A comprehensive guide to education data and resources

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Editor’s note: At TrendCT, we often have questions about where to get education-related datasets — and our first step is to ask Connecticut Mirror education reporter Jacqueline Rabe Thomas.

Instead of keeping her knowledge to ourselves, we asked her to share her resources with TrendCT readers. If we missed something, let us know in the comments section so we can make this page as comprehensive as possible.

National Center for Education Statistics

If you have a data question about primary or secondary education in Connecticut, chances are the National Center for Education Statistics has the answer.

Does Connecticut get more money from the federal government now than 10 years ago for primary and secondary education? (Yes, 40 percent, or $185 million more.)

Are more students physically attacked while at school in Connecticut than 10 years ago? (Yes, 6 percent of students in Connecticut during the 2011–12 school year reported being physically attacked compared to 2.8 percent during the 2003–04 school year.)

Data is routinely updated by NCES, which is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.

Also useful is NCES’s blog that analyzes various reports.

Connecticut Education Data and Research

State and federal law require school and district leaders to report a lot of data to the Connecticut Department of Education. The Connecticut Education Data and Research portal — CEDaR for short — is where the public can view the data. Things on the site include average teacher salary, how often students are expelled and how many computers each school owns. While this site is insanely useful, the data has not been updated in a few years.

Standardized reports

Curious how students in your district did on the state’s standardized tests? Here are the websites to find out:

The new Smarter Balanced Assessments are expected to be released any day, and the results of those exams will be shared on their own site.

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System

If you have a data question about higher education in Connecticut, chances are the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or IPEDS, has the answer.

What master’s degrees are people in Connecticut earning? (One-quarter are in education, 20 percent are in business and 12 percent are in health care fields.)

Are teachers getting paid more? (Yes.)

Data is routinely updated by IPEDS, which is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education for higher education.

Office of Fiscal Analysis

Curious how the state spends money on education? The state’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis provides some insight. While the data reported is sporadic and not provided in any organized fashion, the office’s website provides a wealth of data, from state agency budget explanations to amounts spent on charter or magnet schools.

Connecticut General Assembly

Chances are there has been legislation proposed to address the issues in which you’re interested. The legislature’s website is a great resource for finding reports, proposed legislation, fiscal notes and transcripts. Type a keyword into their search engine and magic happens.

Education Commission of the States

Curious how Connecticut’s education policies compare to other states’? The Education Commission of the States probably has the answer. This nonpartisan think tank tracks education policies nationwide. If you can’t find what you are looking for on their website, they have staff eager to answer questions. The National Conference of State Legislatures also has useful data for seeing how Connecticut compares.

Education Writers Association resources

Still didn’t find what you are looking for? The Education Writers Association has a database of experts on various education subjects, and their contact information.

Do you know of a good resource we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments so this page can be as robust a resource as possible.

What do you think?

  • Joseph Brzezinski

    Thanks for the guide. At some point, the provders of these data need to review and improve content, so all users can do some simple to complex analyses by matching to data from other government and private vendor sources. Improved analyses should lead to better education delivery for students and enhance their opportunities.