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Data From Major Federal School Survey Due in 1989

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Washington--The National Center for Education Statistics plans to release data from its massive "Schools and Staffing Survey, 1987-88," in three stages, beginning early next year, according to a new publication plan.

The survey, a $5-million undertaking begun in 1986, will provide information on teacher supply and demand, the composition of the administrative and teaching workforce, and the general status of teaching and schooling.

More than 65,000 teachers in some 13,000 public and private schools have taken part in the study. (See Education Week, Nov. 30, 1988.)

Under the publication schedule, public-use tapes containing the raw data from the survey will be released starting in February.

In the plan's second stage, to begin in the spring or by early summer, the center will release a set of reports called "ed tab's" that provide the basic data from the survey's questionnaires.

Analytic reports covering six selected areas will make up the project's third publishing stage. These are scheduled for completion in 1989 and include the following topics:

Characteristics of the Elementary and Secondary Teaching Force.

Reports will include analyses of "Demographic Characteristics of Teachers: Who Are Our Teachers?" and "Teacher Training, Certifica4tion, and Work Experience: How Well Do They Fit?"

Teacher Workplace Conditions.

Titles for scheduled examinations include "Characteristics of Elementary and Secondary Schools and Students" and "Teaching Load: What Assignments Are Teachers Carrying?

Listed as "Priority 1" topics in this category--meaning, according to officials, that the center "will make every effort possible to cover" them--are the following reports: "Teacher Compensation: How Are Teachers Reimbursed?" and "School Climate: Are Teachers Satisfied?"

Teacher Supply and Demand.

Scheduled reports include "Teacher Demand and Shortage: Are There Enough Teachers To Educate Our Nation's Youth?," "Filling Vacancies: Who Are New Hires and Where Are They From?," and "Teacher Turnover: Which Schools and Subject Areas Lose Teachers?"

Listed as a Priority 1 report is "Filling Vacancies: Are New Hires More or Less Qualified Than the Existing Teaching Force?"

Characteristics of School Administrators.

The two areas of examination here are "Characteristics of Elementary and Secondary School Administrators: Who Are Our Educational Leaders?" and "Training and Experience of Elementary and Secondary School Administrators: How Are They Prepared?"

School Programs, Policies, and Practices.

The topic scheduled for analysis is "Bilingual and e.s.l. Programs in Elementary and Secondary Schools." Listed as a Priority 1 report is "Characteristics of Senior High Schools."

Methodological Issues.

Five report topics are listed in this category. They include: "Test of [Peter L.] Benson's Typology for Private Schools," "Survey Nonresponse for Schools and Staffing Survey 1987-88," "Comparison of Similar Data Items Across Questionnaires," "Response Strategies for the Schools and Staffing Surveys," and "1987-88 Schools and Staffing Survey: Methodology Report."

Additional analyses will be scheduled for succeeding years, according to the plan, and center officials have said that ideas for other report topics are welcome.

Marilyn M. McMillen, the center's chief analyst for private schools, said more priority reports are planned on methodological issues than on other topics because the survey is new. Some of the methodological reports, she said, "are required for us to be able to continue with the rest of the analysis."

The center, the data-gathering arm of the Education Department, plans to repeat the survey in 1991 and every two years thereafter.

The schools, districts, and educators taking part in the 1987-88 study were surveyed last January.--kg

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