NCES Blog

National Center for Education Statistics

Summer Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the school year comes to a close, many families are considering opportunities to continue learning over the summer months. Summer learning has often been seen as a way to supplement instruction during the regular school year. The U.S. Department of Education’s “COVID-19 Handbook” notes that summer learning “can offer another opportunity to accelerate learning, especially for those students most impacted by disruptions to learning during the school year.” Data from the Household Pulse Survey (HPS), which NCES developed in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal statistical agencies, explores access to summer learning opportunities by school type, racial/ethnic group, household educational attainment level, and income level.

The HPS1 provides data on how people’s lives have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Phase 3.2 of the HPS introduced questions on the summer education activities of children enrolled in public or private school or homeschooled, following the end of the normal school year in spring 2021. Adults 18 years old and over who had children under 18 in the home enrolled in school were asked if any of the children had attended a traditional summer school program because of poor grades; attended a summer school program to help catch up with lost learning time during the pandemic; attended school-led summer camps for subjects like math, science, or reading; and/or worked with private tutors to help catch up with lost learning time during the pandemic. Adults were allowed to select all categories that applied. Data from Phase 3.2 of the HPS, covering September 15 to 27, 2021, are discussed in this blog post.

Among adults with children enrolled in public or private school or homeschooled, 26 percent reported children were enrolled in any summer education activities after the end of the normal school year in spring of 2021 (figure 1). The most reported summer education activity was attending a summer school program to catch up on lost learning time during the pandemic (10 percent). Eight percent reported children attended school-led summer camps for subjects like math, science, or reading and 7 percent each reported children attended a traditional summer school program because of poor grades or worked with private tutors to catch up with lost learning time during the pandemic.


Figure 1. Among adults 18 years old and over who had children under age 18 in the home enrolled in school, percentage reporting participation in summer education activities after the end of the normal school year in spring of 2021, by type of summer activity: September 15 to 27, 2021

Bar chart showing percentage of adults 18 years old and over who had children under age 18 in the home enrolled in school reporting participation in summer education activities after the end of the normal school year in Spring of 2021, by type of summer activity, from the September 15 to 27, 2021, phase of the Household Pulse Survey

1 Does not equal the total of the subcategories because respondents could report multiple types of summer education activities.
NOTE: Data in this figure are considered experimental and do not meet NCES standards for response rates. The 2021 Household Pulse Survey, an experimental data product, is an Interagency Federal Statistical Rapid Response Survey to Measure Household Experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in partnership with 16 other federal agencies and offices. The number of respondents and response rate for the period reported in this table were 59,833 and 5.6 percent. The final weights are designed to produce estimates for the total persons age 18 and older living within housing units. These weights were created by adjusting the household level sampling base weights by various factors to account for nonresponse, adults per household, and coverage. For more information, see https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/household-pulse-survey/technical-documentation.html. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.  
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Household Pulse Survey, September 15 to 27, 2021. See Digest of Education Statistics 2021, table 227.60.


There were no significant differences in the overall percentage of adults reporting any summer education activities for their children by school type (public school, private school, or homeschooled). However, there were differences in the most common type of summer education activity reported for those with children in public school versus private school. Among adults with children in public school, the most reported summer activity was attending a summer school program to catch up with lost learning during the pandemic (11 percent) (figure 2). Among adults with children in private school, higher percentages reported children attended school-led summer camps for subjects like math, science, or reading or worked with private tutors to catch up with lost learning time during the pandemic (11 percent, each), compared with the percentage who reported children attended a traditional summer school program because of poor grades (3 percent). There were no significant differences among adults with homeschooled children by type of summer education activity.


