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About State Education Practices

Authorizing legislation for the National Center for Education Statistics (Public Law 107-279) includes among the Center's duties, "compiling and disseminating data on reform activities" (sec.153(a)(1)(A)). This website, which draws primarily on elementary and secondary education data collected by organizations other than NCES, serves as a general resource on that topic, describing major developments in state-level education policies. First based on the Overview and Inventory of State Education Reforms: 1990 to 2000, this site is updated periodically to incorporate new data. Currently, this site reflects information collected through 2020.

Prior to this website and Overview and Inventory of State Education Reforms: 1990 to 2000, NCES published Overview and Inventory of State Requirements for School Coursework and Attendance (1992) which covers related information from 1983 through 1990.

Please note:

  • This site inventories state reforms, rather than evaluating them.
  • The reform efforts described are those judged 1) to be an area of active state-level policy activity, and 2) to have recent, comparable state-level data available. The inclusion or exclusion of a reform from this site does not imply a judgment about its merit or likelihood of success.
  • Data on this site are drawn from a wide variety of sources, mostly from outside NCES and are mostly self-reported by the states. Each source collected the data using research methods specific to its organization. They may contain errors. Readers should take special care when comparing data from different sources; they may not be strictly comparable due to differences in procedures and timing of data collection.
  • Updates to this site occur as source organizations release new data, allowing the site to provide a general overview of selected current reform efforts in the states. It is not meant to serve as a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute snapshot of policy developments nor a comprehensive repository of policy developments.