National Center for Education Statistics
Agency overview
Formed1867; 157 years ago (1867)
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States

38°53′00″N 77°01′39″W / 38.883412°N 77.027612°W / 38.883412; -77.027612
Agency executive
  • Peggy Carr, Commissioner
Parent agencyInstitute 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.


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."[2]

Organizational structure

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.[3]

Office of the Commissioner

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)

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)

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)

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.

Annual Reports and Information Staff (ARIS)

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:

Current programs of research

Assessment programs

Early childhood studies

Elementary and secondary studies

Postsecondary studies


  1. ^ "NCES Staff Members". Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  2. ^ 120 Years of American Education: A Statistical Portrait, National Center for Education Statistics, 1993, pg. 1
  3. ^ NCES: About US, National Center for Education Statistics
  4. ^ Kuykendall05, Kristal (31 May 2022). "Report: Historic Decline in U.S. Public School Enrollment From Fall 2019 to Fall 2020; Dropout Rates Fell Since 2010 Among Hispanic, Black Students". The Journal. Retrieved 8 August 2022.((cite news)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Véronique Irwin and Josue De La Rosa (May 2022). "Report on the Condition of Education 2022" (PDF). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  6. ^ Kena, Grace (26 May 2016). "Where can I find information about the condition of education in the United States?". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  7. ^ "National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)".