Figure 2. Among adults 18 years old and over who had children under age 18 in the home enrolled in school, percentage reporting participation in summer education activities after the end of the normal school year in spring of 2021, by control of school and type of summer activity: September 15 to 27, 2021

Bar chart showing percentage of adults 18 years old and over who had children under age 18 in the home enrolled in school reporting participation in summer education activities after the end of the normal school year in Spring of 2021, by control of school and type of summer activity, from the September 15 to 27, 2021, phase of the Household Pulse Survey

NOTE: Figure excludes percentage of adults reporting any summer education activities for their children or that their children did not participate in any summer activities. Data in this figure are considered experimental and do not meet NCES standards for response rates. The 2021 Household Pulse Survey, an experimental data product, is an Interagency Federal Statistical Rapid Response Survey to Measure Household Experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in partnership with 16 other federal agencies and offices. The number of respondents and response rate for the period reported in this table were 59,833 and 5.6 percent. The final weights are designed to produce estimates for the total persons age 18 and older living within housing units. These weights were created by adjusting the household level sampling base weights by various factors to account for nonresponse, adults per household, and coverage. For more information, see https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/household-pulse-survey/technical-documentation.html. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Household Pulse Survey, September 15 to 27, 2021. See Digest of Education Statistics 2021, table 227.60.


Children’s participation in any summer education activities in the summer of 2021 varied across racial/ethnic groups. The percentage of adults reporting any summer activities for their children was higher for Black adults (44 percent) than for all other racial/ethnic groups (figure 3). While lower than the percentage of Black adults reporting any summer activities for their children, the percentages of Asian and Hispanic adults (33 and 32 percent, respectively) were both higher than the percentage of White adults (20 percent).


Figure 3. Among adults 18 years old and over who had children under age 18 in the home enrolled in school, percentage reporting participation in any summer education activities after the end of the normal school year in spring of 2021, by adult’s race/ethnicity: September 15 to 27, 2021

Bar chart showing percentage of adults 18 years old and over who had children under age 18 in the home enrolled in school reporting participation in summer education activities after the end of the normal school year in Spring of 2021, by adult’s race/ethnicity, from the September 15 to 27, 2021, phase of the Household Pulse Survey

1 Includes persons reporting Pacific Islander alone, persons reporting American Indian/Alaska Native alone, and persons of Two or more races.
NOTE: Data in this figure are considered experimental and do not meet NCES standards for response rates. The 2021 Household Pulse Survey, an experimental data product, is an Interagency Federal Statistical Rapid Response Survey to Measure Household Experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in partnership with 16 other federal agencies and offices. The number of respondents and response rate for the period reported in this table were 59,833 and 5.6 percent. The final weights are designed to produce estimates for the total persons age 18 and older living within housing units. These weights were created by adjusting the household level sampling base weights by various factors to account for nonresponse, adults per household, and coverage. For more information, see https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/household-pulse-survey/technical-documentation.html. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Household Pulse Survey, September 15 to 27, 2021. See Digest of Education Statistics 2021, table 227.60.            


There were also some differences observed in reported participation rates in summer education activities by the responding adult’s highest level of educational attainment. Children in households where the responding adult had completed less than high school were more likely to participate in summer education activities (39 percent) than were those in households where the responding adult had completed some college or an associate’s degree (25 percent), a bachelor’s degree (22 percent), or a graduate degree (25 percent) (figure 4). Similarly, children in households where the responding adult had completed high school2 were more likely to participate in summer education activities (28 percent) than were those in households where the responding adult had completed a bachelor’s degree (22 percent). There were no significant differences in children’s participation rates between other adult educational attainment levels.


Figure 4. Among adults 18 years old and over who had children under age 18 in the home enrolled in school, percentage reporting participation in any summer education activities after the end of the normal school year in spring of 2021, by adult’s highest level of educational attainment: September 15 to 27, 2021

Bar chart showing percentage of adults 18 years old and over who had children under age 18 in the home enrolled in school reporting participation in summer education activities after the end of the normal school year in Spring of 2021, by adult’s highest level of educational attainment, from the September 15 to 27, 2021, phase of the Household Pulse Survey

