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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education


New CNSTAT Logo

 — September 2019 — 


People in the News


We are delighted to welcome four new members to the Committee on National Statistics:

  • Robert Goerge, Chapin Hall, The University of Chicago
  • Hilary Hoynes, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
  • Sharon Lohr, Statistical Consultant and Writer, Tempe, Arizona
  • Jeannette Wing, Data Science Institute, Columbia University
Read more about our current members.

We thank the following departing CNSTAT members, who have served for the past 6 years, for their dedicated service to CNSTAT :

  • Mary Ellen Bock, Department of Statistics, Purdue University
  • Michael E. Chernew, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School
  • Colm A. O'Muircheartaigh, Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, The University of Chicago


We congratulate CNSTAT member and survey researcher extraordinaire Don Dillman on the upcoming reception in honor of his “First 50 Years of Service to Washington State University (Don has no plan of retiring),” given by the Department of Sociology, September 16, 2019.

We congratulate Nitin Naik, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Census Bureau (Ph.D., computer science, Louisiana State University), on receiving an inaugural Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership Award from Government Executive, which established the awards program in connection with its 50th anniversary (see this site). Nitin’s award was in the Visionary category, and it recognizes his contributions to the preparation for the 2020 Census.

Finally, and very importantly, we thank the federal statistical, research, and evaluation agencies that contribute core funding to CNSTAT. These funds enable CNSTAT to maintain a core staff, organize an active program of seminars and other events, convene workshops on topics of broad interest to the federal statistical community, and produce Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency.

Core contributors for 2019 are:

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, DHHS
  • Behavioral and Social Research Division, National Institute on Aging, DHHS
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor
  • Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Department of Transportation
  • Economic Research Service, USDA
  • Energy Information Administration, Department of Energy
  • Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics, NSF
  • National Center for Education Statistics , Department of Education
  • National Center for Health Statistics, DHHS
  • National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, NSF
  • National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA
  • Office of Policy Development and Research, HUD
  • Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, SSA
  • Statistics of Income Division, IRS
  • U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Research and Evaluation Division, DHS

Publication News 

Recently Released Reports
Monitoring Educational Equity,
the final report of a consensus committee chaired by Christopher Edley, Jr. (University of California, Berkeley) and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Atlantic Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, Spencer Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and W.T. Grant Foundation, was released in prepublication format on June 13, 2019. Free PDFs are availablehere and printed copies will be available shortly.

Disparities in educational attainment among population groups have characterized the United States throughout its history. Education is sometimes characterized as the “great equalizer,” but to date, the country has not found ways to successfully address the adverse effects of socioeconomic circumstances, prejudice, and discrimination that suppress performance for some groups.

To ensure that the pursuit of equity encompasses both the goals to which the nation aspires for its children and the mechanisms to attain those goals, a revised set of equity indicators is needed. Measures of educational equity often fail to account for the impact of the circumstances in which students live on their academic engagement, academic progress, and educational attainment. Some of the contextual factors that bear on learning include food and housing insecurity, exposure to violence, unsafe neighborhoods, adverse childhood experiences, and exposure to environmental toxins. Consequently, it is difficult to identify when intervention is necessary and how it should function. A revised set of equity indicators should highlight disparities, provide a way to explore potential causes, and point toward possible improvements. Monitoring Educational Equity proposes a system of indicators of educational equity and presents recommendations for implementation. This report also serves as a framework to help policy makers better understand and combat inequity in the United States’ education system. Disparities in educational opportunities reinforce, and often amplify, disparities in outcomes throughout people’s lives. Thus, it is critical to ensure that all students receive comprehensive supports that level the playing field in order to improve the well-being of underrepresented individuals and the nation.

Reproducibility and Replicability in Science, the final report of a consensus committee chaired by Harvey Fineberg (Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation) and sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, was released in prepublication format on May 7, 2019. Free PDFs are available here; printed copies will be available shortly.

One of the pathways by which the scientific community confirms the validity of a new scientific discovery is by repeating the research that produced it. When a scientific effort fails to independently confirm the computations or results of a previous study, some fear that it may be a symptom of a lack of rigor in science, while others argue that such an observed inconsistency can be an important precursor to new discovery. Concerns about reproducibility and replicability have been expressed in both scientific and popular media. As these concerns came to light, Congress requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conduct a study to assess the extent of issues related to reproducibility and replicability and to offer recommendations for improving rigor and transparency in scientific research. Reproducibility and Replicability in Science defines reproducibility and replicability and examines the factors that may lead to non-reproducibility and non-replicability in research. Unlike the typical expectation of reproducibility between two computations, expectations about replicability are more nuanced, and in some cases a lack of replicability can aid the process of scientific discovery. This report provides recommendations to researchers, academic institutions, journals, and funders on steps they can take to improve reproducibility and replicability in science.

