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Who Is NCES?
The purpose of the National Center for Education Statistics' website is to provide clear, complete information about NCES' mission and activities, and to serve the research, education and other interested communities. NCES values your comments and suggestions for improving the usability of this site. To provide comments or suggestions, or to seek further assistance, contact the NCES webmaster at NCESwebmaster@ed.gov.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (see Organizational Chart) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences.
Programs and Plans of NCES 2005 Edition
This publication summarizes NCES's current statistical programs and its major publications and plans for future work. In this publication are descriptions, timelines and plans for all of the NCES data collections. Also described in this report are descriptions of NCES center-wide programs and services such as training, technology and customer service.
NCES Staff Directory
Find information about all NCES employees and about who at NCES can help you with your specific questions.
What Does NCES Do?
The National Center for Education Statistics fulfills a Congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally. The structure and activities of the center are as follows:
NCES Organizational Chart
The Office of the Commissioner sets policy and standards for the Center and oversees its operation, thus ensuring that statistical quality and confidentiality are maintained. Visit The Office of the Commissioner
The Office of the Deputy Commissioner, which includes the Chief Statistican and the Chief Technology Officer, provides state-of-the-art technology and statistical support to the Center and to federal and nonfederal organizations and entities involved in statistical work in support of NCES. In addition, the staff develops and operates a licensing system for individuals and organizations who require access to confidential data for statistical purposes.
Early Childhood, International and Crosscutting Studies Division (ECICSD) has responsibility within NCES for international comparisons, early childhood education, vocational education, and school crime and safety. It is responsible for conducting studies and producing reports that cut across all levels of education, from early childhood through life-long learning, and for maintaining relations with key international and interagency groups. The division also manages an on-going program to monitor American education through its annual reports, The Condition of Education, Digest of Education Statistics, and Projections of Education Statistics, and produces NCES's Programs and Plans.
Elementary/Secondary and Libraries Studies Division (ESLSD) oversees planning, design, operations, statistical analysis, reporting, and dissemination for elementary, secondary, and library surveys at the national, state, and local levels. The staff also work with state and local representatives in the development and implementation of the Congressionally mandated National Cooperative Education Statistics System in the areas of elementary, secondary and libraries.
Postsecondary Studies Division (PSD) oversees planning, design, operations, statistical analysis, reporting, and dissemination for postsecondary surveys ensuring that quality and confidentiality are maintained. The staff is also responsible for the development and implementation of the Congressionally mandated National Cooperative Education Statistics System in the area of postsecondary education.
Assessment Division (AD) creates, designs, develops, implements and reports on the National Assessment of Educational Progress at the national level and coordinates assessment and related data collection activities with the states. The staff also conducts a variety of other related education assessment studies.
What Are NCES' Statistical Standards?
NCES has an extensive Statistical Standards Program that consults and advises on methodological and statistical aspects involved in the design, collection, and analysis of data collections in the Center. NCES program staff also provides consultation and advise to the NCES Data Cooperatives, and to other offices within the Department of Education as the need arises. This program publishes and updates the NCES Statistical Standards.
Who Uses NCES Statistics?
Education statistics are used for a number of purposes:
Congress uses them to plan federal education programs, to apportion federal funds among the states, and to serve the needs of constituents.
Federal agencies, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation, are concerned with the supply of trained manpower produced by schools and colleges and with the subjects that are being taught.
State Education agencies are both users and suppliers of NCES data.
State and local officials are concerned with problems of staffing and financing public education.
Educational organizations, such as the American Council on Education and the National Education Association, use the data for planning and research.
The news media, such as television networks, news magazines, and many of the nation's leading daily newspapers frequently use NCES statistics to inform the public about matters such as school and college enrollment and expenditures per student.
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 informed and to make intelligent decisions concerning educational issues.
How Are These Statistics Disseminated?
NCES issues numerous publications and datasets each year. These include: early releases, issue briefs, statistical reports, directories, and handbooks of standard terminology. Many publications report the findings of specific surveys, but at least three--Digest of Education Statistics, Projections of Education Statistics, and The Condition of Education--cover the field of education statistics from a broad perspective.
How Can NCES Help You?
The National Center for Education Statistics helps its customers by:
Addressing high priority education data needs;
Providing consistent, reliable, complete, and accurate indicators of education status and trends; and
Reporting timely, useful, and high quality data to education policymakers and data users.
To obtain copies of publications please contact the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs).
Toll-free phone # : 877-4-ED-Pubs (877-433-7827)
TTY/TDD toll-free number: 877-576-7734
mail: ED Pubs
Jessup, Md. 20794-1398
For multiple copies of publications contact the Government Printing Office at (202) 512-1800 or try online ordering.