electronic form. These products include statistical reports, directories, data files, and handbooks of standard terminology. All NCES products are available on the NCES website (http://nces.ed.gov). Many of these products are also available through ED Pubs (http://www.edpubs.org), the publications and products ordering system for the U.S. Department of Education.

While many NCES publications report the findings of specific surveys, three publications cover the field of education statistics from a wide perspective: the Digest of Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest), Projections of Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/programs/projections), and The Condition of Education (http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe). (*)

Additionally, easy-to-use web tools for locating schools and colleges, carrying out peer comparisons of school district finances, and creating tables are available on the NCES website.

The U.S. Department of Education's National Library of Education (http://www.ed.gov/NLE) provides a central location within the federal government for information about education; collecting and archiving resources on national education issues as well as on federal policy, research, evaluation, and statistics; and maintaining a collection of agency documents, including NCES publications.

The Library provides information services on matters related to education to the general public through its toll-free telephone number (1-800-424-1616) and e-mail service (library@ed.gov), as well as through cooperative arrangements with the Library of Congress's online reference service (www.loc.gov/rr/askalib/ask-digital.html) and the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) (http://www.eric.ed.gov). The Library responds to more than 15,000 inquiries annually, with most questions pertaining to U.S. Department of Education programs and statistics. In addition, the Library serves other libraries by lending books and other documents, including agency publications, from its collection.

Footnotes

* Descriptions of these publications appear in chapter 10 of the complete Programs and Plans.

For more information about NCES programs and plans, see the complete publication:

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2005). Programs and Plans of the National Center for Education Statistics, 2005 Edition (NCES 2005-113).

For questions about content, contact Thomas Snyder (tom.snyder@ed.gov).

To obtain the complete publication (NCES 2005-113), call the toll-free ED Pubs number (877-433-7827) or visit the NCES Electronic Catalog (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch).

By: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics
Table 1. Survey sources of NCES data, by reporting level,
education level, and topic

Topic Reporting level

 School/ School
 institution district
Elementary/
 secondary

Students CCD,PSS, CCD,SDDB
 ECLS-K

Teachers/staff CCD,PSS CCD

Public schools CCD CCD

Public agency CCD
 finances

School libraries

Assessment

Private schools PSS

Parents

Postsecondary

Students IPEDS

Faculty/staff IPEDS

Institutions IPEDS

Finances IPEDS

Student aid IPEDS

Completions IPEDS

Lifelong learning

Adult education

Librari ALS ALS

Households SDDB

Topic Reporting level

 State National

Elementary/
 secondary

Students CCD, CCD, NLS:72, HS&B, NELS:88, ELS:2002,
 SDDB PSS, TIMSS 2003, TIMSS-R, NAEP,
 ECLS-K, ECLS-B, FRSS, SDDB, NHES,
 HSTS, SCS/NCVS, PIRLS, CPS, PISA,
 CivEd

Teachers/staff CCD, CCD, SASS, NAEP, PSS, HS&B, NELS:88,
 NAEP, ELS:2002, ECLS-K, ECLS-B, TIMSS 2003,
 SASS, TIMSS-R, FRSS, B&B
 PSS

Public school CCD, NAEP, TIMSS 2003, TIMSS-R, FRSS, CCD,
 SASS SASS, HS&B, NELS:88, ELS:2002, ECLS-K,
 ECLS-B, SSOCS

Public agenc CCD CDD
 finances

School libraries SASS SASS,ELS:2002

Assessment NAEP NAEP,NLS:72,HS&B,NELS:88,TIMSS
 2003,TIMSS-R,PIRLS,ECLS-K,ECLS-B,
 PISA,CivEd

Private schools PSS PSS,SASS,FRSS,NELS:88,ELS:2002,
 ECLS-K,ECLS-B,HS&B,NLS:72

Parents NELS:88, HS&B,ELS:2002,ECLS-K,
 ECLS-B
Postsecondary

Students IPEDS NPSAS,IPEDS,BPS,B&B,NLS:72,HS&B,
 NELS:88, ELS:2002,NHES,CPS,PEQIS

Faculty/staff IPEDS IPEDS,NSOPF,PEQIS

Institutions IPEDS IPEDS,PEQIS,NPSAS

Finances IPEDS IPEDS

Student aid IPEDS IPEDS,NPSAS,BPS,B&B

Completions IPEDS IPEDS,BPS,B&B,NLS:72,HS&B,NELS:88,
 ELS:2002,SED,CPS
Lifelong learning

Adult education NHES,NAAL,IALS,B&B,CPS,NELS:88,
 ELS:2002,HS&B,NLS:72

Libraries ALS,PLS, ALS,PLS,StLA,NHES,FRSS
 StLA

Households SDDB SDDB,NHES,NELS:88,ELS:2002,NAAL,
 IALS,HS&B,CPS

NOTE: See figure 1 for definitions of survey acronyms.
COPYRIGHT 2006 ED.gov
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:NCES Programs and Plans
Publication:Education Statistics Quarterly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2006
Words:2308
Previous Article:Private school teacher turnover and teacher perceptions of school organizational characteristics.
Next Article:Public elementary and secondary students, staff, schools, and school districts: school year 2002-03.
Topics:


Related Articles
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings spoke at the school choice forum at the Greater Allen Cathedral in Jamaica (NY).
User's guide to developing student interest surveys under Title IX.
Mini-digest of education statistics 2003.
NCES reports.
"Study: most CTE students enroll in postsecondary programs".
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) Research Grants Program, jointly funded by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES),...
From the U.S. Department of Education.
The value of CTE.
Digest of Education Statistics.
Projections to 2017.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters