A Chat With the NCES Webmaster

Chat Host, Jerry Malitz, NCES webmaster Hi, and welcome to today's StatChat. I'm sure that you have many questions about the NCES website or other web-related issues, so let's get right to them...

Cheryl from Lafayette, IN asked:
Could you give us a general overview of the kinds of data available through NCES?
Jerry Malitz: Cheryl, what a perfect question to start off the chat. NCES collects data from many sources covering all areas of education. We have data for elementary/secondary education (both public and private), postsecondary education, and much in the way of international and assessments. For an excellent overview you might want to look at both http://nces.ed.gov/help/about.asp and also, http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/ where you can find descriptions of all of our surveys. Thanks for a good start to the chat.

Shlomo from Israel asked:
When will data be available on 1997/98 graduates of post-secondary institutions?
Jerry Malitz: Shlomo, From Israel? Pretty cool. I didn't know that NCES was so popular. The entire completed file for 1997-98 completions in postsecondary education will be available towards the end of February or into March. However, if you would like more recent info (1999-2000) for many colleges and universities try out our College Navigator. Here you can search for schools and get info on a case by case basis. This tool can be found at: http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator

Heather from Keene, NH asked:
There's an IPEDS Completions survey we're missing from a few years ago. Is there any way to see a copy of it on your site?
Jerry Malitz: Heather, this question works well with the previous question. Copies of the IPEDS survey forms (Postsecondary collections) are available as pdf files at: http://nces.ed.gov/Ipeds/ipedssurveys.asp

Susan from Springfield, IL asked:
What is the status of the CIP 2000 work and the update of the taxonomy?
Jerry Malitz: Susan, The CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) codes are those which NCES uses to collect completion information from postsecondary institutions taht were discussed previously. The most recent version of CIP 2000 is available at: http://nces.ed.gov//pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2002165.

Bertram from Yonkers, NY l07l0 asked:
I need an Email address listing of Military K-l2 Schools, where do get that info? From who and what is their Email address?Thank you, I need it ASAP
Jerry Malitz: Bertram, From your question I am assuming you mean private military schools. If that is so we have a wonderful tool that you can use to get that information, and information on all private k-12 schools in the country. We have a Private School Locator that is full of data on all of these schools. The homepage for this can be found at: http://surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch/ Hope this helps.

Ann from Topeka, KS asked:
Do you have a glossary of educational terms? What is the definition used for educational administrative unit. Thanks.
Jerry Malitz: Ann, NCES has historically published a series of handbooks that have helped to provide just what you are looking for. For example, we have a publication called, "Student Data Handbook for Elementary, Secondary, and Early Childhood Education: 2000 Edition" this can be found at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2000343 In addition, other handbooks can be found by going to our Electronic Catalog at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/ and searching on Handbooks under type of product. I think you will be surprised by how much is there.

Deborah Reilly from Mount Airy, North Carolina asked:
Where can I find the rankings of the national public school systems? I have been told that the NC schools rank 48 out of 50. Is this true?
Jerry Malitz: Deborah, NCES does not perform any ranking of schools, districts, or states. Although we do have much in the way of information, we do not attempt to provide numerical rankings. Since we get this question often we have a page that seeks to provide a further expalnation at: http://nces.ed.gov/webmail/response.asp?can=20

john from Md asked:
Is there an interest in contructing and combined index of the Digest, Condition and Projections subject headings into a consolidated cross reference index for researchers.
Jerry Malitz: John, We already have such a tool. On our homepage at: http://nces.ed.gov/ you will see a menu item called "Encyclopedia of ED Stats". This does just what you are asking. It combines several of our major publications - Digest, Condition, Projections - into one index. Within this you can search on tables, keywords or text. Try it out and see if it's what you are looking for. It can be found directly at: http://nces.ed.gov/edstats/

Karen from Washington, D. C. asked:
A website on American Indian and Alaska Native education research and development has been in existence since this past November. I serve as coordinator of the site. There is a vast amount of information on your website that would be of interest to our customers (esp. educators and parents); are there key words that we should suggest that they search on? The ED server has a 'dictionary of terms' - the terms in this listing (which are extensive) are the only terms that people can search on. Do you have any other suggestions on how we can help people who visit our website to find information on the NCES site?
Jerry Malitz: Karen, NCES does have information that could be useful for this type of research. I would recommend the following. In the Electronic Catalog search using the subject index at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/Subindx.asp search on American Indian. You will receive a list of all our publications that address that keyword. Also within the Encyclopedia of Ed Stats that I previously mentioned http://nces.ed.gov/edstats/ use that index and search for appropriate tables or keywords. Hope this helps.