1 High school completers include those with a high school diploma as well as those with an alternative credential, such as a GED.
NOTE: Data in this figure are considered experimental and do not meet NCES standards for response rates. The 2021 Household Pulse Survey, an experimental data product, is an Interagency Federal Statistical Rapid Response Survey to Measure Household Experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in partnership with 16 other federal agencies and offices. The number of respondents and response rate for the period reported in this table were 59,833 and 5.6 percent. The final weights are designed to produce estimates for the total persons age 18 and older living within housing units. These weights were created by adjusting the household level sampling base weights by various factors to account for nonresponse, adults per household, and coverage. For more information, see https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/household-pulse-survey/technical-documentation.html. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.  
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Household Pulse Survey, September 15 to 27, 2021. See Digest of Education Statistics 2021, table 227.60


The percentage of adults reporting that children participated in summer education activities also varied across households with different levels of income in 2020. The percentages of adults reporting that children participated in any summer education activities were higher for those with a 2020 household income of less than $25,000 (34 percent) and $25,000 to $49,999 (33 percent) than for all other higher household income levels. There were no significant differences in reported participation rates among adults with 2020 household income levels of $50,000 to $74,999, $75,000 to $99,999, $100,000 to $149,999, and $150,000 or more.

Learn more about the Household Pulse Survey and access data tables, public use files, and an interactive data tool. For more detailed data on the summer education activities discussed in this blog post, explore the Digest of Education Statistics, table 227.60. To access other data on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted education, explore our School Pulse Panel dashboard.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube to stay up-to-date on the latest findings and trends in education, including those on summer learning activities.

 

By Ashley Roberts, AIR


[1] The speed of the survey development and the pace of the data collection efforts led to policies and procedures for the experimental HPS that were not always consistent with traditional federal survey operations. For example, the timeline for the surveys meant that opportunities to follow up with nonrespondents were very limited. This has led to response rates of 1 to 10 percent, which are much lower than the typical target response rate set in most federal surveys. While the responses have been statistically adjusted so that they represent the nation and states in terms of geographic distribution, sex, race/ethnicity, age, and educational attainment, the impact of survey bias has not been fully explored.

[2] High school completers include those with a high school diploma as well as those with an alternative credential, such as a GED.

Access NCES-Led Sessions From the 2022 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting

In April, several NCES experts presented at the AERA 2022 Annual Meeting, a 6-day event focused on the theme of “Cultivating Equitable Education Systems for the 21st Century.” Access their presentations below to learn more about their research.

Be sure to follow NCES on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on NCES presentations at upcoming conferences and events.

 

By Megan Barnett, AIR

NCES Celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and NCES is proud to share some of the work we have undertaken to collect data on the characteristics and well-being of sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations. Inclusion of questions about sexual orientation (SO) and gender identity (GI) on federal surveys allows for better understanding of SGM populations relative to the general population. These data meet critical needs to understand trends within larger population groups, and insights can lead to potential resources and interventions needed to better serve the community. Giving respondents the opportunity to describe themselves and bring their “whole self” to a questionnaire helps them to be seen and heard by researchers and policymakers.

Sometimes, we get asked why questions like this appear on an education survey. They can be sensitive questions for some people, after all. We ask these questions to be able to understand equity and outcomes related to education for these demographic characteristics, just as we do for other demographic information like race, ethnicity, household income, and what part of the country a student lives in. And just as for other demographic and background information, it is possible to have minority subgroups that might have different experiences than other subgroups. By sexual minorities, we mean people who report their sexual orientation to be something other than straight or heterosexual, and by gender minorities, we mean people whose sex as recorded at birth is different from their gender.

Over the past 10 years, NCES has researched how to best ask respondents about their sexual orientation and gender identity, how respondents react to these questions, and the quality of data that NCES has collected in questionnaires and datasets that include sexual identity and gender data.

