IES Blog

Institute of Education Sciences

NCES Researchers to Give Presentations and Trainings at the American Educational Research Association’s Annual Meeting

NCES staff will give 14 presentations during the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2018 Annual Meeting on topics ranging from Peer Victimization and Digital Learning to Higher Education and International Comparisons. The meeting takes place from April 12 to 17 and NCES staff will share their expertise in both research presentations and training sessions.

AERA is the nation’s largest professional organization devoted to the scientific study of education, and its annual meeting is the largest gathering of scholars in the field of education research.

The research presentations and training sessions involving NCES staff are listed below. In addition, the NCES booth will be featured at the exhibit hall where attendees can “ask an NCES expert,” learn how NCES data can support their research, or pick up publications and products.


Follow us throughout the conference on twitter using @EdNCES and the hashtag #AERA2018.


We hope you’ll join us whether in New York or online! A listing of all presentations by NCES staff is shown below. The first three sessions listed are trainings. Registration for the trainings is still open, but space is limited.



9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Training: Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11 (ECLS-K:2011) at NCES by Jim McCarroll

Sheraton New York Times Square, Lower Level, Flatiron Room

Training: Analyzing Data from International Large-Scale Assessment Using R by Emmanuel Sikali

Sheraton New York Times Square, Lower Level, Bowery Room



8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Training: Using NAEP Data on the Web for Educational Policy Research by Emmanuel Sikali

Sheraton New York Times Square, Lower Level, Chelsea Room

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The Feasibility of Collecting School-Level Finance Data by Stephen Cornman

New York Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Rendezvous Trianon

Roundtable: Use of Research Evidence in the Era of the Every Student Succeeds Act

A Cross-National Comparison of Teacher Attrition in the United States and the Netherlands International Teachers by Lauren Musu-Gillette

New York Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Trianon Ballroom              

Roundtable: International Teachers



10:35 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. 

Relationships Between Peer Victimization and Children's Academic Performance in Third Grade by Lauren Musu-Gillette

Crowne Plaza Times Square, Room 1503

Paper Session: Early Childhood Social-Emotional Issues

4:05 p.m. – 6:05 p.m.

Career Opportunities Outside Academe and Consultation Allowing Educational Research and Influences on National Policies: The Ronald D. Henderson Topical Table by Peggy Carr

New York Hilton Midtown, Third Floor, Trianon Ballroom

Panel Discussion


Implications of Study Findings for the Use of Multimedia-enhanced Stimuli in Assessments by Jing Chen

NCME, Westin New York at Times Square, Room TBD

Symposium: Towards Understanding the Facilitators and Inhibitors in Writing Tasks Containing Multimedia-Enhanced Stimuli



8:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

An Overview of Findings from PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) and ePIRLS 2016 by Peggy Carr

New York Marriott Marquis, Fourth Floor, Brecht

Symposium: Findings and Implications from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016

U.S. Achievement on PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) in the Context of NAEP Fourth Grade Reading Achievement by Eunice Greer

New York Marriott Marquis, Fourth Floor, Brecht

Symposium: Findings and Implications from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016


A Deeper Look at PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) and ePIRLS 2016 Results: Status and Trends by Sheila Thompson

New York Marriott Marquis, Fourth Floor, Brecht

Symposium: Findings and Implications from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2016

10:35 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.

National Academy of Education Report on Methods and Policy Uses of International Large-Scale Assessments by Peggy Carr

New York Hilton Midtown, Second Floor, Nassau Suite B

Invited speaker

10:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.

Meet the Institute of Education Sciences Leadership by James Lynn Woodworth, National Center for Education Statistics/IES, U.S. Department of Education

New York Hilton Midtown, Second Floor, Murray Hill Room West

Invited speaker

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Statistics in the Age of Ed Tech: Seeking a Deeper Understanding of America’s Digital Divide by Tom Synder

New York Marriott Marquis, Seventh Floor, Harlem

Panel discussion


Statistics in the Age of Ed Tech: Seeking a Deeper Understanding of America’s Digital Divide by Halima Adenegan

New York Marriott Marquis, Seventh Floor, Harlem

Panel Discussion



8:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

A New Option to Identify Neighborhood Poverty Measurement of Socioeconomic Status and Related Constructs in Education Contexts by Douglas Geverdt

Westin New York at Times Square, Ninth Floor, Pearl Room

Symposium: Measurement of Socioeconomic Status and Related Constructs in Education Contexts

Serving as Discussant William Ward

Westin New York at Tim Measurement of Socioeconomic Status and Related Constructs in Symposium: Measurement of Socioeconomic Status and Related Constructs in Education Contexts

12:25 p.m. – 1:55 p.m.

