CNSTAT - TOPICS
Coordinating and Sustaining Federal Statistics
Decennial Census and American Community Survey
Federal Household and Business Surveys
Health and Social Welfare
Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency
Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Indicators
Statistical Methods and Estimates for Policy Use
"Young Adults in America," Live on C-SPAN’s "America by the Numbers" Segment of “Washington Journal”
More young adults ages 18-24 are going to college; 41 percent in 2012, up from 26 percent in 1980. Fewer are in the labor force; 65 percent in 2012, down from 75 percent in 1986, the peak year. Find out more on Friday, Aug. 29, at approximately 9:15 a.m. EDT as Tom Snyder, program director at the National Center for Education Statistics, discusses new findings about young adults.
Watch "Young Adults in America" w/Tom Snyder from @EDNCES live on @CSPANWJ Fri Aug 29 at 9:15 a.m. EDT
Most Fridays, C-SPAN’s “America By the Numbers” segment features information from the federal statistical system. The program highlights the trends and allows the public to call in or email their views. More information on previous C-SPAN programs is available at http://www.census.gov/newsroom/cspan/.
— September 2, 2014 —
We thank John Easton for his more than 5 years of service (since May 21, 2009) as director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and for his service as acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES; housed in IES) following the departure of former commissioner Jack Buckley at the end of 2013. As of September 1, John is distinguished service fellow at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago, IL. As director of IES, he oversaw not only NCES, but also the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, the National Center for Education Research, and the National Center for Special Education Research. Previously, he was executive director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago. He also served from 2003–2007 on the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policies for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. He holds a Ph.D. in measurement, evaluation, and statistical analysis from the University of Chicago; an M.A. from Western Washington University; and a B.A. from Hobart College.
We welcome Peggy Carr, associate commissioner for assessment at NCES, who has been named its acting commissioner. As associate commissioner, she was responsible for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), Progress in International Student Assessment (PISA), and the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). Peggy received the Meritorious Executive Rank Award for sustained superior accomplishments in management of programs in 2008. She holds a B.S. in psychology from North Carolina Central University, with a concentration in statistics, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Howard University. Before coming to NCES in 1993, she served as chief statistician for the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, and before that, as research methodologist of Howard University’s Statistical and Research Computer Laboratory.
We thank Cora Marrett, deputy director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), for her many years of service to the social science research and statistical communities. She stepped down from her position on August 24. She was confirmed as NSF deputy director in 2011 and has also served as NSF’s acting director and acting deputy director. She served as the first assistant director for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate from 1992–1996, and as assistant director for the Education and Human Resources Directorate from 2007–2011. She is a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin; from 1997–2001, she served as provost of the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. She has a B.A. in sociology from Virginia Union University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin. She served on the National Research Council’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and chaired the CNSTAT panel that produced Protecting Participants and Facilitating Social and Behavioral Sciences Research in 2003.
We welcome Fay Lomax Cook as the incoming assistant director for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) at NSF. She is a faculty fellow of the Institute for Policy Research and professor of human development and social policy in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on the relationships between public opinion and social policy, including the dynamics of public and elite support programs for older Americans, particularly Social Security. She is a fellow and past president of the Gerontological Society of America and an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
We congratulate the following members of the CNSTAT and federal statistical community who were elected as fellows of the American Statistical Association in 2014 and honored at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Boston, MA, on August 5, 2014:
- Nancy Bates, U.S. Census Bureau, “for outstanding contributions to the federal statistical system in survey methodology; for improving the measurement of same-sex couples in federal surveys; for leadership in the census to increase response rates in hard-to-count populations; and for outstanding service to the profession.” Nancy served on the CNSTAT panel that produced the 2013 report Nonresponse in Social Science Surveys: A Research Agenda.
- Johnny Blair, independent consultant, “for interdisciplinary research in survey and sampling methods, including advances in cognitive interviewing and reduction of response errors and techniques for accessing rare populations, and for insightful guidance on these methods while collaborating with a vast array of scientists and policymakers to improve major federal data collection systems.” Johnny served on the CNSTAT and Board on Chemical Sciences and Toxicology panel that produced the 2007 report Measuring Respirator Use in the Workplace.
- Scott Holan, University of Missouri, “for outstanding research in the statistical analysis of dependent data, particularly the development of multi-scale spectral methodology in time series and spatiotemporal statistics; for innovations to environmetrics, econometrics, and federal statistics; for excellence in mentoring; and for dedicated service to the profession.” Scott is a member of the CNSTAT Panel on Addressing Priority Technical Issues for the Next Decade of the American Community Survey.