At NCES, several studies include background questions for adults about their sexual orientation and gender identity. These are the High School Longitudinal Study: 2009 (HSLS:09) Second Follow-up in 2016, the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B) 08/18 and 16/21 collections, the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) in 2020, and the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS) 2020/22. The collection of these data allows NCES to describe the experiences of gender and sexual minority individuals. For example:

  • In 2020, students who identified as genderqueer, gender nonconforming, or a different identity had difficulty finding safe and stable housing at three times the rate (9 percent) of students who identified as male or female (3 percent each).1
  • In 2018, about 10 years after completing a 2007–08 bachelor’s degree, graduates who were gender minorities2 described their financial situations. Graduates who were gender minorities were less likely to own a home (31 percent) or hold a retirement account (74 percent) than graduates who were not gender minorities (63 percent and 87 percent, respectively) (figure 1).3
  • For 2008 bachelor’s degree graduates with a full-time job in 2018, straight people reported higher average salaries than either lesbian/gay or bisexual people.    
  • In the 2017–18 school year, 18 percent of public schools had a recognized student group that promoted the acceptance of students’ sexual orientation and gender identity, such as a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). This was an increase from the 2015–16 school year, in which 12 percent of schools reported having a GSA.4

Figure 1. Percentage of 2007–08 bachelor’s degree recipients who owned a home, had a retirement account, reported negative net worth, and did not meet essential expenses in the past 12 months, by gender minority status in 2018

Bar chart showing the percentage of 2007–08 bachelor’s degree recipients who owned a home, had a retirement account, reported negative net worth, and did not meet essential expenses in the past 12 months, by gender minority status in 2018

NOTE: “Retirement account” includes both employer-based retirement accounts such as 401(k), 403(b), and pensions, and non-employer-based retirement accounts such as individual retirement accounts. Respondents are considered to have negative net worth if they would still be in debt after selling all their major possessions, turning all their investments and other assets into cash, and paying off as many debts as they could. “Did not meet essential expenses” refers to being unable to meet essential living expenses such as mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, or important medical care. “Past 12 months” refers to any of the 12 months preceding the interview. Gender minority indicates whether the respondent’s gender identity differed from the sex assigned at birth. Gender identity categories include male; female; transgender, male-to-female; transgender, female-to-male; genderqueer or gender nonconforming; a different gender identity; and more than one gender identity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:08/18).


NCES is committed to collecting data about equity in education and describing the experiences of SGM students, graduates, and educators.

To learn more about the research conducted at NCES and across the federal statistical system on the measurement of SOGI, please visit https://nces.ed.gov/FCSM/SOGI.asp.

 

By Maura Spiegelman and Elise Christopher, NCES


[1] U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2019–20 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:20, preliminary data).

[2] On the NCES surveys mentioned above, gender identity categories include male; female; transgender, male-to-female; transgender, female-to-male; genderqueer or gender nonconforming; a different gender identity; and more than one gender identity.

[3] U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2008/18 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:08/18).

[4] U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015–16 and 2017–18 School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS).

Announcing the Condition of Education 2022 Release

NCES is pleased to present the 2022 edition of the Condition of Education. The Condition is part of a 150-year tradition at NCES and provides historical and contextual perspectives on key measures of educational progress to Congress and the American public. This report uses data from across NCES and from other sources and is designed to help policymakers and the public monitor the latest developments and trends in U.S. education.

Cover of Report on the Condition of Education with IES logo and photos of children reading and writing

The foundation of the Condition of Education is a series of online indicators. Fifty-two of these indicators include content that has been updated this year. Each indicator provides detailed information on a unique topic, ranging from prekindergarten through postsecondary education, as well as labor force outcomes and international comparisons. In addition to the online indicator system, a synthesized overview of findings across topics is presented in the Report on the Condition of Education.

This year, we are excited to begin the rollout of interactive figures. These new interactive figures will empower users to explore the data in different ways. A selection of these indicators are highlighted here. They show various declines in enrollment that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic, from early childhood through postsecondary education. (Click the links below to explore the new interactive figures!)

