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Education Data Workshop


Join Urban Institute education data experts for a half-day deep dive into data congressional offices use. Review data sources—including their benefits and drawbacks—and learn how to easily extract the numbers your boss is looking for. 

Workshop Attendees: Congressional staff who are interested in the skills needed to find district- and state-specific education data. Working knowledge of education policy is highly recommended, as the workshop will focus on data and assume background knowledge of topics such as Pell grants and Title I, familiarity with terms like local education agency (LEA), and understanding of key legislation such as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Higher Education Act (HEA). 

Content: This workshop will cover data important to policy professionals in both K–12 and postsecondary education. 

Urban's Data Commitment: Data drives decisions and can inform policy choices. At the Urban Institute, we elevate the debate by providing data and tools to help policymakers from both sides of the aisle come to their own evidence-based conclusions.


event materials

Event sessions

Session 1 - Crunching Higher Education Stats
HEA reauthorization remains a top priority, and data on Pell grants, college affordability, student loans, graduation rates, and labor market outcomes can inform policy discussions.

  • Sandy Baum, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Urban Institute

  • Kristin Blagg, Research Associate, Urban Institute

Session 2 - Presenting: DataViz
Sharing and presenting data is essential to advancing your policy goals. Renowned presenter Jon Schwabish will lay out the principals for effective data communication, demonstrating how to conceptualize, create, and deliver your charts, graphs, and data

  • Jon Schwabish, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute

Working Lunch - Using the Education Data Explorer
Urban’s Education Data Explorer brings together all the major federal education datasets into one easily searchable site. In this session, you’ll learn how to build a custom dataset using the Explorer and how to quickly find and analyze trends. 

  • Erica Blom, Research Associate, Urban Institute

Session 3 - Discovering K–12 Numbers
ESSA implementation, school visits, and meetings with local teachers’ groups mean policy staff need to quickly pull relevant data, such as school lunch participation, student discipline numbers, Advanced Placement course enrollment, and test scores for LEAs, schools, or specific congressional districts.

  • Matt Chingos, Vice President, Education Data and Policy, Urban Institute

Office Hours - Check in on the details
Bring questions to Urban Institute researchers. Have one-on-one or small group conversations with the research team for help finding the data or information you’re looking for. 


RSVP to Please contact Amy Peake ( or Alex Tilsley ( with questions regarding this event.

This workshop is designed to comply with House and Senate ethics rules, but staff are encouraged to contact their Ethics Committee with any questions. The Urban Institute is a nonprofit organization that does not take positions on legislation, lobby, or endorse proposals.  

This invitation is not transferable; please contact us to extend an invitation to additional staff.

Date & Time Tuesday, November 5, 2019