- Frauke Krueter, Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland, “for outstanding contributions to research in the field of survey methodology; for excellence in mentoring of junior researchers in social statistics and survey methodology; and for extensive international research collaborations.”
- Elizabeth Stuart, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “for outstanding contributions to research in the estimation of causal effects; for extensive efforts in the dissemination of statistical methods in education and mental health, including the development of widely used software; and for extensive service to the ASA and the profession.” Elizabeth organized, with CNSTAT member Constantine Gatsonis, an expert meeting for the National Institute on Aging in April 2014 on methods for combining data from clinical trials and observational studies.
We congratulate Greg Duncan, distinguished professor of education at the University of California, Irvine, on his election to the board of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS). Greg spent the first 25 years of his career at the University of Michigan working on and ultimately directing the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). He has been president of the Population Association of America and the Society for Research in Child Development. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of AAPSS. He chaired the CNSTAT and IOM panel that produced the 2014 report The National Children’s Study 2014: An Assessment.
We congratulate Alan Karr, director of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) in Research Triangle Park, NC, on his appointment as director of the Center of Excellence for Complex Data Analysis (CoDA) at RTI International beginning in September 2014. Alan served as NISS director from 2001 and as its assistant director from 1992–2000. (NISS together with Cornell University serves a coordinating function for the National Census Research Network funded by the NSF Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics program and the U.S. Census Bureau.) Alan is also professor, statistics and biostatistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has a B.S. and M.S. in industrial engineering and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, all from Northwestern University. Prior to joining NISS, Alan held several positions at Johns Hopkins University, most recently as associate dean of the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.
We congratulate Sastry Pantula, dean of the College of Science at Oregon State University, for receiving a Founders Award from the American Statistical Association at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Boston MA, August 5, 2014. The award recognizes members who have rendered distinguished service to the association. Sastry’s citation reads:
For bold, sustained, and visionary leadership of the statistics profession in many different capacities: first, as an architect and steward of the success of the Department of Statistics at North Carolina State University; second, as the president of the ASA in 2010, with signal achievements in raising the visibility and impact of our field and numerous other contributions to the Association; third, as the first statistician to serve as the director of the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation; and fourth, as a dean at Oregon State University, nurturing a new wave of collaborative interdisciplinary statistical science.
We congratulate J. Gregory Robinson, special assistant for demographic analysis at the U.S. Census Bureau, and Kenneth Schoendorf, chief of the Infant Child and Women’s Health Statistics Branch, Office of Analysis and Epidemiology, National Center for Health Statistics, on receiving the Jeanne E. Griffith Mentoring Award for 2014. The award recognizes individuals working in federal, state, and local government statistical agencies for mentoring junior staff and is sponsored by the American Statistical Association Government Statistics and Social Statistics Sections, NORC at the University of Chicago, Westat, American Institutes for Research (AIR), American Educational Research Association (AERA), Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS), STATA, Washington Statistical Society (WSS), and Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP).
We congratulate Rob Santos, senior institute methodologist at the Urban Institute in Washington DC, on his election as vice president of the American Statistical Association for a 3-year term beginning January 2015. He has an M.A. in statistics from the University of Michigan and previously held appointments at NORC at the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan Survey Research Center, the Temple University Institute for Survey Research, and NuStats, LLC. He is the 2014 president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and a fellow of ASA. He has served on numerous CNSTAT panels and is a member of its current Panel on Addressing Priority Technical Issues for the Next Decade of the American Community Survey.
We congratulate Judith Seltzer, professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a founding member of the California Center for Population Research, on being elected president-elect of the Population Association of America for 2015. Judy has a B.A. in sociology from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. She was previously professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin. She served on the CNSTAT Panel on Residence Rules in the Decennial Census and Panel on the Design of the 2010 Census Program of Evaluations and Experiments. She is a member of the current CNSTAT Panel to Review the 2010 Census. She is also beginning a 4-year term of service on the General Social Survey (GSS) Board of Overseers.
We congratulate Tommy Wright, chief of the Statistical Research Division of the U.S. Census Bureau, on his election to a 3-year term to the NISS Board of Trustees. Tommy earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Ohio State University and served both on the research staff of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and as a professor at the University of Tennessee and Knoxville College before joining the Census Bureau. He is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and a fellow of the American Statistical Association.
