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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

ESSIN Task to Help with the CEDS Connect Tool. The goal of this project is to advance the use of Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS)-rich data sources for the purposes of conducting educational research, The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) sought assistance in the development of a research and analysis agenda that will promulgate appropriate uses of the SLDS and demonstrate how the data can inform, as well as assess, state and local educational policies and practices.
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Evaluation of the Graduate Research Fellowship Program. On behalf of NSF, NORC is conducting a study that will provide rigorous evidence of the impact of the GRFP on individuals’ educational decisions, career preparations, aspirations and progress, as well as professional productivity; and provide an understanding of how the program is implemented by universities and whether and how specific program policies could be adjusted to make the program more effective in meeting its goals.
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First 5 LA Family Survey. Funded by First 5 LA, the First 5 LA Family Survey will provide representative data about key indicators of well-being for children zero to five and their parents across 14 communities in Los Angeles County participating in Best Start.  Best Start is an ambitious place-based initiative with the goal of improving outcomes for children zero to five by ensuring children are born healthy, maintain a healthy weight, are free from abuse and neglect and enter school ready to learn.  More

Secure Data Access Facility (SDAF) for the National Science Foundation (NSF). The National Science Foundation awarded a contract to NORC to create a Secure Data Access Facility (SDAF) to house the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) and Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) data and metadata and to provide secure remote access and technical support to authorized researchers at the direction of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Division of Science Resources Statistics (SRS). More

Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) is a federal agency survey conducted by NORC for the National Science Foundation and five other federal agencies (National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration).* More

See all Education projects

Headlines

Sparks: The NORC Blog Jake Bartolone: Surveys and Sexual Assault on College Campuses: The Best Methodology for Sound Policy Solutions More
Posted: 3.30.2016 1:58PM
Sparks: The NORC Blog Carrie Markovitz: A Research Mom’s Perspective on Preschool: Lessons Learned from the Evaluation of the Minnesota Reading Corps PreK Program More
Posted: 4.21.2015 10:50AM
News Star Tribune: NORC evaluated the Minnesota Reading Corps, and looked at how young children learn to read More
Posted: 4.2.2015 12:23PM
Sparks: The NORC Blog Carrie Markovitz: New Evaluation Shows AmeriCorps Members Help Close the Achievement Gap More
Posted: 3.31.2015 12:23PM
News The Washington Post: The Impact and Process Evaluation of the Minnesota Reading Corps Program gives insight into how young readers may benefit from volunteers More
Posted: 3.30.2015 3:38PM