State Capacity for Data Use: Findings on the Development and Implementation of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems by Nancy Sharkey

New York Hilton Midtown, Fourth Floor, New York Suite

Paper Session: Examining the Capacity for Data Use


NCES Welcomes a New Commissioner

We are excited to welcome Dr. James Lynn Woodworth to his new position as Commissioner of NCES. Dr. Woodworth comes to the Center with a range of experience in the field of education. Before joining NCES, Dr. Woodworth worked as lead quantitative research analyst at the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University. His areas of research include charter schools, online education, and school closures.

Prior to his work at CREDO, Dr. Woodworth served as a Distinguished Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, where he earned a doctorate in Education Policy. Dr. Woodworth also has a master’s degree in educational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in music education. He was a public high school teacher for 11 years before pursuing a research career.

Career Pathways Programming in Adult Education Programs: What We are Learning from Three Cities

As part of our series recognizing the IES investment in Career and Technical Education (CTE) research, we interviewed Esther Prins, Professor at Pennsylvania State University, about her NCER-funded project, Career Pathways Programming for Lower-Skilled Adults and Immigrants: A Comparative Analysis of Adult Education Providers in High-Need Cities.  This Researcher-Practitioner Partnership involves researchers at Pennsylvania State University working in collaboration with adult education providers in Chicago, Houston, and Miami to better understand how adult education programs are incorporating career pathways into their delivery models.

What is the education issue you and your partners trying to address?

Millions of U.S. adults have been left behind by the economy and rising education requirements for even minimum-wage jobs. Career pathway (CP) programs help adults prepare for employment and postsecondary education. Although recent federal policy (e.g., WIOA) has encouraged CP programming among adult education providers, there is little research to help guide practice and few opportunities for providers to learn about how their peers organize CP programs, who they serve, what outcomes they measure, and other program features.

What are career pathway programs in adult education?

CP programs develop adults’ basic math, reading, and English language skills, while concurrently preparing them to enter postsecondary education or jobs in specific fields like healthcare or manufacturing. These programs can be run through many kinds of institutions, including community colleges, workforce development organizations, and community-based organizations. The adults seeking CP classes may vary in their skill levels, but our project focused on the adults with greatest barriers to education and employment: those who did not graduate from high school or who have low math, reading, or English language scores.

What are some of the specific concerns your practitioner partners have?

Some practitioners are concerned that requirements programs must meet may unintentionally reward programs for enrolling higher-level students—the ones who are most likely to find a job or enroll in college—rather than serving students with the greatest need. They also want to know about what non-academic supports programs may need to provide, so we are exploring the role of wraparound support services. These are important because many adult learners experience poverty and related challenges such as transportation, childcare, housing, and financial instability.

What are some of the major findings thus far?

First, CP programming is widespread: more than 90% of the surveyed organizations offered or were developing CP classes in 2015. However, there are no shared program outcome measures, and this hinders comparison and documentation of programs’ collective impact. Coordination within cities primarily occurs on a small scale between a subset of organizations; citywide coordination across organizations and funding streams is less common.

Second, the majority of CP classes require students to meet minimum entry requirements such as passing a reading, math, or language test and/or possessing a high school degree. These requirements limit access for adults with the greatest barriers. To address these issues, programs are trying different options. For example, some programs offered multiple entry points (e.g., bridge classes) to enable adults with skills gaps to advance from lower-level to higher-level CP classes.

Third, agencies offer a variety of wraparound support services to meet students’ non-academic needs. Some programs bundle support services, meaning they require participation in at least two support services. These include screening for income supports and access to financial services, financial coaching and literacy, and job coaching.

The report on the survey is available online.


How are the findings being used?

Building on the findings from this study, the Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition formed a group of 13 adult education providers to staff a Career Navigator at their local American Jobs Center to address issues such as forming shared program metrics, helping adults with lower skills, and connecting adults to support services available at the American Jobs Center. 

What other issues need to be studied?

Practitioners are interested in better understanding the long-term effects and trajectories of students in CP programs. For example, they’d like to know more about postsecondary and employment outcomes and whether certain individual characteristics, program supports, or instructional approaches lead to better outcomes. Additional research could help shed light on these issues.

Meredith Larson, NCER Program Officer, interviewed Esther Prins 

The figures above are from an infographic prepared by the research team and summarize the data gathered by the team.