We note the appointment of William J. Sabol as acting director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in addition to his continuing duties as acting director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), as of August 1, and wish departing acting NIJ director (and deputy director) Gregory Ridgeway well on his move to the criminology faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. Bill became acting director of BJS in January 2013 upon the departure of James Lynch; he previously served as BJS’s principal deputy director for statistical programs, and has held positions at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Urban Institute, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Maryland.
|We call your attention to several upcoming public events in September and October:|
- The Washington Statistical Society is holding a Conference on Administrative Records for Best Estimates, Thursday, September 18, 2014, from 1:00–4:00 pm at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Conference Center (to be placed on the seminar attendance list at BLS, e-mail your name, affiliation, and seminar name to firstname.lastname@example.org (underscore after ‘wss’) by noon at least 2 days in advance of the seminar, or call (202) 691-7524 and leave a message; bring a photo ID to the seminar; BLS is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE; use the Red Line to Union Station). Speakers include:
o Connie Citro, CNSTAT—From Multiple Modes for Surveys to Multiple Data Sources for Estimates: The Role of Administrative Records in Federal Statistics;
o Phil Kott, RTI International—A Different Paradigm Shift: Combining Administrative Data and Survey Samples for the Intelligent User;
o Graton Gathright, U.S. Census Bureau—The Role of Linked Administrative Data in the Evaluation and Improvement of the Survey of Income and Program Participation;
o Shelly Wilkie Martinez, Statistical and Science Policy, OMB—One Piece of the Multiple Data Sources Paradigm Shift: New Policy on Accessing and Using Administrative Data for Statistical Purposes;
o Shawn Bucholtz, Office of Policy Development & Research, HUD—Integrating Administrative Records and Commercial Data Sources into HUD’s Housing Surveys: Past, Present, and Future; and
o Amy O’Hara, U.S. Census Bureau—Fully Leverage External Data Sources: A Census Bureau Change Principle.
We are pleased to announce an open program officer position (job requisition number 140-124-5) at CNSTAT to work with staff of our decennial census and crime statistics panels. Preferred qualifications are a Ph.D. in statistics, economics, sociology, or survey research (or an M.A. with three years of related professional experience), together with ability to work successfully in a team environment, ability to develop excellent working relationships with volunteer panel members, sponsor staff, and National Academies staff, and excellent written and oral communication skills.
- The National Research Council’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education is pleased to announce that the 2014 Henry and Bryna David Lecture will be given by William Nordhaus, Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University, member of the National Academy of Sciences, and former member of CNSTAT. (The Henry and Bryna David Endowment recognizes innovative research in the behavioral and social sciences by selecting a leading researcher to write an article in her or his field to be presented at the National Academy of Sciences and published in Issues in Science and Technology.) Professor Nordhaus’s lecture is scheduled for Thursday, October 2, 2014, at 5 pm in Room 100 of the National Academies’ Keck Center, 500 5th St., NW, Washington, DC. To register, visit RSVP. The title of the lecture is The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World.
- The Committee on National Statistics is pleased to announce that its public fall seminar will be held on Friday, October 24, 2014, in the Lecture Room of the main NAS building at 2101 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC. The program will begin with light refreshments at 2 pm and end with a reception at 4:30 pm. The topic of the seminar will be Measuring Happiness, Suffering, and Other Dimensions of Experience: Challenges and Opportunities for Federal Surveys. To RSVP, visit the CNSTAT home page at http://www.nationalacademies.org/cnstat.
Civic Engagement and Social Cohesion: Measuring Dimensions of Social Capital to Inform Policy, the final report of the CNSTAT Panel on Measuring Social and Civic Engagement and Social Cohesion in Surveys, was released in prepublication format, June 23, 2014. It is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly. The panel was requested by the Corporation for National and Community Service and chaired by Kenneth Prewitt (Columbia University).
The Report in Brief—
People's bonds, associations and networks—as well as the civil, political, and institutional characteristics of the society in which they live—can be powerful drivers affecting the quality of life among a community's, a city's, or a nation's inhabitants and their ability to achieve both individual and societal goals. Civic engagement, social cohesion, and other dimensions of social capital affect social, economic and health outcomes for individuals and communities. Can these be measured, and can federal surveys contribute toward this end? Can this information be collected elsewhere, and if so, how should it be collected? With the needs of data users in mind, Civic Engagement and Social Cohesion examines conceptual frameworks developed in the literature to determine promising measures and measurement methods for informing public policy discourse. The report provides working definitions of key terms; advises on the feasibility and specifications of indicators relevant to analyses of social, economic, and health domains; and assesses the strength of the evidence regarding the relationship between these indicators and observed trends in crime, employment, and resilience to shocks such as natural disasters. It weighs the relative merits of surveys, administrative records, and non-government data sources, and considers the appropriate role of the federal statistical system, making recommendations to improve the measurement of civic health through government surveys and identifying priority areas for research, development, and implementation.
