Institute of Education Sciences
C. National Center For Education Statistics
The National Center for Education Statistics is one of the four National Education Centers of the Institute. The mission of the National Center for Education Statistics is to:
- Collect and analyze education information and statistics in a manner that meets the highest methodological standards;
- Report education information and statistics in a timely manner; and
- Collect, analyze, and report education information and statistics that are relevant and useful to practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and the public in a manner that is objective, secular, neutral, and non-ideological and is free of partisan political influence and racial, cultural, gender, or regional bias.
The National Center for Education Statistics is headed by a Commissioner for Education Statistics who is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Commissioner reports to the Director of the Institute. The duties of the National Center for Education Statistics are to:
- Collect, acquire, compile, and disseminate full and complete statistics on the condition and progress of education, at the preschool, elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult levels in the United States;
- Conduct analyses and publish reports on the meaning and significance of such statistics;
- Collect, analyze, cross-tabulate, and report, to the extent feasible, information by gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, limited English proficiency, mobility, disability, urban, rural, suburban, and other population characteristics, when such disaggregated information will facilitate decisionmaking;
- Assist public and private education agencies, organizations, and institutions in improving and automating statistical and data collection activities;
- Determine voluntary standards and guidelines to assist state education agencies in developing statewide longitudinal data systems;
- Acquire and disseminate data on educational activities and student achievement in the United States compared with other nations;
- Conduct longitudinal and special data collections necessary to report on the condition and progress of education; and
- Determine methodology by which States may accurately measure graduation rates, school completion rates, and dropout rates.
The National Center for Education Statistics consists of the office of the Commissioner and four divisions, each headed by an Associate Commissioner. The National Assessment Governing Board develops policy guidelines for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is administered by the Assessment Division.Office of the Commissioner
The Commissioner for Education Statistics is responsible for overseeing the operation of the National Center for Education Statistics and for establishing procedures to ensure that reports issued by the Center are relevant, of high quality, useful to customers, subject to rigorous peer review, produced in a timely fashion, and free from any partisan political influence.
The Deputy Commissioner assists the Commissioner in the overall management and supervision of the work of the National Center for Education Statistics. The Deputy Commissioner is also the liaison to the Federal statistical community.Early Childhood, International, and Crosscutting Studies
The Early Childhood, International, and Crosscutting Studies Division is responsible for identifying data needs across the center, as well as for improving analyses and the distribution and use of products. It is responsible for the broad subject areas of international activities, early childhood education, vocational education, and school crime and safety, and for conducting studies and producing reports that cut across all levels of education, from early childhood to lifelong learning. Finally, the division is responsible for relations with key interagency groups.Assessment
The Assessment Division designs, develops, implements, and reports on the National Assessment of Educational Progress at the national and state levels and conducts a variety of related education assessment studies, such as student transcripts and adult literacy. The division gathers, analyzes, and synthesizes qualitative and quantitative data on American education and related policy and background factors. It provides normative, descriptive, trend, growth, and comparative policy-relevant data concerning achievement, education context, process, and other outcomes.
The Assessment Division develops and applies state-of-the-art psychometric procedures in operationalizing comprehensive content frameworks and extensive item specifications. It utilizes standardized terminology and data definitions in such areas to ensure the compatibility of collected data and derived measures. The division is responsible for the coordination and linking of assessments and related data collection activities across Center surveys (e.g., international assessments) and related surveys outside the Center, including state assessments. The division conducts in-depth statistical analyses of selected databases from both sources. The division ensures the presentation of fair comparisons of student achievement and other measures. The division is responsible for the production of focused reports on assessment-related statistical surveys, validity studies, and secondary analyses.
The Assessment Division translates data needs into an integrated, long-range program of assessment surveys and studies. The division collects, analyzes, and reports data on educational outcomes at the elementary and secondary levels and for the adult population, and applies and advances state-of-the-art knowledge of mathematical statistics, survey design, item construction, assessment administration, psychometrics, analysis techniques, and systems analysis in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of assessments and other surveys.Elementary/Secondary and Libraries Studies
The Elementary/Secondary and Libraries Studies Division oversees planning, design, operations, statistical analysis, reporting and dissemination for elementary, secondary, and library surveys; ensures that statistical quality and confidentiality are maintained; and maintains liaison with Department officials, federal agencies, state and local education agencies, state library agencies, public and private schools, statistical, education, and library associations, and other individuals and groups concerned with national elementary, secondary, and library statistics.
The division serves as the primary federal data source on elementary and secondary education and libraries in the United States. The division collects statistics on public and private elementary and secondary schools, students, teachers, administrators, school finances and school districts in the United States. It also collects data on public, state, and academic libraries, educational attainment, student retentions, transitions, achievement, performance, placement and other outcomes to illuminate current and emerging policy issues of interest to assist federal, state, and local educators. Finally, the division is responsible for analyzing transcript data for longitudinal studies, as well as for planning and disseminating information from the decennial school district mapping project.
The division is responsible for the development and implementation of the national cooperative education statistics system in the areas of elementary and secondary education and libraries. The division is responsible for the development and implementation of standardized terminology and data definitions in the elementary, secondary, and library areas to ensure the comparability of data to be collected and for a technical assistance program that includes the promulgation of standards, training, support of electronic data collection, and dissemination. It is also responsible for maintaining an ongoing longitudinal study and analysis of elementary and secondary education students.Postsecondary Studies
The Postsecondary Studies Division oversees planning, design, operations, statistical analysis, reporting, and dissemination for postsecondary surveys, ensures that statistical quality and confidentiality are maintained, and maintains liaison with Department officials, federal agencies, state higher education agencies, postsecondary institutions, and postsecondary associations.
The division serves as the primary federal data source on postsecondary education in the United States and collects statistics on enrollments, faculty and staff, completion and attainment, and finances in postsecondary institutions. In addition, the division collects statistics on student financial aid, persistence, progress, and degree attainment. Finally, the division collects statistics on labor market outcomes for postsecondary students and graduates.
The Postsecondary Studies Division is responsible for the development and implementation of the national cooperative education statistics system in the area of postsecondary education. The division is responsible for the development and implementation of a technical assistance program that includes the promulgation of standards, training, support of electronic data collection, and dissemination.