ERIC Identifier: ED363796
Publication Date: 1993-00-00
Author: Wagner, Judith O.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Adult Career and Vocational Education Columbus OH.
Locating Education and Literacy Statistics. ERIC Digest.
Finding specific statistics can be a time-consuming and frustrating
experience. Although the ERIC database includes information about education
statistics, it is not a good source of specific statistical information. This
ERIC DIGEST suggests alternative sources for obtaining various types of
education and literacy statistics and information.
The National Center for Education
Statistics (NCES), part of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of
Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), is the best single source for
statistics regarding all aspects of education and literacy. NCES provides free
products and services to educational researchers and state and local education
agencies, including use of questionnaires developed for national surveys and
information or tabulations using NCES data sets (OERI 1993b).
OERI materials and information are meant to be used by students, parents,
teachers, administrators, librarians, and policymakers at all educational
levels. Free and inexpensive products range from publications for parents to
help their children learn to comprehensive statistical reports. Statistical
databases are available on tape, diskette, and CD-ROM. The OERI toll-free
telephone line--1-800-424-1616--is staffed by trained information specialists
who can respond to requests for information (OERI 1993a).
THE CONDITION OF EDUCATION, NCES's compilation of statistics, includes "data
that measure the health of education, monitor important developments, and show
trends in major aspects of education." It also "provides a means to report where
progress is being made...and where it is not, to draw attention to emerging
issues, and to inform the ongoing policy debate" ("Condition of Education
In addition, NCES publishes reports on specific aspects of education such as
teachers, vocational education, adult education, public schools, private
schools, and expenditures. Information that can be obtained from NCES
publications, such as the DIGEST OF EDUCATION STATISTICS, and from their
information office includes data on program participation, student outcomes,
enrollment rates, educational attainment, regulations, and expenditures as they
relate to public and private elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education.
Information about teacher education, teacher-pupil ratios, teacher salaries, and
selected characteristics of teachers in all educational settings is also
available. The following items in the bibliography are examples of NCES reports:
Choy (1993), Gerald et al. (1989), and Snyder (1993).
Vocational education information is included in several NCES publications.
Hoachlander et al.'s (1992) review of vocational education from 1969 to 1990
discusses such topics as program participation, student outcomes, labor market
participation, Carnegie units, and demographic information about vocational
For the specific information that you need related to any type of education
Center for Education Statistics
of Educational Research and Improvement
Department of Education
New Jersey Avenue, NW
In addition to calling the information office at NCES for the statistical
information that you need, you will find their reports and newsletters at most
state, university, and large-city public libraries. State departments of
education and local boards of education will have information about their
During 1992, the National Center for
Education Statistics, in cooperation with the Educational Testing Service (ETS),
conducted a National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) to "profile the English
literacy of adults in the United States based on their performance across a wide
array of tasks that reflect the types of materials and demands they encounter in
their daily lives" (Kirsch et al. 1993, p. xiii). The study resulted in
information on types and levels of literacy skills and the variation in skills
across major subgroups in the population. The report explores and analyzes
connections between literacy skills and variables such as voting, economic
status, weeks worked, and earnings. In addition, the survey characterizes
literacy skills in terms of demographics and personal background; characterizes
the work force with respect to literacy skills by various occupational
categories; compares results with those from other literacy surveys; interprets
findings related to information processing skills; and provides increased
understanding of the skills and knowledge associated with functioning in a
technological society (NCES 1993).
Each state has--or soon will have--a State Literacy Resource Center (SLRC)
that will become part of a network of centers to stimulate the coordination of
literacy services, enhance the capacity of state and local organizations to
provide literacy services, and serve as a link between the National Institute
for Literacy and service providers (Office of Vocational and Adult Education
1993). The Center for Literacy Studies at the University of Tennessee is one of
the newly formed SLRCs. They have information and statistics about programs in
Tennessee including a profile of each county. Each of the SLRCs will have
similar types of information. Call your state governor's office or the U.S.