Issues in Returning Individual Results from Genome Research Using Population-Banked Specimens, with a Focus on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: A Workshop Summary, was released in prepublication format, June 19, 2014. It is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly. The workshop was requested by the National Center for Health Statistics and chaired by Wylie Burke (University of Washington).
The Report in Brief—
Population surveys traditionally collect information from respondents from questionnaires, but, in recent years, many surveys have also been collecting biologic specimens such as blood samples, saliva, and buccal swabs, from which a respondent's DNA can be ascertained along with other biomarkers (e.g., the level of a certain protein in the blood). NHANES has been collecting and storing genetic specimens since 1991, and other surveys, such as the Health and Retirement Study funded by the National Institute on Aging, have followed suit. In order to give their informed consent to participate in a survey, respondents need to know the disposition and use of their data. Will their responses be used for one research project and then destroyed, or will they be archived for secondary use? The addition of biologic specimens to a survey not only adds complications for storing, protecting, and providing access to such data for secondary research, but also raises questions of whether, when, and for which biologic measurements the results should be reported back to individual respondents. Recently, the cost of full genomic sequencing has plummeted, and research findings are beginning to accumulate that bear up under replication and that potentially have clinical implications for a respondent. Biomedical research studies, in which participants are asked to donate tissues for genetic studies and are usually told that they will not be contacted with any results, are increasingly confronting the issue of when and which DNA results to return to participants. Issues in Returning Individual Results from Genome Research Using Population-Based Banked Specimens, with a Focus on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey is the summary of a CNSTAT workshop convened in February 2013. The workshop sessions discussed to what extent and how population surveys, in particular NHANES, should implement the reporting of results from genomic research using stored specimens and address informed consent for future data collection as well as for the use of banked specimens covered by prior informed consent agreements.
The National Children’s Study 2014: An Assessment, the final report of the CNSTAT and Board on Children, Youth, and Families Panel on the Design of the National Children’s Study and Implications for the Generalizability of Results, was released in prepublication format, June 16, 2014. It is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly. The panel was requested by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in response to a congressional mandate and chaired by Greg Duncan (University of California, Irvine).
The Report in Brief—
The National Children's Study (NCS) was authorized by the Children's Health Act of 2000 and is being implemented by a dedicated Program Office in NICHD. The NCS is planned to be a longitudinal observational birth cohort study to evaluate the effects of chronic and intermittent exposures on child health and development in the United States, collecting a broad range of data for a national probability sample of about 100,000 children, followed from birth or before birth to age 21. Detailed plans for the NCS were developed by 2007 and reviewed by a CNSTAT/BCYF panel. At that time, sample recruitment for the NCS Main Study was scheduled to begin in 2009 and to be completed within about 5 years. However, results from the initial seven pilot locations, which recruited sample cases in 2009-2010, indicated that the proposed household-based recruitment approach would be more costly and time consuming than planned. In response, the Program Office implemented pilot tests in 2011 to evaluate alternative recruitment methods. At the request of Congress, The National Children's Study 2014 reviews the revised study design and proposed methods for the NCS Main Study to determine if they are likely to produce scientifically sound results that are generalizable to the U.S. population and appropriate subpopulations. The report makes recommendations about the overall study framework, sample design, timing, content, and need for scientific expertise and oversight, noting that the NCS has the potential to add immeasurably to knowledge of the effects of environmental factors, broadly defined, on children in the United States. In response to the report’s conclusions and recommendations, the NIH director has put the NCS Main Study on hold until further notice.
Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Spaceflight, the final report of the Committee on Human Spaceflight, was released in prepublication format, June 4, 2014. It is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly. The study was requested by NASA in response to a congressional mandate and co-chaired by Mitchell Daniels (Purdue University) and Jonathan Lunine (Cornell University). Roger Tourangeau chaired a Panel on Public and Stakeholder Opinion that provided input to the main committee (see Chapter 3and Appendixes B-E of the report).
