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In Need of a Statistic Fix?

Anyone who teaches statistics is probably on the look-out for rich data sources, so that their students work with data from real-life situations. This recommended resource is a gold-mine of data.

The primary responsibilities of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) are to collect and analyze data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. Organizationally, it is located within the U.S. Department of Education.

The current website for NCES has been updated and reorganized to include new tools and resources. For example, users of the the updated site can:

  1. View/download existing statistical tables of internationally comparative data from the new International Data Table Library, plus view/download NCES international assessment and indicator reports from the new International Report Library
  2. Find information about the international assessments and surveys in which the United States participates, such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and the new Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)
  3. Find answers to questions about international assessments and surveys
  4. Search the new International Data Table Library, which currently offers 28 statistical tables comparing aspects of education in the United States with those of other countries...relevant categories are participation in education, education outcomes, school contexts, student experiences, attitudes about education, and education system characteristics
  5. Explore data in library tables collected by non-NCES organizations, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement
  6. Be among the first to explore and analyze data from PIAAC (above)...it will be administered in 2011 to about 5,000 individuals (ages 16 - 65) in 27 participating countries. Its goal is to assess and compare the basic cognitive and workplace skills and competencies of adults around the world.
  7. USe the International Data Explorer (IDE) to create data charts and tables using data from the PIRLS, PISA, and TIMSS international assessments.
And while you are browsing the NCES website, make sure you look at their Questionnaire Item Banks, Fast Facts, data breakdowns for any school or college...and possibly even particiapte in a future NCES StatChat Live.

One never knows what can be found. For example, when looking at the data for Western Washington University, I learned that 0.7% of the student body is classified as "Non-resident alien." I wonder what that means?

Source: Anna Roys e-mail, Math-Teach@MathForum.org, 6/25/2010