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 Pub Number  Title  Date
NPEC 2008850 Deciding on Postsecondary Education
The report examined the data and the information that potential students use and need in making decisions about postsecondary education. Special emphasis was given to underserved students (non-traditional aged, minority, and students of low- and moderate- socioeconomic status) participating in the college search and decision making process. Qualitative data were gathered and analyzed from 11 focus groups with 90 participants in eight states. Secondary data were collected via a review of over 80 sources in the research literature. The literature review indicated that parents, guidance counselors, mainstream media, college brochures, and institutions are primary sources for information about college. For each group of focus group participants, cost, major/program of study, and convenience/location were major determinants in the college search, application, and matriculation processes. Online web-based resources are quickly gaining prominence among current and recent high school graduates who participated in the focus groups. Findings from this research suggest the need for comprehensible information, additional resources, and improved assistance for prospective college students and their families.
NCES 2006321 A Comparable Wage Approach to Geographic Cost Adjustment
In this report, NCES extends the analysis of comparable wages to the labor market level using a Comparable Wage Index (CWI). The basic premise of a CWI is that all types of workers—including teachers—demand higher wages in areas with a higher cost of living (e.g., San Diego) or a lack of amenities (e.g., Detroit, which has a particularly high crime rate) (Federal Bureau of Investigation 2003). This report develops a CWI by combining baseline estimates from the 2000 U.S. census with annual data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Combining the Census with the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) makes it possible to have yearly CWI estimates for states and local labor markets for each year after 1997. OES data are available each May and permit the construction of an up-to-date, annual CWI. The CWI methodology offers many advantages over the previous NCES geographic cost adjustment methodologies, including relative simplicity, timeliness, and intrastate variations in labor costs that are undeniably outside of school district control. However, the CWI is not designed to detect cost variations within labor markets. Thus, all the school districts in the Washington, DC metro area would have the same CWI cost index. Furthermore, as with other geographic cost indices, the CWI methodology does not address possible differences in the level of wages between college graduates outside the education sector and education sector employees. Nor does the report explore the use of these geographic cost adjustments as inflation adjustments (deflators.) These could be areas for fruitful new research on cost adjustments by NCES.
NCES 2006031 Teacher Qualifications, Instructional Practices, and Reading and Mathematics Gains of Kindergartners
This Research and Development (R&D) report uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) to explore relationships between kindergarten teachers' reports of their qualifications and instructional practices and direct assessments of children's reading and mathematics achievement during the kindergarten year. Using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), the study estimated the degree to which specific aspects of teacher training-the teaching credential and coursework in pedagogy-and teaching experience were associated with student achievement. In addition, the study identified teacher-reported instructional practices associated with student achievement gains and examined the qualifications of teachers and aspects of teacher training that were related to the use of these practices. Spending more time on subject and working within a full-day kindergarten structure were found to be associated with relatively large gains in achievement. Also, certain teacher background variables—particularly the self-reported amount of coursework in methods of teaching reading and mathematics—were positively related to the teacher-reported frequency of various instructional practices that in turn were associated with higher achievement.
NCES 2005160 Feasibility of a Student Unit Record System Within the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
This report describes the feasibility of collecting individual enrollment and financial aid information for each student in postsecondary education. NCES held three public meetings with key stakeholders from institutions, states and other interested parties to get feedback on such issues as burden, cost, and privacy, and to solicit information on other technical aspects of developing such a unit record system. This report details the issues discussed in these meetings. This feasibility study is an important step to determine the problems that may be encountered and the issues to be addressed if Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System were redesigned to replace five current IPEDS surveys with a unit record system.
NCES 2005063 Estimating Undergraduate Enrollment in Postsecondary Education Using National Center for Education Statistics Data
A number of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) surveys can be used to estimate enrollment levels in postsecondary education. Generating consistent enrollment estimates, however, is complicated by differences in surveys that lead to different enrollment counts. This report describes the process of generating comparable estimates of undergraduate enrollment in postsecondary institutions across four NCES data sets (CPS October Supplement, IPEDS, NHES, NPSAS). The report highlights differences across these surveys that may affect postsecondary enrollment estimates and describes how largely comparable estimates can be derived, given these differences.
NCES 2005456 America's Charter Schools: Results From the NAEP 2003 Pilot Study
This full-color publication in tabloid format highlights some results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) pilot study of America's charter schools and their students, conducted as part of the 2003 NAEP assessments in reading and mathematics at grade 4. The report describes the pilot study's design and methodology, within the context of some lessons learned. Some key results are then presented separately for reading and mathematics in the body of the report, and other data are found in the appendix.
NCES 2003161 A Study of Higher Education Instructional Expenditures: The Delaware Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity
This study examines multiple years of data from the Delaware Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity, which analyzes teaching loads and instructional costs at the level of academic discipline. The study determined that, for those four-year institutions participating in the Delaware Study, approximately 80 percent of the variation in instructional costs across institutions is associated with the mix of disciplines at those institutions. The study further identifies institutional characteristics that are most closely associated with the magnitude of instructional costs.