The Report in Brief—
The United States has publicly funded its human spaceflight program on a continuous basis for more than a half-century from the early Mercury and Gemini suborbital and Earth orbital missions, to the lunar landings, and thence to the first reusable winged crewed space plane. Today the United States is the major partner in a massive orbital facility, the International Space Station, which is becoming the focal point for the first tentative steps in commercial cargo and crewed orbital space flights. And yet, the long-term future of human spaceflight beyond this project is unclear. Pronouncements by multiple presidents of bold new ventures by Americans to the Moon, to Mars, and to an asteroid in its native orbit, have not been matched by the substantial increase in NASA funding needed to make it happen. Pathways to Exploration explores the case for advancing this endeavor, drawing on the history of rationales for human spaceflight, examining the attitudes of stakeholders and the public, and carefully assessing the technical and fiscal realities. The report recommends maintaining a long-term focus on Mars as the horizon goal for human space exploration. With this goal in mind, the report considers funding levels necessary to maintain a robust tempo of execution, current research and exploration projects and the time/resources needed to continue them, and international cooperation that could contribute to the achievement of spaceflight to Mars. According to Pathways to Exploration, a successful U.S. program would require sustained national commitment and a budget that increases by more than the rate of inflation.
Capturing Change in Science, Technology, and Innovation: Improving Indicators to Inform Policy, the final report of the CNSTAT and Board on Science, Economic, and Technology Policy Panel on Developing Science, Technology, and Innovation Indicators for the Future, was released in prepublication form, November 25, 2013. It is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly. The panel was requested by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) and co-chaired by Robert Litan (Bloomberg Government) and Andrew Wyckoff (OECD).
The Report in Brief—
Since the 1950s, under congressional mandate, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)— through NCSES and its predecessors—has produced regularly updated measures of research and development expenditures, employment and training in science and engineering, and other indicators of the state of U.S. science and technology. A more recent focus has been on measuring innovation in the corporate sector. NCSES not only collects its own data on science, technology, and innovation (STI) activities, but also incorporates data from other agencies to produce indicators that are used for monitoring purposes— including comparisons among sectors, regions, and with other countries—and for identifying trends that may require policy attention and generate research needs. NCSES provides extensive tabulations and microdata files for in-depth analysis. Capturing Change in Science, Technology, and Innovation provides recommendations about the need for revised, refocused, and newly developed indicators of STI activities that would enable NCSES to respond to changing policy concerns. The report identifies both existing and potential data resources and tools that NCSES could exploit to further develop its indicators program. Finally, the report considers strategic pathways for NCSES to move forward with an improved STI indicators program that will enhance NCSES's ability to produce indicators that capture change in science, technology, and innovation to inform policy and optimally meet the needs of its user community.
Reminder: PDF versions of CNSTAT and NAS reports are available for free download at The National Academies Press website, http://www.nap.edu. NOTE: The download site asks for your e-mail and a password. If you don’t have an NAP account and don’t want to have one, then provide your e-mail and click “I don’t have an account;” on the next page click “accept NAP policies” and “log in as guest”.
Reminder: Slides from previous CNSTAT public seminars, and from several major workshops, are available on the Presentations page on the CNSTAT website.
CNSTAT holds three regular meetings each year, with its spring and fall meeting dates following a set formula; our May meetings are always the Thursday–Friday preceding Mother’s Day and our October meetings are always the second-to-last Thursday–Friday of the month. Here are the next three meetings: CNSTAT’s 125th meeting will be held October 23-24, 2014, in the NAS main building at 2101 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC. On the 24th, the meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads, followed by a public seminar, beginning with light refreshments at 2 pm and ending with a reception at 4:30 pm. Be sure to mark your calendar: The topic of the seminar will be “Measuring Happiness, Suffering, and Other Dimensions of Experience: Challenges and Opportunities for Federal Surveys.”
CNSTAT’s 126th meeting will be held February 6-7, 2015, at the Beckman Center of the National Academies in Irvine, CA. It will be a retreat meeting; there will be no agency head luncheon or public seminar.
CNSTAT’s 127th meeting will be held May 7-8, 2015, in the NAS main building at 2101 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC. On the 8th, the meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads, followed by a public seminar, beginning with light refreshments at 2 pm and ending with a reception at 4:30 pm.
CNSTAT News 2013
CNSTAT News 2012
CNSTAT News 2011
CNSTAT News 2010
CNSTAT News 2009
CNSTAT News 2008
CNSTAT News 2007