Accessing and Analyzing National Databases
There has been a plethora of published studies in education. Yet, despite the advancements of virtually every single line of inquiry in educational research from student achievement to access, faculty promotion to institutional ﬁnance, each study has a number of limitations and each design brings with it both virtues and dangers. While some studies are limited due to the lack of statistical controls for potentially confounding factors, others are limited by the number of respondents to the study’s survey or the extent to which the study’s ﬁndings are generalizable to other populations. To address some of these issues, federal, state, and other research organizations such as the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and National Science Foundation (NSF) have developed a number of large-scale databases, consisting of nationally representative samples, which can be used in secondary data analysis.