A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, the final report of a consensus panel chaired by Greg Duncan (University of California, Irvine) and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Foundation for Child Development; Marguerite Casey Foundation; Buffett Early Childhood Fund; W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Joyce Foundation; William T. Grant Foundation, and Russell Sage Foundation, was released in prepublication format on February 28, 2019. Free PDFs are available here; printed copies will be available shortly.

Capable, responsible, and healthy adults are the foundation of any well-functioning and prosperous society, but in this regard the future of the United States is not as secure as it could be. This is because millions of American children live in families with incomes below the poverty line. A wealth of evidence suggests that a lack of adequate family economic resources compromises children’s ability to grow and achieve success in adulthood, hurting them and the broader society as well. Recognizing this challenge to America’s future, Congress asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a comprehensive study of child poverty in the United States, and to identify evi¬dence-based programs and policies for reducing the number of children living in poverty by half within 10 years. In its report, the committee (organized under the Board on Children, Youth, and Families and CNSTAT) concludes that poverty causes negative outcomes for children, especially if it occurs in early childhood or persists through a large part of childhood. Studies estimate that child poverty costs the nation roughly between $800 billion and $1.1 trillion annually in terms of lost adult productivity, the increased costs of crime, and increased health expenditures. The report identifies two packages of policies and programs that could reduce child poverty in the United States by half within 10 years, at a cost far lower than the estimated costs it bears from child poverty.

Recently Released Reports Available in Printed Form
 

Methods to Foster Transparency and Reproducibility of Federal Statistics, released December 2018
Improving Data Collection and Measurement of Complex Farms, released October 2, 2018.
Letter Report on the 2020 Census (released August 17, 2018)

Reminder: PDF versions of CNSTAT and National Academies reports are available for free download at The National Academies Press website, http://www.nap.edu. 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 are available on the CNSTAT public seminars and symposia page. Presentations and posters from the Big Data Day event on May 11, 2018, are available here. Presentations from the October 19, 2018 seminar Leveraging and Integrating Data for Disasters are available here. Presentations from the May 10, 2019, seminar National Statistics for Public Policy: Linkages among Federal, State, and Local Data, will be posted soon.

 
Events & Other News

We hope you will join us for Data Linkage Day the afternoon of October 18, 2019 at the National Academy of Sciences Building, 2101 Constitution Ave., NW. Please see the Call for Posters and Lightning Presentations attached to this newsletter. The event will include the 2019 Links Lecture, which will be given by Bruce Meyer. His topic is Linking Data to Improve Income Statistics. This event is being held in conjunction with the October 17-18, 2019, CNSTAT meeting.

CNSTAT will convene a Workshop on 2020 Census Data Products, which is scheduled for December 11-12, 2019, at the National Academy of Sciences Building, 2101 Constitution Ave., NW. The workshop is sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau.


We call your attention to the University of Virginia’s Data Science for the Public Good Distinguishsed Speaker Series, which will feature Katharine Abraham, September 17, 2019, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Sands Family Grounds, 1100 Wilson Blvd., 30th floor, Arlington, VA. Katharine is director of the Maryland Center for Economics and Policy and a professor of survey methodology and economics at the University of Maryland. She was Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, and chaired the Bipartisan Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. She served on CNSTAT and as chair of the panels that produced Beyond the Market: Designing Nonmarket Accounts for the United States (2005) and Reengineering the Census Bureau’s Annual Economic Surveys (2018). Register here.

We call your attention to the 28th Annual Morris Hansen Lecture, which will be given by Malay Ghosh on Wednesday October 30, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. with a reception to follow at 5:30. His title is “Small Area Estimation: Its Evolution in Five Decades.” Discussants will be J. N.K. Rao, Carleton University, and Julie Gershunskaya, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Hansen Lecture will be held at the Jefferson Auditorium, USDA, Independence Ave, Washington DC. Register here.

We call your attention to the release of Differential Undercounts in the U.S. Census: Who is Missing?, authored by William P. O'Hare, by Springer Publishers earlier this year. Bill is president of O’Hare Data and Demographic Services and was formerly director of Kids Count at the Annie E. Casy Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of the 2020 Census Project, which is a pooled fund administered by a collaborative promoting a fair and accurate census, the book is available free in electronic form at this site.

We call your attention to a paper by CNSTAT senior scholar Connie Citro, “Protecting the Accuracy of the 2020 Census,” which appears in the summer 2019 Issues in Science and Technology, published by the National Academies, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Arizona State University, and available at this site.


