While looking at college websites and learning more about the education system in America, you’ll likely come across the name of the National Center for Education Statistics. Also known as the NCES, this is a branch of the United States Department of Education and its Institute of Education Sciences that does research into public schools at all levels. You can use that research to learn more about a college or about a school your child might attend. The NCES also releases published reports based off its research every year.

Research Into Public Schools

One of the first things you might learn about the NCES is that it conducts research into public schools across the country, including elementary, junior high and high schools as well as colleges. The School Survey on Crime and Safety if just one of the research projects it performs. This research looks at what methods schools use to increase the safety of students and how effective those methods are. Other research projects performed by the NCES include the National Household Education Survey, School and Staffing Survey and National Post-Secondary Student Aid Study.

Assessment Programs

The NCES is also responsible for several assessment programs that look at the effectiveness of teachers and teaching programs in schools. The National Assessment of Adult Literacy is an ongoing study that started in the early 1990s and monitors literacy rates among adults. It is also responsible for the International Assessments Activities program, which looks at the number of students, faculty members and programs that exist today with an emphasis in international studies. The NCES monitors the number of study abroad programs, foreign language courses, student exchange programs and similar activities used in schools today.

Public Websites

Trying to read through one of the studies done by the National Center for Education Statistics is difficult because of the language used, but the organization also created a number of public websites that help you find the information you need easily. The NCES created Kid’s Zone as a way to get students interested in learning more about different subjects and topics. The site lets them do simple activities relating to their current studies, track down the nearest public library, take simple quizzes and even play educational games. Parents will find some of the other sites operated by the organization more helpful. Sites like Find a Public School District and Find a Public Elementary School let them compare schools within their area.

Published Reports

According to the NCES, it has nine branches, three departments and nearly 30 groups working underneath the Office of the Commissioner. Each of those branches, departments and groups are responsible for one of the studies or reports that it does every year. You can view many of those reports on the site’s official page, including the research it does into early childhood education programs, post-secondary learning programs and public colleges. Those reports look at the more than 98,000 schools in the nation that service more than 50 million students.

Whether you are an education major with an interest in teaching, or you are a concerned parent who cares about the education of your own students, look into the research done by the NCES. The National Center for Education Statistics monitors everything from foreign language and early childhood programs to adult literacy and student financial aid.

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