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January 2011

From the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Jack Buckley Returns as New Commissioner of NCES

Jack Buckley

With a call for greater timeliness and continued innovation in data collection, new National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Commissioner Sean P. "Jack" Buckley announced his key goals during events shortly after this appointment.

Buckley said he wants to build on NCES' reputation for integrity and technical rigor, while still working to improve the relevance of its work. Surveys and data programs must adapt to anticipate emerging educational issues and to meet the needs of policymakers and the public, he said.

Buckley, whose term runs through June of 2015, was sworn in by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan during a ceremony January 14 attended by family, friends and colleagues. IES Director John Easton introduced Buckley during an all-staff meeting at NCES and thanked Stuart Kerachsky for his two years of leadership as NCES' acting Commissioner.

"Jack's sterling reputation, his technical expertise, and his first-hand knowledge of NCES and its many programs make him uniquely qualified to be Commissioner," said IES Director John Easton. "We are all very pleased to welcome him."

Buckley had previously served as Deputy Commissioner under Mark Schneider from 2006 to 2008 and had been serving as an associate professor of applied statistics at New York University before his confirmation.

Buckley said he is excited to lead a center that plays such an important role in informing all areas of U.S. education policy.

"Issues in education ranging from the importance of early childhood learning to increasing our rate of college access to improving the United States' global standing with respect to our economic competitors will be a huge part of the policy agenda in Washington in the next few years," Buckley said. "NCES must and will play a central role in ensuring that all parties to these debates have the timely, accurate, and unbiased information they need."

For more information about Jack Buckley, go to

New International Data Explorer Tool Eases Access, Analyses of Assessment Data

NCES and its International Activities Program have made it easier to explore and analyze international education assessment data. The International Data Explorer (IDE), based on the NAEP Data Explorer, is a dynamic interactive online tool with data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

With the IDE users can:

"We're very excited to be able to provide a way for anyone—and I mean anyone—to be able to access the wealth of data available through the PISA, PIRLS and TIMSS international assessments," said Valena Plisko, Associate Commissioner of NCES' Early Childhood, International, and Cross-Cutting Division. "The IDE is extremely easy to use and really opens up access to data about student performance and contexts for learning in the United States and around the world."

Start exploring at For guidance and technical documentation, see each survey's online Help Guide.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Website Redesigned

National Assessment of Educational Progress logo

The NAEP website has been redesigned and streamlined to make it easier than ever for students, parents, teachers, researchers, and the schools selected for assessments to find information about NAEP. The new website features:

Explore the redesigned website at