Helen D'Avanzo from Fairfield, CT asked:
Is there information on; student achievement, course offerings, athletics etc.?
Jerry Malitz: Helen, much of the information that you are looking for is available through NAEP (The Nation's Report Card) at: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard There you will be able to find information on all of the past assessments as well as some interesting data on other topics. NAEP has a wealth of information and some intersting tools such as the questions used in these assessments at: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ITMRLS/ Have fun exploring that site.

Nat Blake from Upper Marlboro, Md. asked:
Is there a one page list of the top 20 statistical related questions being asked by Ed Customers?
Jerry Malitz: Nat, No there isn't, but you've given me a thought. We do, however, have a site called http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts that provides answers to many commonly asked questions. I think you will find that many of those questions that might appear on such a list appear on Fast Facts.

Lue Ann from Topeka, Kansas asked:
Are there Teacher's Salaries for 2000-2001 (many states have used increased salaries as an incentive during the teacher shortage). My latest figures are for 1998-99. Thanks
Jerry Malitz: Lue Ann, No we don't. However, in our Digest of Education Statistics we annually update a table using data from the AFT. This table can be found in the 1999 edition at: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d99/d99t080.asp

Phil from Topeka, Kansas asked:
Where can I get a copy of "A Nation At Risk" for my library?
Jerry Malitz: Phil, Although not an NCES publication you can find info on this through the Department of Education's web site at: http://www.ed.gov/ if you search on it there you will be pointed to among other pages several at ERIC which might be able to help you.

Larry from Sandy, UT asked:
I want to obtain statistical information about the number of children with disabilities in public education nationwide. I would like to know the breakdown per state and per K-6, 7-9 and 10-12 grades and also a breakdown per disability (autism, etc.). Do you have this information and how do I access it? Thanks.
Jerry Malitz: Larry, This type of information is also available in our "Digest of Education Statistics". You can get info from our 1999 edition (updated in our 2000 edition) a table called "Number of children served under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Chapter 1 of the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act, State Operated Programs, by age group and state: 1990-91 to 1997-98" at: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d99/d99t056.asp Our 2000 edition which was just released is only available as pdf file for now. It can be found at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2001034

Martin from Braintee asked:
What is the most fun part of your job? Can you tell a little about your functions at NCES?
Jerry Malitz: Martin, Thanks for this question. There are many fun parts of my job including doing things like this chat. The chance to be a bit creative every day and to know that what I am doing is hopefully helping millions of people around the world to get information that might help them in some small or big way. In December NCES had about 700,000 visitors to our site and those people looked at close to 3 million pages. I don't know about you but that impresses me that we can provide a service that so many people use. I also have a blast developing things for our kids site, which if you've never seen it can be found at: http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/ It's a site that I know through feedback is used in classrooms across the country. That's a huge reward. And lastly, working with so many gifted and talented people in the "world of the web" is always interesting. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to say all this.

Jill from Washington DC asked:
I am trying to locate information concerning the amount of debt that college graduates as well as professional students have accrued during their studies. Are there any recent statistics available?
Jerry Malitz: Jill, Do we have the publication for you. "Debt Burden Four Years After College" is a publication that examines the debt of 1992-93 bachelor's degree recipients in light of their financial circumstances in 1997, approximately 4 year after they earned their degree. This publication should help provide you with much of what you are seeking. It can be found at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2000188

Katie from Farifax, VA asked:
Hey Jerry! I understand you are a Giant's fan, sorry about your loss. Couldn't you have used statistics and known before the game even started that the Giants were doomed?
Jerry Malitz: Katie, I thought I said in the Newsflash "no Super Bowl questions". Oh well. This is definitely today's last question since it conjures up too many bad recent memories. I thought I did all the correct analyses. I crunched the numbers every which way and they all pointed to a Giants victory. Of course, I planned it that way. Silly me. I hope I don't have to wait another 10 years for the Giants to make it back to the Super Bowl. Thanks so much for the question.

So many questions, so little time. This hour went fast. I'm sorry I couldn't get to more of your questions, so save them for our next chat. I hope you've learned some new tricks and I've gotten many new ideas myself. 'Till next time!


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