CNSTAT Meetings

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 140th meeting will be held October 17-18, 2019, at the National Academy of Sciences Building at 2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. On the 18th, the meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads (members of the ICSP), followed by Data Linkage Day posters and lightning presentations and the 2019 Links Lecture, given by Bruce Meyer on the topic of Linking Data to Improve Income Statistics. The event will begin with light refreshments at 1:00 pm and end at 5:30 pm. Register here!

CNSTAT’s 141st meeting will be held February 20-21, 2020, in Stanford, California. It will be a retreat meeting and will not have an agency heads luncheon or a public seminar.

CNSTAT’s 142nd meeting will be held May 7-8, 2020, at the National Academy of Sciences Building at 2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. On the 8th, the meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads (members of the ICSP), followed by a public seminar, beginning with light refreshments at 1:30 pm and ending at 5:00 pm.



Active Panels & Workshops


Unless otherwise noted, meetings are in Washington, D.C., and include open sessions. For further information, contact Brian Harris-Kojetin at BKojetin@nas.edu or Rebecca Krone at RKrone@nas.edu. . Projects are listed by sponsor agency, beginning with federal departments. Also see the CNSTAT web site under “Our Work.”

CNSTAT Core Sponsors
Challenges and New Approaches for Protecting Privacy in Federal Statistical Programs: A Workshop
Sponsors: CNSTAT Core Sponsors
Duration: August 2018–December 2019
Study director: Nancy Kirkendall; project assistant: Jillian Kaufman
Chair: Jerome P. Reiter (Duke University)
Meeting: Workshop held June 6-7, 2019; see this site for videos and presentations (note: no publication is planned)

 



Department of Agriculture
Consensus Panel on Improving Consumer Data for Food and Nutrition Policy Research
Sponsor: Economic Research Service (Consumer Data and Nutrition Research [CDNR] Program)
Duration: October 2017–December 2019
Study director: Christopher Mackie; senior program officer: Nancy Kirkendall; associate program officer: Michael Siri
Chair: Marianne Bitler (University of California, Davis)
Publication planned: Consensus report is being drafted
Meetings: Fifth and last meeting held May 20, 2019, in Chicago, IL

Workshop on Model-Based Methods for Producing Estimates of Livestock with Appropriate Measures of Uncertainty
Sponsor: National Agricultural Statistics Service
Duration: September 2014–September 2019
Study director: Nancy Kirkendall; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: Eric Slud (University of Maryland and U.S. Census Bureau)
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings are being drafted
Meeting: Workshop held May 15, 2019; see this site for more information

 


Department of Commerce
Workshop on 2020 Census Data Products
Sponsor: U.S. Census Bureau
Duration: August 2019 – July 2020
Study director: Daniel Cork; senior scholar: Constance Citro; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings
Upcoming meeting: Workshop scheduled for December 11-12, 2019, in Washington, DC


Department of Education
Consensus Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity (see listing under “The Atlantic Philanthropies et al.” below)
 


Department of Health and Human Services
Consensus Committee on Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children in Poverty by Half in 10 Years (led by Board on Children, Youth, and Families)
Sponsors: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Foundation for Child Development; Marguerite Casey Foundation; The Buffet Early Childhood Fund; The W.K. Kellogg Foundation; The Joyce Foundation; William T. Grant Foundation; and Russell Sage Foundation
Duration: October 2016–April 2019
Study director: Suzanne Le Menestrel (BCYF); senior scholar: Constance Citro; senior program officer: Christopher Mackie; associate program officer: Elizabeth Townsend (BCYF); research associate: Dara Shefska (BCYF); project assistant: Pamella Atayi (BCYF)
Chair: Greg Duncan (UC Irvine)
Publication: A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty released in prepublication format on February 28, 2019 (see “Recently Released Reports” above)

Consensus Panel on Rising Midlife Mortality Rates and Socioeconomic Disparities (led by Committee on Population)
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Duration: October 2018–December 2020
Study director: Malay Majmundar; program officer: Tara Becker; project assistant: Ellie Grimes
Chair: Kathleen Mullan Harris (UNC, Chapel Hill)
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: Third meeting held July 17-18, 2019; fourth meeting is scheduled for October 21-22, 2019; see this site for more information

Workshop on Approaches to Estimating the Prevalence of Human Trafficking in the United States (in collaboration with the Committee on Population)
Sponsor: Office of Women’s Health
Duration: September 2018–December 2019
Study director: Jordyn White; project assistant: Ellie Grimes
Chair: David Banks (Duke University)
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings are being drafted
Meeting: Workshop held April 8-9, 2019; see this site for more information

