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Selected Research Topics

School Quality

NTPS data address many elements of school quality and one aspect that is drawing increasing attention from policy makers involves access to information technology. An example of an analysis of school quality using several NCES datasets is Monitoring School Quality: An Indicators Report (NCES 2001030). This synthesis explores why some schools may be better than others at helping students learn. It reviews 13 characteristics of schools, classrooms, and teachers that are most likely related to school quality and student learning. For each indicator, the report identifies the availability of reliable national data and assesses the current status of our schools by examining and critiquing these national indicator data.

School Management

Recent years have seen a growing awareness of the importance of principals in developing teaching faculty, allocating educational resources, and establishing school atmosphere. The NTPS allows researchers to investigate various aspects of school management and compare them across domains such as grade level, urbanicity, and demographic characteristics.

Teacher Quality

Teacher quality has been a paramount topic of discussion among education researchers in recent years. NTPS collects data on teacher demographics, the educational backgrounds of teachers, the subject areas in which teachers were certified to teach and their years of experience teaching. How schools and school districts recruit and retain skilled teachers is also an important aspect of the NTPS. Measures in the survey include: length of practice teaching, duties and support received during the first-year assignment, mentoring information and teacher professional development.