|Jurisdiction||Federal government of the United States|
|Parent agency||Institute of Education Sciences|
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the part of the United States Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) that collects, analyzes, and publishes statistics on education and public school district finance information in the United States. It also conducts international comparisons of education statistics and provides leadership in developing and promoting the use of standardized terminology and definitions for the collection of those statistics. NCES is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System.
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The functions of NCES have existed in some form since 1867, when Congress passed legislation providing "That there shall be established at the City of Washington, a department of education, for the purpose of collecting such statistics and facts as shall show the condition and progress of education in the several States and Territories, and of diffusing such information respecting the organization and management of schools and school systems, and methods of teaching, as shall aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems, and otherwise promote the cause of education throughout the country."
The National Center for Education Statistics fulfills a Congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally.
The structure and activities of the center consist of the following divisions.
The Office of the Commissioner sets policy and standards for the center and oversees its operation, thus ensuring that statistical quality and confidentiality are maintained.
Administrative Data Division (ADD) oversees planning, design, operations, statistical analysis, reporting, and dissemination of administrative records data at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education levels, and on libraries.
Assessment Division (AD) creates, designs, develops, implements and reports on the National Assessment of Educational Progress at the national level and coordinates assessment and related data collection activities with the states. The staff also conducts a variety of other related education assessment studies.
Sample Surveys Division (SSD) oversees planning design, operations, statistical analysis reporting, and dissemination of data from sample surveys at all levels of education, including early childhood and adult, and international data, such as High School and Beyond (HS&B). Surveys on vocational and technical education are also included in this division.
The Annual Reports and Information Staff (ARIS) prepares analyses that synthesize data on a variety of education topics, and disseminates these analyses through indicator reports, tabular reports, and web tools.
Current publications by ARIS include: