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March 2012

From the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

NCES Begins Work on New Teaching and Learning International Survey

Internaional Activities Program logo

This spring, the International Activities Program at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) begins field testing the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) in the United States. TALIS is a collaborative effort by member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and partner countries to study the working conditions and practices of teaching and learning within schools.

"TALIS will provide the United States important comparative information about how the teaching profession is structured and experienced by teachers around the world," said NCES Commissioner Jack Buckley. "It will also provide important insight into some of the top-performing education systems in the world."

The survey collects data from teachers and school principals about teaching and school learning environments. Findings from the survey will provide internationally comparable indicators on teachers and teaching. The United States did not participate in the first administration of the TALIS 2008, but will participate in TALIS 2013 with 32 other countries. Results will be available in 2014.

For more information about TALIS, visit the NCES TALIS website. To access findings from TALIS 2008, visit the OECD website.

NCES Hosts Symposium on Testing Integrity, Focuses on Best Practices

On February 28, the National Center for Education Statistics hosted a symposium in Washington, DC on testing integrity. The symposium brought together a wide range of education stakeholders including students and teacher advocates, representatives of testing organizations, school systems, and state departments of education to examine important issues in academic testing and share best practices. The symposium was part of the Department of Education's effort to identify and share information about testing integrity, which has received much attention in light of recent reports of misconduct by school officials in the test administration process.

In remarks opening the symposium, IES Director John Q. Easton commented that "because IES and the National Center for Education Statistics are especially concerned with issues of data quality and accuracy, we are pleased to sponsor this symposium. The presentations and discussions should be very useful to states and districts around the country."

Panelists from state departments of education, testing and test security organizations, and university professors shared best practices for:

The symposium agenda, video and transcript of the full proceedings, and slideshow from the best practices presentations in the areas mentioned above are posted on the symposium's webpage.