NCES 2002159 Defining and Assessing Learning: Exploring Competency-Based Initiatives
Legislators, employers, accrediting agencies, and others are often more interested in what skills and abilities students have, than in the number of credit hours the students have accumulated. This report is a hands-on resource that introduces basic information about the construction and use of competency assessments and includes the results of eight case studies of competency-based programs. A set of operating principles to guide best practices in this field is gleaned from these case studies. The publication also relays important information about the theory of competency-based education and addresses issues involved in compiling, analyzing, maintaining, and reporting data about students’ competencies.
NCES 2002319 Financing Elementary and Secondary Education in the States: 1997-98
This report presents state-level analyses of revenues and expenditures for the 1997-98 school year. National Public Education Financial Survey data form the core of these analyses, but information is supplemented by data on state demographic and fiscal characteristics from the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The National Public Financial Survey (NPEFS) is an annual survey of state financial data that is part of the Common Core of Data. The NPEFS collects data on revenues and expenditures in grades prekindergarten through 12 in public schools in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the outlying territories. Analyses of revenues and expenditures per pupil are presented using both unadjusted and cost-adjusted dollars. Cost adjustments are designed to take into account differences in the cost of education across states.
NCES 2001205 Paving the Way to Postsecondary Education: K-12 Intervention Programs for Underrepresented Youth
This report describes K-12 intervention programs designed to increase rates of college-going for groups historically underrepresented in postsecondary education and identifies the data and information necessary for evaluating these programs.
NCES 2001197 Community College Transfer Rates to 4-year Institutions Using Alternative Definitions of Transfer
This report examines and compares community college transfer rates using various definitions of transfers.
NCES 2001024 Monetary Incentives for Low-Stakes Tests
This Research and Development report documents the findings of an experiment to examine the impact of monetary incentives on student effort and performance. The study arose from a concern that the poor performance of U.S. 12th grade students on low-stakes assessments may be partially explained as motivational. It used an experimental design with 12th graders taking TIMSS assessment items to test the assumption that a sufficient monetary incentive would increase student effort and therefore improve student performance.
NCES 2001309 Public School Finance Programs of the U.S. and Canada: 1998-99
This publication was undertaken by NCES in partnership with two private entities, the American Education Finance Association (AEFA), which contracted for the information collection, and the National Education Association (NEA), which funded the effort. Descriptions of each state or province funding system was compiled by education finance researchers from the University of Georgia and the University of Ottawa. The publication, is being made available only via the Internet at the NCES web site and on a CD-ROM. There is intense interest among the education finance research community for information describing state systems for financing local school districts. The descriptive information in this publication is designed to be useful to the education finance research community and fiscal policy analysts whose backgrounds and training are very diverse. The authors sought to balance the simplicity of the descriptions to make them understandable to a wide audience and, at the same time, technically correct. Some of the terms and concepts might be new to the reader who is unfamiliar with the arcane art of education state aid formulas. To true finance sophisticates, however, these descriptions may lack the abstruse detail to deploy similar formulas in other venues. It was not possible to include summary information in this publication. NCES hopes that such work may be published in the future. The papers in this publication were requested by the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. They are intended to promote the exchange of ideas among researchers and policymakers, no official support by the U.S. Department of Education or NCES is intended or should be inferred.
NCES 2001323 A Primer for Making Cost Adjustments in Education
This publication was undertaken so that educators, the public, and policymakers might better understand both geographic and inflation adjustments, and how they might be applied to elementary/secondary education. The authors seek to inform these audiences of the differences in expenditures and costs, as well as how both geographic and inflation education cost adjustments can be used to assist in differentiating nominal and real costs. The authors are particularly concerned with approaches, techniques, and adjustments that may either not be appropriate for measuring costs in education, or that are inappropriately applied. In addition, they attempt to show that there is a real virtue to keeping cost adjustment indices as simple and understandable as possible. Cost adjustments for different geographic locations and for inflation are widely accepted and applied outside of elementary and secondary education. Virtually everyone has heard of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, as an inflation index. In addition, the public is also aware of cost-of-living differences between major metropolitan areas, and its effect on attracting workers with additional compensation. Many educators, however, have not yet chosen to implement either geographic or inflation education cost adjustments. Because there may not be a single best cost adjustment, it is important to share the approaches that have been utilized, examining the strengths and weaknesses of each. Because this work presents the view of the authors, and is intended to promote the exchange of ideas among researchers and policymakers, no official support by the U.S. Department of Education or NCES is intended or should be inferred.
NCES 2000043 College Quality and the Earnings of Recent College Graduates
This report examines the association between factors such as selectivity and other institutional characteristics, and the earnings of recent college graduates 5 years after graduation. To address these issues, data from the 1980 High School and Beyond (HS&B) study were combined with information about courses, grades, credits, and credentials contained in the Post Secondary Education Transcript Study (PETS) as well as additional data from the Integrated Postecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) on institutional characteristics and from the College Board's Annual Survey of Colleges.
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