Workshop on Social Science Modeling for Big Data in the World of Machine Learning
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging, Division of Behavioral and Social Research
Duration: October 2018–December 2019
Study director: Michael Siri; project assistant: Jillian Kaufman
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: None
Upcoming meeting: Workshop scheduled for October 24-25, 2019, in Washington, DC
 


Department of Homeland Security
Consensus Committee on Best Practices in Assessing Mortality and Significant Morbidity Following Large-Scale Disasters (led by Board on Health Sciences Policy)
Sponsor: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Duration: October 2018–September 2020
Study director: Michelle Mancher (HSP); senior program officer: Daniel Cork
Chair: Ellen J. MacKenzie (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: Second meeting scheduled for August 29-30, 2019, in Washington, DC; see this site for more information

 


Department of the Interior
Consensus Committee on An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and Capacities (led by Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Sponsor: Bureau of Land Management
Duration: Fall 2018 – Fall 2020
Study director: Robin Schoen (BANR); senior program officer: Krisztina Marton
Chair: Susan Harrison (University of California, Davis)
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: First meeting scheduled for August 18-19, 2019, in Washington, DC; see this site for more information

 


Department of Labor
Consensus Panel on Contingent Work and Alternate Work Arrangements
Sponsor: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Duration: September 2018–March 2020
Study director: Chris Mackie; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: Susan Houseman (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: Third meeting (closed) scheduled for September 6, 2019, in Chicago, IL; see thissite for more information

 


Department of State
Consensus Committee on Foreign Language Assessment for the U.S. Foreign Service Institute (led by DBASSE Executive Office)
Sponsor: U.S. Foreign Service Institute
Duration: 18 months
Study director: Stuart Elliott; senior program officer: Judith Koenig; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: Dorry Kenyon (Center for Applied Statistics, Washington, DC)
Publication planned: Consensus Report
Upcoming meetings: Third meeting held July 17-18, 2019; fourth meeting is scheduled for October 11-12, 2019; see this site for more information

 


Department of Transportation
Standing Committee for Improving Motor Carrier Safety Measurement (joint with the Transportation Research Board)
Sponsor: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Duration: October 2017–September 2020
Study director: Michael Cohen; TRB Studies and Special Programs Division director: Tom Menzies; associate program officer: Michael Siri
Co-chairs: Joel Greenhouse (Carnegie Mellon) and Sharon Lise-Normand (Harvard Medical School)
Publications: Standing committees do not issue reports; they meet for discussion; they also identify topics for separate workshops or consensus panels.
Upcoming meetings: The standing committee is meeting primarily by teleconference; it held its third on-site meeting July 26, 2019, at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA 

 


National Science Foundation
Consensus Committee on Reproducibility and Replicability in Science (led by the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, with the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics, CNSTAT, and the Division of Earth and Life Sciences)
Sponsor: NSF director’s office (congressionally mandated)
Duration: August 2017–March 2019
Study director: Jennifer Heimberg (DELS); board director: Michelle Schwalbe (BMSA); senior program officer: Adrienne Stith Butler (BBCSS); senior program officer: Michael Cohen (CNSTAT)
Chair: Harvey Fineberg (Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation)
Publication: Reproducibility and Replicability in Science, released in prepublication format on May 7, 2019 (see “Recently Released Reports” above)

Consensus Panel on Transparency and Reproducibility of Federal Statistics for the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Sponsor: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Duration: September 2018–November 2020
Study director: Michael Cohen; co-study director: Michael Siri; project assistant: Jillian Kaufman
Chair-designate: Daniel Kasprzyk (NORC at the University of Chicago)
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: Second meeting scheduled for September 9-10, 2019, in Washington, DC

Workshop on Implications of Convergence for Measuring the Science and Engineering Workforce and the S&E Enterprise
Sponsor: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Duration: September 2018–November 2020
Study director: Daniel Cork; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings
Upcoming meetings: TBD


 


The American Educational Research Association, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ford Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education,
the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the W.T. Grant Foundation

Consensus Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity
Sponsors: See above list
Duration: December 2016–June 2019
Study director: Judith Koenig; senior scholar: Constance Citro; senior program officer: Jordyn White; project assistant: Kelly Arrington
Chair: Christopher Edley, Jr. (The Opportunity Institute, Berkeley, CA)
Publication planned: Final consensus report, Monitoring Educational Equity, released on June 13, 2019, in prepublication format (see “Recently Released Reports” above)


 

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