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frequently asked questions

Have Any Questions?

Question: Why are education statistics important to me?
Answer: Among other things, they help local, state and federal officials make decisions about policy and budgets for public schools-in this sense, they have a pretty big impact on your everyday life!
Question: What should I study if I am interested in statistics?
Answer: Since statistics courses generally aren't widely offered until late in high school or until college, try focusing on different fields in Math. The fields to get started on include trigonometry, probability, logic and calculus.
Question: People say that statistics can be twisted around to mean any number of things, rather than just one. Does this mean that statistics really don't tell us anything?
Answer: Well, we hope not! Just kidding. Seriously, statistics do depend to a certain degree on assumptions and parameters, but statistical agencies make every effort to collect data that is both reliable and valid. It's pretty complicated to explain any further…But, one important thing to remember when you're reading statistics in the newspaper or on the Web is that you should always look to see who collected the data, and what is their sample size. For example, if a study of 123 American couples found that 60% of them divorced after 10 years, does this mean that the U.S. as a whole has a 60% divorce rate? Uh, no. There are other aspects of the study that need to be examined.
Question: How does NCES work to ensure that its reports have no errors?
Answer: It's safe to say that NCES has extensive procedures in place to test all of our statistics. Reports are read and analyzed by various experts until a final meeting, called an adjudication takes place. During this meeting, our Chief Statistician carefully examines the report once more, before it can be released to the general public.
Question: Are you collecting any information about me when I use your website?
Answer: Our policy is simple: We collect no personal information about you unless you choose to provide that information to us, and we never ask you to. And under no circumstances do we give, share, sell, or transfer any personal information to a third party. If you are interested please read the IES website privacy policy.
Question: Is white chocolate really chocolate?
Answer: No. White chocolate is made from combining cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. Because it contains no chocolate liquor, it is not considered "real" chocolate, but many people like it for its smooth, creamy taste.
Question: What if I have technical problems or questions?
Answer: We can try to help you solve those problems and answer your questions! Just visit our technical questions area.