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National Center for Education Statistics

Logo, NCES

According to the official site, “The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.”

If you're looking for information on educational trends or teaching strategy analyses, try the NCES Publications and Products Search, or browse publications from the last 90 days to review the latest. If you’re not sure where to begin, try the subject index. Examples of titles available include "Teacher Strategies to Help Fourth-Graders Having Difficulty in Reading: An International Perspective" and "High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2007." Statistical projections are also available.

Another option is to look through the surveys and programs section to find your area of interest, and then browse a given project’s products. Of particular interest is the elementary/secondary section, which includes information on national statistics, school to work transitions, high school activities, safety, library use, family involvement in childhood education, rural education, and more.

Quick rundowns, "Fast Facts," of certain topics are also available. These include average reading scale scores, SAT scores, teacher trends, English as a second language, and students with disabilities.

The website also provides a number of relevant tools. Teach high school? Point your students toward the College Navigator to help them begin their college search.

Finally, the Kids' Zone also offers a graph making tool and a fun quiz feature. The quiz includes civics and history options for fourth, eighth, and twelfth grade students. Students can select five through 20 question versions. When they’re done, they can click on the "National Performance Results" icon by each question’s answer to see how their knowledge of the question compared to students around the country.