  • From 2019 to 2020, enrollment rates of young children fell by 6 percentage points for 5-year-olds (from 91 to 84 percent) and by 13 percentage points for 3- to 4-year-olds (from 54 to 40 percent).
  • Public school enrollment in prekindergarten through grade 12 dropped from 50.8 million in fall 2019 to 49.4 million students in fall 2020. This 3 percent drop brought total enrollment back to 2009 levels (49.4 million), erasing a decade of steady growth.
  • At the postsecondary level, total undergraduate enrollment decreased by 9 percent from fall 2009 to fall 2020 (from 17.5 million to 15.9 million students). For male and female students, enrollment patterns exhibited similar trends between 2009 and 2019 (both decreasing by 5 percent). However, from 2019 to 2020, female enrollment fell 2 percent, while male enrollment fell 7 percent. Additionally, between 2019 and 2020, undergraduate enrollment fell 5 percent at public institutions and 2 percent at private nonprofit institutions. In contrast, undergraduate enrollment at for-profit institutions was 4 percent higher in fall 2020 than in fall 2019, marking the first positive single year change in enrollments at these institutions since 2010. Meanwhile, at the postbaccalaureate level, enrollment increased by 10 percent between fall 2009 and fall 2020 (from 2.8 million to 3.1 million students).
  • Educational attainment is associated with economic outcomes, such as employment and earnings, as well as with changes in these outcomes during the pandemic. Compared with 2010, employment rates among 25- to 34-year-olds were higher in 2021 only for those with a bachelor’s or higher degree (84 vs 86 percent). For those who had completed high school and those with some college, employment rates increased from 2010 to 2019, but these gains were reversed to 68 and 75 percent, respectively, during the coronavirus pandemic. For those who had not completed high school, the employment rate was 53 percent in 2021, which was not measurably different from 2019 or 2010.

This year’s Condition also includes two spotlight indicators. These spotlights use data from the Household Pulse Survey (HPS) to examine education during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Homeschooled Children and Reasons for HomeschoolingThis spotlight opens with an examination of historical trends in homeschooling, using data from the National Household Education Survey (NHES). Then, using HPS, this spotlight examines the percentage of adults with students under 18 in the home who were homeschooled during the 2020–21 school year. Some 6.8 percent of adults with students in the home reported that at least one child was homeschooled in 2020–21. The percentage was higher for White adults (7.4 percent) than for Black adults (5.1 percent) and for Asian adults (3.6 percent). It was also higher for Hispanic adults (6.5 percent) than for Asian adults.
  • Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Fall Plans for Postsecondary Education: This spotlight uses HPS data to examine changes in plans for fall 2021 postsecondary education made in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Among adults 18 years old and over who had household members planning to take classes in fall 2021 from a postsecondary institution, 44 percent reported that there was no change for any household member in their fall plans for postsecondary classes. This is compared with 28 percent who reported no change in plans for at least one household member one year earlier in the pandemic, for fall 2020.

The Condition also includes an At a Glance section, which allows readers to quickly make comparisons within and across indicators, as well as a Reader’s Guide, a Glossary, and a Guide to Sources that provide additional information to help place the indicators in context. In addition, each indicator references the source data tables that were used to produce that indicator. Most of these are in the Digest of Education Statistics.

In addition to publishing the Condition of Education, NCES produces a wide range of other reports and datasets designed to help inform policymakers and the public about significant trends and topics in education. More information about the latest activities and releases at NCES may be found on our website or by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

By Peggy G. Carr, NCES Commissioner

You’ve Been Asked to Participate in a Study

Dear reader,

You’ve been asked to participate in a study.

. . . I know what you’re thinking. Oh, great. Another request for my time. I am already so busy.

Hmm, if I participate, what is my information going to be used for? Well, the letter says that collecting data from me will help researchers study education, and it says something else about how the information I provide would “inform education policy . . .”

But what does that mean?

If you’re a parent, student, teacher, school administrator, or district leader, you may have gotten a request like this from me or a colleague at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). NCES is one of 13 federal agencies that conducts survey and assessment research in order to help federal, state, and local policymakers better understand public needs and challenges. It is the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) statistical agency and fulfills a congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report statistics on the condition of American education. The law also directs NCES to do the same about education across the globe.

But how does my participation in a study actually support the role Congress has given NCES?