Making the WWC Open to Everyone by Moving WWC Certification Online

In December 2016, the What Works Clearinghouse made a version of its online training publicly available through the WWC Website. This enabled everyone to be able to access the Version 3.0 Group Design Standards reviewer training to learn about the standards and methods that the WWC uses. While this was a great step to increase access to WWC resources, users still had to go through the 1 ½ day, in-person training to become a WWC certified reviewer.

To continue our efforts to promote access and transparency and make our resources available to everyone, the WWC has now moved all of its group design training to be online. Now everyone will have access to the same training and certification tests. This certification is available free of charge and is open to all users. It is our hope that this effort will increase the number of certified reviewers and help increase general awareness about the WWC.

Why did the WWC make these resources publicly available? As part of IES’s effort to increase access to high quality education research, we wanted to make it easier for researchers to use our standards. This meant opening up training opportunities and offering training online was a way to achieve this goal while using limited taxpayer resources most efficiently.

The online training consists of 9 modules. These videos feature an experienced WWC instructor and use the same materials that we used in our in-person courses, but adapted to Version 4.0 of the Group Design Standards. After completing the modules, users will have the opportunity to download a certificate of completion, take the online certification test, or go through the full certification exam.

Becoming a fully certified reviewer will require users to take a multiple choice online certification test and then use the new Online SRG application to conduct a full review using the same tools that the WWC team uses. The WWC team will then grade your exam to make sure you fully understand how to apply the Standards before certifying you to review for the Clearinghouse.

Not interested in becoming a certified reviewer? Online training still has several benefits. Educators can embed our videos in their course websites and use our training materials in their curricula. Researchers can use our Online SRG tool with their publications to determine a preliminary rating and understand what factors could cause their study to get the highest rating. They could also use the tool to use when conducting a systematic evidence review.

Have ideas for new resources we could make available? Email your ideas and suggestions to!

by Erin Pollard, WWC Project Officer


The experiences of our nation’s young children from kindergarten through fourth grade

By Jill Carlivati McCarroll and Gail M. Mulligan

In 2014–15, boys had higher fourth-grade math scores than girls, but no significant differences were found in boys’ versus girls’ fourth-grade reading knowledge and skills. These findings come from the most recent data release for the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11 (ECLS-K:2011). A recently released report provides a first look at the status of students who were in kindergarten for the first time during the 2010-11 school year and were in fourth grade in 2014-15. The longitudinal nature of this study allows for a comparison of trends over time. For example, differences in math scores between boys and girls were also observed in third grade but not in earlier grades. No significant differences in reading results for boys and girls have been detected in any grade between kindergarten and fourth. More data on assessment scores, as well as the demographic and family characteristics of the cohort of students who were first-time kindergartners in 2010-11, are available in the reports.

The series of Early Childhood Longitudinal Studies are consistently some of the most popular NCES studies due in large part to the fact that they provide comprehensive and reliable data on important topics such as child development, school readiness, and early school experiences. The ECLS-K:2011 was designed to provide data that can be used to describe and to better understand children’s development and experiences in the elementary grades, and how children’s early experiences relate to their later development, learning, and experiences in school. The study is longitudinal, meaning that it followed the same group of children over time; in the case of the ECLS-K:2011, children were followed from their kindergarten year (the 2010-11 school year) until the spring of 2016, when most of the children were in the fifth grade.

All planned waves of data through fifth grade have been collected and staff at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) are hard at work releasing reports of the findings as well as the data from all rounds of the study. Researchers, educators, policy makers, and other interested members of the public now have access to much of the important data from the ECLS-K:2011, with additional reports and data releases on their way.

The diverse sample of children who participated in the ECLS-K:2011 is nationally representative of students who were in kindergarten in U.S. schools in the 2010-11 school year. Information on children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development was collected every year using direct child assessments and surveys for the adults central to the children’s education. Adults surveyed for the study included the children’s parents/guardians, their teachers, their school administrators, and their kindergarten before- and after-school care providers. Topics covered by the surveys included the children’s home environment, home educational activities, school environment, classroom environment, classroom curriculum, teacher qualifications, and before- and after-school care. 

Public-use data from the kindergarten through fourth-grade rounds of the ECLS-K:2011 are now available online. A restricted-use dataset with data from the kindergarten through fourth-grade rounds is also available to qualified researchers with an IES Restricted-use Data License. For information on licensing, please see The schedule of future data releases is available on the ECLS website.

For more information on the ECLS-K:2011 as well as the other ECLS studies, please see our homepage or email the ECLS study team at