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Education Data Resources Research Guide

This guide points you to resources for locating education data.

State and Local Level Data

Each state has a department of education or office of public instruction that is responsible for collecting the state's education data - both statewide, and at the district and school level.

For example, the Montana Office of Public Instruction web site provides:

Locate a state's education institution to find state-level data. You can also use the National Center for Education Statistics, the federal entity that compiles data for all the states. NCES is detailed below.

National Level Data

United States Department of Education

Institute of Education Sciences
The Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 established a new organization within the U.S. Department of Education, the Institute of Education Sciences. Our mission is to provide rigorous evidence on which to ground education practice and policy. By identifying what works, what doesn’t, and why, we intend to improve the outcomes of education for all students, particularly those at risk of failure."

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
"The National Center for Education Statistics fulfills a Congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally."

Data Tools
There are several data tools available that allow you to: search for data, create peer comparisons (e.g.,
finances of a public school districts), and build custom tables.

You can find reports, tables, and downloadable data files from the many NCES surveys and programs on the NCES site. Survey and program areas include:

  • Assessment (e.g., National Assessments of Adult Literacy (NAAL) "provides nationally representative and a continuing assessment of English language literacy skills of American adults."),
  • Early Childhood (e.g., Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K)),
  • Elementary/Secondary (e.g., Common Core of Data (CCD) "is a comprehensive, annual, national statistical database of information concerning all public elementary and secondary schools (approximately 94,000) and school districts (approximately 17,000), which contains data that are designed to be comparable across all states."),
  • Postsecondary (e.g., Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) includes "information from every college, university, and technical and vocational institution that participates in the federal student financial aid programs. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, requires that institutions that participate in federal student aid programs report data on enrollments, program completions, graduation rates, faculty and staff, finances, institutional prices, and student financial aid.")
  • International (e.g., International Activities Program), and
  • Library (The Library Statistics Program is now a component of IPEDS).

In addition to the above survey and program reports, NCES publishes the following annual reports, many of which are now online - previous editions are owned by the library:

  • The Condition of Education "The Condition of Education is a congressionally mandated annual report summarizing important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The 2017 Condition of Education report presents 50 indicators on topics ranging from prekindergarten through postsecondary education, as well as labor force outcomes and international comparisons. Also included in the report are 4 Spotlight indicators that provide more in-depth analyses on selected topics."
    • Print copies can be found in the library on level 1 at ED 1.109 for the years 1978-80 and 1982-present.
  • Digest of Education Statistics "The primary purpose of the Digest of Education Statistics is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from prekindergarten through graduate school... The publication contains information on a variety of subjects in the field of education statistics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, federal funds for education, libraries, and international education. Supplemental information on population trends, attitudes on education, education characteristics of the labor force, government finances, and economic trends provides background for evaluating education data."
    • Paper copies can be found in the library on level 1 at ED 1.326 for the years 1987-2003 and 2005-1011. Access to the document from 2000-present is freely available online.
  • National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) "The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, U.S. history, and beginning in 2014, in Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL)."
    • Various reports and information on the NAEP can be found in the library. Search OneSearch with the subject National Assessment of Educational Progress to find materials.
  • Projections of Education StatisticsThis publication provides projections for key education statistics. It includes statistics on enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures in elementary and secondary schools, and enrollment and earned degrees conferred expenditures of degree-granting institutions. For the Nation, the tables, figures, and text contain data on enrollment, teachers, graduates, and expenditures for the past 14 years and projections to the year 2023.”
    • Print copies for various years can be found in the library on level 1 at ED 1.120.