The nation receives regular reports on key economic indicators that provide an overview of current conditions and allow comparisons over time. Regular trusted indicators in other important areas would be just as valuable to policy makers and the public, and development of Key National Indicators System, which will cover education, health, the environment and other key issues, in now underway. The National Academies was asked to explore possibilities for selecting the most important indicators of the state of education.
The Committee on Key National Education Indicators held a workshop to review the data that are already available and consider the challenges of selecting a clear and parsimonious set of indicators to represent the complex and disparate U.S. education system. The report of that workshop, Key National Education Indicators: Workshop Summary describes the possibilities suggested by experts versed in each aspect of education, from preschool and K-12 to higher education and the lifelong informal learning adults need to flourish in a global economy.