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Opening Plenary Session


Wednesday, July 8, 2015
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Welcome and Introductions

Ross Santy, Associate Commissioner, Administrative Data Division
National Center for Education Statistics
Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education



Keynote Speech

Stronger Education Through Stronger Data

Peggy G. Carr, Ph.D., Acting Commissioner, National Center for Education Statistics
Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

    For years the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has been helping the country to understand data on our nationís schools. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) trend results indicate that KĖ12 education continues to improve, particularly at elementary and middle school ages. Even more encouraging is the fact that traditionally lower performing subgroups, such as Black and Hispanic students, are making some of the largest gains. Three years of data on the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate also continues to show improvement, with more than 80 percent of public school students in the nation graduating within four years of their first time in ninth grade. Indicators like these are helpful in letting policymakers and the public know whether or not reforms and initiatives are having the desired effect, but on their own they donít help us to understand everything thatís happening in and around our classrooms and our schools. Guiding the changes and improvements needed within schools and classrooms takes a different kind of data, delivered at or near real time to the people who can make a difference for individual students. Information systems, increasingly designed and built with common standards in mind, are providing teachers, building administrators, and district leaders with a wealth of actionable information on their students. In addition to the statistics generated through assessments and data collections, NCES continues to provide technical assistance and resources that help states and districts improve both their information management capabilities and their instructional delivery.

    The 2015 NCES STATS-DC Data Conference is focused on these Strong Uses for Strong Data. To open the conference, Dr. Carrís plenary session will look at ways NCESí data and programs are being used at national, state, district, and school levels to improve both data and educational outcomes.

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Announcements

Ross Santy, Associate Commissioner, Administrative Data Division
National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences
U.S. Department of Education