Department of Education's Adult Education and Literacy Clearinghouse for the
location of the SLRC in your state.
Many agencies and organizations focus on some aspects of literacy.
Information and/or statistics can be obtained from those listed here.
for the Study of Adult Literacy
Calder Way, Suite 209
Park, PA 16801-4756; (814) 863-3777
Although they do not have statistical information, the institute staff can
provide information about computer software and computer-assisted instruction as
it relates to adult literacy. They also have information about adult basic
education and General Educational Development (GED) programs, family literacy,
and workplace literacy.
Center for Family Literacy
South 4th, Suite 610
KY 40202; (502) 584-1133
of Adult Education & Literacy Clearinghouse
Department of Education
Maryland Avenue, SW
E. Switzer Building, Room 4428
DC 20202-7240; (202) 205-9996
The USDE Clearinghouse provides information and free materials.
for Literacy Studies
Claxton Education Bldg.
TN 37996-3400; (615) 974-4109
The Center has statistical and program information for Tennessee and compiles
profiles of each county in the state. A statewide survey regarding literacy is
Volunteers of America
NY 13214; (315) 445-8000
LVA provides information about local programs in adult literacy and English
as a second language as well as statistical information.
Institute for Literacy
Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 200
DC 20006; (202) 632-1500
The National Institute was established to influence national literacy policy
by supporting National Education Goal 5: Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning
and fulfilling the mandates of the National Literacy Act.
Literacy Hotline: (800) 228-8813
GED Hotline: (800) 626-9433
Contact Center provides information on local GED and literacy programs and on
state hotlines. They also have an information packet about the GED test that is
available upon request. Requests for literacy statistics will be referred to
Center on Adult Literacy
PA 19104-3111; (215) 898-2100
The National Center can provide information about all areas of adult
literacy--national and international.
Choy, Susan P. AMERICA'S TEACHERS: PROFILE OF A
PROFESSION. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S.
Department of Education, 1993. (ED 359 185)
"Condition of Education 1993: A Gold Mine of Stats." DAILY REPORT CARD 3, no.
51 (August 11, 1993).
Gerald, Debra E.; Horn, Paul J.; and Hussar, William J. PROJECTIONS OF
EDUCATION STATISTICS TO 2000. Washington, DC: National Center for Education
Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 1989. (ED 312 793)
Hoachlander, E. Gareth; Kaufman, Philip; Levesque, Karen; and Houser, James.
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES: 1969-1990. Washington, DC: National
Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 1992. (ED 345
Kirsch, Irwin S.; Jungeblut, Ann; Jenkins, Lynn; and Kolstad, Andrew. ADULT
LITERACY IN AMERICA: A FIRST LOOK AT THE RESULTS OF THE NATIONAL ADULT LITERACY
SURVEY. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S.
Department of Education, September 1993. (ED 358 375)
National Center for Education Statistics. THE CONDITION OF EDUCATION.
Washington, DC: NCES, U.S. Department of Education, annual.
National Center for Education Statistics. DIGEST OF EDUCATION STATISTICS.
Washington, DC: NCES, U.S. Department of Education, annual.
National Center for Education Statistics. "New Study to Look at Literacy in
the United States." Washington, DC: NCES, U.S. Department of Education, May
Office of Educational Research and Improvement. "How Can the Office of
Educational Research and Improvement Help You?" Washington, DC: OERI, U.S.
Department of Education, 1993a.
Office of Educational Research and Improvement. OERI BULLETIN. Washington,
DC: OERI, U.S. Department of Education, Spring-Summer 1993b.
Office of Vocational and Adult Education. DIRECTORY OF STATE LITERACY
RESOURCE CENTERS. Washington, DC: Division of Adult Education and Literacy,
OVAE, U.S. Department of Education, July 1993.
Snyder, Thomas D., ed. 120 YEARS OF AMERICAN EDUCATION: A STATISTICAL
PORTRAIT. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S.
Department of Education, 1993. (ED 355 277)