Wednesday, November 26, 2014 
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Behavior and Cognition

Children, Youth, and Families

Defense and National Security

Economy and the Workforce


Humans, Systems, and Technologies

Law, Crime, and Justice

National Surveys and Statistics

Population and Demography

Research Quality and Use

Society and the Environment

Testing and Assessment


What does research reveal about how people learn and which educational methods and policies are most effective? An evidence-based approach can provide valuable input into often-controversial debates about educational methods and policy. Our reports have examined and synthesized the evidence on a broad range of questions, from how to accurately measure high-school dropout rates, to the effects of incentives on student learning, to how adults learn to read. Given our affiliation with the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering, one area of emphasis is studying how children most effectively learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  See also:

Current Projects
Developing Assessments of Science Proficiency in K-12

A committee will make recommendations for strategies for developing assessments that validly measure student proficiency in science as laid out in the new K-12 science education framework.


Barriers and Opportunities in Completing Two and Four-Year STEM Degrees

This study will explore the barriers facing two- and four-year undergraduates who intend to major in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and opportunities for overcoming these barriers.


Climate Change Education Roundtable

The Roundtable on Climate Change Education* was established 2009 to foster ongoing discussion of the challenges to and strategies for improving climate science and climate change education for the general public, and for students in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.


Committee on Strengthening Science Education through a Teacher Learning Continuum

This study will explore the learning needs for teachers throughout their careers and how these needs might differ depending on school level (elementary, middle, and high school).

Committee for the Five Year (2009-2013) Summative Evaluation of the District of Columbia's Public Schools
The committee will write a consensus evaluation report that describes changes in the public schools during the period from 2009 to 2013 and also addresses the questions outlined in the PERAA legislation about effects on business practices; human resources operations and human capital strategies; academic plans; and student achievement.

Toward Integrated STEM Education: Developing a Research Agenda

The goal of this study is to develop a strategic research agenda for determining the approaches and conditions most likely to lead to positive outcomes of integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (iSTEM) education at the K-12 level.

Education for Life cover Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century (BOTA)

This report clarifies the meaning of the terms "21st century skills" and "deeper learning", examines evidence on links between these skills and positive adult outcomes, outlines teaching methods that support the development of transferable knowledge and skills, assess the degree to which current standards documents support deeper learning, and recommends future steps for policy and research.
Adult Literacy 

Improving Adult Literacy: Options for Practice and Research


This report recommends a program of research and innovation to gain a better understanding for adult literacy learners, improve instruction, and create the supports adult need for learning and achievement.  Read more

Framework cover 

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas


The framework identifies the key scientific ideas and practices all students should learn by the end of high schoolRead more

Successful STEM Education cover 

Successful K-12 STEM Education


This report considers various STEM-focused school models, highlights research on effective STEM education practices, and identifies conditions that promote school- and student-level success. Read more










Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape: Summary of a Summit  (BHEW,BLS,BOSE)

The National Research Council (NRC) and National Academy of Engineering (NAE) have released a new report, Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape: Summary of a Summit. Based on a... Read more

Assessing 21st Century Skills: Summary of a Workshop  (BOTA)

The routine jobs of yesterday are being replaced by technology and/or shipped off-shore. In their place, job categories that require knowledge management, abstract reasoning, and personal services... Read more

Successful STEM Education: A Workshop Summary  (BOSE,BOTA)

What students learn about the science disciplines, technology, engineering, and mathematics during their K-12 schooling shapes their intellectual development, opportunities for future study and work,... Read more

Climate Change Education: Goals, Audiences, and Strategies: A Workshop Summary  (BECS,BOSE)

The global scientific and policy community now unequivocally accepts that human activities cause global climate change. Although information on climate change is readily available, the nation still... Read more

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas  (BOSE)

Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to solving many of humanity's most pressing current and future challenges. The United States' position... Read more

Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics  (BOSE,BOTA)

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are cultural achievements that reflect our humanity, power our economy, and constitute fundamental aspects of our lives as citizens, consumers,... Read more

Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education  (BOTA)

In recent years there have been increasing efforts to use accountability systems based on large-scale tests of students as a mechanism for improving student achievement. The federal No Child Left... Read more

Allocating Federal Funds for State Programs for English Language Learners  (CNSTAT,BOTA)

As the United States continues to be a nation of immigrants and their children, the nation's school systems face increased enrollments of students whose primary language is not English. With the 2001... Read more

Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education:Summary of Two Workshops  (BOSE)

Numerous teaching, learning, assessment, and institutional innovations in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education have emerged in the past decade. Because... Read more

Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations  (BOSE)

At a time when scientific and technological competence is vital to the nation's future, the weak performance of U.S. students in science reflects the uneven quality of current science education. ... Read more

High School Dropout, Graduation, and Completion Rates:Better Data, Better Measures, Better Decisions  (BOTA)

High school graduation and dropout rates have long been used as indicators of educational system productivity and effectiveness and of social and economic well being. While determining these rates may... Read more

The National Academies