Skip Navigation
July 2011

From the National Center for Education Research (NCER)

New R&D Center Focuses on Postsecondary Education and Employment

Scholars, Practitioners, & Policymakers

National Research and Development Center on Postsecondary Education and Employment The National Research and Development Center on Postsecondary Education and Employment has something for scholars, practitioners and policymakers. The center will run workshops on how to conduct research linking administrative data to employment data, issue policy briefs, and host conferences open to the public. Center representatives will conduct workshops to help practitioners carry out relevant research and provide research results to state and federal agencies.

How much does going to college pay in the labor market these days? The National Research and Development Center on Postsecondary Education and Employment, recently awarded to the Teachers College at Columbia University, aims to answer questions like this one. With Thomas Bailey as the principal investigator, other center researchers include more than 10 interdisciplinary project team leaders from research institutions such as Columbia University, the University of Michigan, CNA, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, the City University of New York, and Stanford.

The center aims to clarify the relationship between postsecondary education and labor market outcomes of students in four key areas: (1) relatively short-term occupational degrees (occupational associate degrees and certificates or diplomas) which are designed to improve labor market outcomes; (2) non-credit workforce programs that now enroll millions of students and play an important (but under-investigated) workforce development role; (3) the for-profit sector; and (4) the trajectory of earnings growth after college (or even occurring simultaneously with college).

To accomplish its goals, center researchers will carry out 12 projects, including studies that:

For more information about the new center, please visit the NCER website or contact Hiromi Ono at

Education Leaders Participate in First National Conference at IES-Funded National Center for Teacher Effectiveness (NCTE)


As part of a 5-year grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Center for Teacher Effectiveness, under the direction of Thomas Kane and Heather Hill of Harvard University, is working to identify practices and characteristics that distinguish between more and less effective teachers and will use this information to develop a suite of empirically validated and practical instruments that can be used by school districts to select, deploy, and retain more effective teachers.

Putting the Pieces Together: Taking Improved Teacher Evaluation to Scale was the theme of the National Center for Teacher Effectiveness first national conference of researchers and practitioners interested in teacher evaluation and teacher effectiveness. Conference goals were to share what can be learned from using different classroom observation tools and how districts and states that use observation techniques can learn from research in this topic area. Education leaders from 11 states and 30 districts gathered at Harvard University to attend the conference, which was designed to help states and districts learn about:

Conference highlights. During one session, four widely used classroom observation scales were described and discussed in terms of their potential for use in teacher evaluations: Framework for Teaching, Protocol for Language Arts Teaching Observation, Classroom Assessment Scoring System, and Mathematical Quality of Instruction. Three school districts—District of Columbia Public Schools, Cincinnati (Ohio) Public Schools, and Hillsboro County (FL) Public Schools—presented on lessons learned about scaling-up teacher evaluation systems. In other sessions, presenters described the complexities and technical difficulties of scoring classroom observations, problems of linking student and teacher data, how to develop fair and reliable measures of effective teaching, and the use of student surveys to rate teacher performance. Materials from the conference are available online, including the conference agenda, presentations, resource material, slides, and videos of the main sessions.

For more information on the center, please click here.