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The U.S. Department of Education's Independent and Nonpartisan Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Mark Schneider, Director of IES | November 3, 2022

IES Looks to Future With a Campaign Focused on “Progress. Purpose. Performance.”

WASHINGTON (November 3, 2022)—Today marks 20 years for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the U.S. Department of Education’s independent and nonpartisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm. Since 2002, the organization has transformed education science through innovative products and has set the standard for collecting, investigating, and evaluating evidence.

Over the last 20 years, IES has produced evidence that has explored and answered foundational questions about learning and education. And IES is now responding to the overwhelming learning challenges posed by COVID-19 by investing $100 million from the American Rescue Plan into research, translation of science into action, and learning acceleration.

“While IES has experienced many successes over the last 20 years,” says Mark Schneider, director of the Institute of Education Sciences, “today we celebrate the future. Our experts and the researchers we fund accelerate learning and continually set a new standard for rigor in the education sciences. Internally, we are modernizing our technology, attending to the needs of our users, and progressing toward ambitious goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion. We invite you to join us on our journey toward a more modern IES.”

IES houses four centers united under one umbrella: the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the National Center for Education Research (NCER), the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), and the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE).

Together, the work of the centers supports the development of evidence-based policies and practices. The work of NCES provides the most accurate view of conditions within our school systems. NCER and NCSER work with researchers to develop and test solutions to the most challenging problems in education. NCEE takes the research a step further through large-scale effectiveness trials and direct support to educators and policymakers. It is through this process that IES fuels the nation’s education system.

The IES 20th anniversary campaign runs through February with a focus on the future of IES as well as the most notable IES accomplishments, that includeŚ


  • The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): The NAEP 2022 mathematics and reading results at grades 4 and 8 were released on October 24. The national average score declines in mathematics for fourth- and eighth-graders were the largest ever recorded in that subject. NAEP, popularly referred to as The Nation’s Report Card, is a congressionally mandated program providing important information about student achievement and learning experiences in various subjects.



  • Research to Accelerate Pandemic Recovery in Special Education Grants Program: This FY 2022 program addresses the urgent challenges faced by districts and schools in supporting students with or at risk for disabilities, their teachers, and their families in the aftermath of the pandemic. Under this program, NCSER has awarded grants on a variety of topics. For example, Math SPIRAL: Specialized Intervention to Reach All Learners award will fund an initial evaluation of an educator-provided mathematics intervention for students in grades 4 and 5.


  • What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) : The WWC is a trusted source of scientific evidence on education programs, products, practices, and policies. It reviews research, determines which studies meet rigorous standards, and further summarizes findings. The Clearinghouse is excited to announce the release of the What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook, Version 5.0 which includes a new chapter with a succinct summary of the WWC intended for a broad audience of practitioners, policymakers, and researchers.


IES is the independent and nonpartisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Its mission is to provide scientific evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information in formats that are useful and accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public. For more information, visit

The National Center for Education Statistics
NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.

The National Center for Education Research
NCER supports rigorous research that addresses the nation’s most pressing education needs, from early-childhood to adult education.

The National Center for Special Education Research
NCSER supports a comprehensive program of education research designed to expand knowledge about and understanding of infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities and those at risk for disabilities.

The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
NCEE conducts unbiased, large-scale evaluations of education programs supported by federal funds, provides technical assistance, and supports the development and use of research and evaluation throughout the United States.

Beth Greene
Communications Director
Institute of Education Sciences