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NORC leverages its expertise in assessments and measurement to improve educational programs, practices, and policies.

Educational organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors all need data to make evidence-based decisions. However, in many cases, the data they have access to is unreliable, not applicable, or difficult to understand. NORC provides these organizations with tools that provide unbiased, rigorously produced data that informs their work on early education, K-12, and higher education programs, policies, and practices.

Early childhood education systems have historically lacked a standard approach to measure early math, oral language, and literacy skills in pre-kindergarten classrooms. NORC partners with a variety of agencies and organizations to address that issue. For example, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and Welborn Baptist Foundation hired NORC and the University of Chicago to develop the Kindergarten Readiness Indicators (KRI), a brief assessment that measures early oral language, literacy, and numeracy skills for Pre-K children. Pre-K providers across the state of Indiana now use it to assess students in the On My Way pre-kindergarten funded programs. Through the Getting on Track Early for School Success project, NORC and the University of Chicago built a system that enables teachers to monitor how pre-kindergarten student’s progress on numerical and spatial reasoning skills and on oral language and literacy skills. Those skills make up the foundation for success in later learning in elementary school and beyond.

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Education Assessments & Measurement Experts

Highlighted Projects

Understanding What Matters in the School Choice Process

The first comprehensive review of all text data from Great Schools, a popular school review website


Institute of Education Sciences

Measuring Outcomes from Academically Oriented Kindergarten

Exploring whether advanced academics is related to kindergarteners’ academic and social outcomes


National Institutes of Health

Improving the Institutional Transformation Assessment

Adding a state policy rubric to enhance a self-assessment tool for colleges


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Doctoral Benchmarking Alliance

Doctoral programs create standardized measures to assess their performance


University of Phoenix, Grand Canyon University, Walden University, Capella University, Indiana Weselyan University, Colorado Technical University, and Northcentral University

2020 AERA-Spencer COVID-19 Impact Survey

Examining how the pandemic influenced the experiences of early-career doctorates and doctoral students


American Educational Research Association; Spencer Foundation

National Assessment of Educational Progress

Assessing whether the NAEP, used to gauge learning progress, can also measure college readiness


National Assessment Governing Board

Climate Study for the Canadian Economics Association

Examining the work situations of an entire field of economists in Canada


Canadian Economics Association

College Board ACES

Providing better and secure means of validating college admissions and course placement policies


College Board

Getting on Track: Improving Pre-K Outcomes

An innovative assessment tool that reliably alerts teachers to lagging language and math skills


Heising-Simons Foundation, Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, PNC Foundation

From the Classroom to the Lab and Back

Teaching preschoolers math fundamentals to enhance later learning


McCormick Foundation

Kindergarten Readiness Indicators

Measuring early literacy and numeracy skills for pre-K children


Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Welborn Baptist Foundation

The Indiana University Abortion Attitudes Project

A multi-year study aimed at developing and testing measures to assess abortion attitudes


Indiana University

Analyzing Parent Narratives to Create Parent Gauge™

Helping Head Start build a tool to assess parent, family, and community engagement


National Head Start Association, Ford Foundation, Rainin Foundation, Region V Head Start Association

The Survey of Earned Doctorates

The most comprehensive annual census of new research doctorate recipients from U.S. institutions


National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

The Cost Analysis in Practice (CAP) Project

Support and guidance for education researchers conducting cost analysis


Institute of Education Sciences (via Teachers College, Columbia University)

Graduate Research Fellowship Program Pilot Project

Innovating data collection methods to track National Science Foundation research fellowship outcomes


National Science Foundation

Pre-K Developmental Loss from COVID-19 Closures

Examining preschoolers’ cognitive and social skills during the pandemic


University of Colorado, Denver

Our Sunday Visitor Institute

Tailored survey development to improve and assess a Catholic charity’s initiatives


Our Sunday Visitor Institute