Good question. When NCES conducts a study, participants are asked to provide information about themselves, their students or child/children, teachers, households, classrooms, schools, colleges, or other education providers. What exactly you will be asked about is based on many considerations, including previous research or policy needs. For example, maybe a current policy might be based on results from an earlier study, and we need to see if the results are still relevant. Maybe the topic has not been studied before and data are needed to determine policy options. In some cases, Congress has charged NCES with collecting data for them to better understand education in general.

Data collected from participants like you are combined so that research can be conducted at the group level. Individual information is not the focus of the research. Instead, NCES is interested in the experiences of groups of people or groups of institutions—like schools—based on the collected data. To protect respondents, personally identifiable information like your name (and other information that could identify you personally) is removed before data are analyzed and is never provided to others. This means that people who participate in NCES studies are grouped in different ways, such as by age or type of school attended, and their information is studied to identify patterns of experiences that people in these different groups may have had.

Let’s take a look at specific examples that show how data from NCES studies provide valuable information for policy decisions.

When policymakers are considering how data can inform policy—either in general or for a specific law under consideration—data from NCES studies play an important role. For example, policymakers concerned that students in their state/district/city often struggle to pay for college may be interested in this question:

“What can education data tell me about how to make college more affordable?”

Or policymakers further along in the law development process might have more specific ideas about how to help low-income students access college. They may have come across research linking programs such as dual enrollment—when high school students take college courses—to college access for underrepresented college students. An example of this research is provided in the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) dual-enrollment report produced by ED’s Institute for Education Sciences (IES), which shows that dual-enrollment programs are effective at increasing students’ access to and enrollment in college and attainment of degrees. This was found to be the case especially for students typically underrepresented in higher education.   

Then, these policymakers might need more specific questions answered about these programs, such as:

What is the benefit of high school students from low-income households also taking college courses?”

Thanks to people who participate in NCES studies, we have the data to address such policy questions. Rigorous research using data from large datasets, compiled from many participants, can be used to identify differences in outcomes between groups. In the case of dual-enrollment programs, college outcomes for dual-enrollment participants from low-income households can be compared with those of dual-enrollment participants from higher-income households, and possible causes of those differences can be investigated.

The results of these investigations may then inform enactment of laws or creation of programs to support students. In the case of dual enrollment, grant programs might be set up at the state level for districts and schools to increase students’ local access to dual-enrollment credit earning.

This was very close to what happened in 2012, when I was asked by analysts in ED’s Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development to produce statistical tables with data on students’ access to career and technical education (CTE) programs. Research, as reviewed in the WWC dual-enrollment report, was already demonstrating the benefits of dual enrollment for high school students. Around 2012, ED was considering a policy that would fund the expansion of dual enrollment specifically for CTE. The reason I was asked to provide tables on the topic was my understanding of two important NCES studies, the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002) and the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09). Data provided by participants in those studies were ideal for studying the question. The tables were used to evaluate policy options. Based on the results, ED, through the President, made a budget request to Congress to support dual-enrollment policies. Ultimately, dual-enrollment programs were included in the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V).  

The infographic below shows that this scenario—in which NCES data provided by participants like you were used to provide information about policy—has happened on different scales for different policies many times over the past few decades. The examples included are just some of those from the NCES high school longitudinal studies. NCES data have been used countless times in its 154-year history to improve education for American students. Check out the full infographic (PDF) with other examples.


Excerpt of full infographic showing findings and actions for NCES studies on Equity, Dropout Prevention, and College and Career Readiness


However, it’s not always the case that a direct line can be drawn between data from NCES studies and any one policy. Research often informs policy indirectly by educating policymakers and the public they serve on critical topics. Sometimes, as in the dual-enrollment and CTE programs research question I investigated, it can take time before policy gets enacted or a new program rolls out. This does not lessen the importance of the research, nor the vital importance of the data participants provide that underpin it.

The examples in the infographic represent experiences of actual individuals who took the time to tell NCES about themselves by participating in a study.  

If you are asked to participate in an NCES study, please consider doing so. People like you, schools like yours, and households in your town do matter—and by participating, you are helping to inform decisions and improve education across the country.

 

By Elise Christopher, NCES