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Education

A strong belief in the power of education to transform lives and strengthen our position in the global economy fuels tremendous effort among government entities, educators, parents, and students, as well as significant investment in educational institutions and reform. Despite this, persistent economic and social forces can constrain the ability of our society to deliver on the promise of education and nurture an environment of achievement.

At NORC, we work to understand the entire spectrum of education, from the needs of the very young pre-school population to the personal and institutional benefits of advanced degrees earned by the most well-educated citizens.

Since its earliest wartime studies on the impact of the GI bill and public views of the federal role in schools, NORC has been a leading contributor to educational research. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, former NORC director Peter Rossi and scholar James S. Coleman conducted the first rigorous, scientific evaluation of schools with the Study of High School Climates and other studies that explored school busing and desegregation. These pioneering efforts in large, longitudinal studies—multi-round surveys of tens of thousands of students—led to our partnership with the U.S. Department of Education for The National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 as well as a related project, the well-known High School and Beyond. In higher education, projects like the Survey of Doctorate Recipients provide invaluable data about the demographics, careers, and institutional investment of this population.

These advanced data collection capabilities have helped solidify NORC’s reputation for extraordinarily high response and retention rates in long-term studies. Additionally, NORC plays a strong role in educational analysis and evaluation. Indeed, many of the insights gained through educational research have resulted in interventions such as Head Start, Federal outreach programs, and the No Child Left Behind law—all of which NORC and its partners helped evaluate. For example, with the Growth Model Pilot Project under No Child Left Behind, NORC evaluated student assessment based on a growth model—a potentially more effective alternative to current measures.

The field of educational research also showcases one of NORC’s strongest capabilities: the ability to bring together multiple partners and disciplines into fruitful collaboration. Our role in the large scale National Survey of Early Care and Education—the first study on the topic in 20 years—brings together interdisciplinary scholars and multiple organizations to arrive at a fresh and multi-faceted look at today’s child care supply and demand issues.

Specific areas of expertise include:

Representative Projects

A Study of the Working Environments of the Natural Science Departments in the University of Chicago and Northwestern University (Faculty Climate Study). On behalf of the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, NORC at the University of Chicago is conducting an in-depth qualitative analysis of the working climate within each university's natural sciences departments.  More

Harnessing Technology and Innovation in Two-Generation Educational Skills Investment Strategies. The purpose of this one-year planning grant is to create a framework and a roadmap for the development of a large-scale technology-based intervention to promote math learning in two
generations. The core element of the intervention will be a series of software-based interactive learning activities that pre-K students and their parents/caregivers use together that develop math More

Impact and Process Evaluation of the Minnesota Reading Corps (MRC) Program, Phases I and II. In 2011, NORC was awarded Phase I of a project to design and implement an Impact and Process Evaluation of the Minnesota Reading Corps (MRC) Program on behalf of the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS). The core activities of the MRC program are training, placing, and monitoring AmeriCorps members in school-based settings to implement reading and literacy interventions to children in both preschool (PreK) and K through 3rd grade (K-3) programs. Among its goals, Phase I was to explore options for designing a future impact evaluation of the MRC that assesses the impact of the program on students' literacy levels and on AmeriCorps members' (literacy tutors) educational goals and civic engagement. More

National Survey of Early Care and Education. The NSECE will gather information from multiple sources to provide rich data on the types of providers of early care and education, as well as the needs, constraints and preferences of families with children age 13 and under as they seek and use non-parental care for their children. More

NSC Postsecondary Persistence Indicator Project-PPIP. NORC is performing sampling, weighting, and variance estimation for the National Student Clearinghouse's Postsecondary Persistence Indicator Project (PPIP), supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. More

See all Education projects

Headlines

News Inside Higher Ed: The NLSY helps ask if undergraduates are matches for the degrees they choose More
Posted: 8.13.2013 10:16AM
News The Chicago Tribune: "High hopes and a high bar for Chicago's teachers" featuring NORC's Joyce Foundation Survey on Teacher Evaluation and Education Reform More
Posted: 3.23.2013 12:28PM
News The Chronicle of Higher Education: Success Study of the Horatio Alger Association Scholarship Program helps define character and moxie More
Posted: 1.23.2013 4:25PM
News TIME: The Horatio Alger Association’s State of Our Nation's Youth Project helps observe hope in high schoolers More
Posted: 9.6.2012 4:06PM
News USA Today: Concerns over the cost of college, with SONY data More
Posted: 8.8.2012 3:50PM