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Appendix C: Description of Variables

Variables used in this report are listed in table C-1. They include those found in the 2007–08 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) Teacher Questionnaire, the 2008–09 Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS) Current and Former Questionnaires for First-Year Teachers, the 2009–10 Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study (BTLS) Questionnaire, as well as "created variables" computed using survey variables, sampling frame variables, other created variables, or a combination of these. Some created variables are frequently used in National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) publications and have been added to the data files to facilitate data analysis. Unless otherwise noted, all variables in this appendix can be found on the BTLS First Through Third Wave Preliminary Data File. The definitions for all BTLS variables used in this report follow table C-1.

Age (W1AGE_T): A created variable based on respondent's reported year of birth, W1AGE_T is a continuous variable created by subtracting the teacher's reported year of birth (W1T0160) from the year of data collection (2007). If respondents did not report their year of birth in the first wave, it is also asked in subsequent waves. Since year of birth is a fully imputed variable, the imputed value may be replaced with a value reported in another wave. The distribution for this variable was examined in order to determine the categories reported in the tables.

Assigned a mentor (W2MNTYN, W2M08YN): The data for these variables were collected on the second wave questionnaires.

Base salary (W1T0343, T2TCHSA): The data for these variables were collected on the first and second wave questionnaires. The distribution for this variable was examined in order to determine the categories reported in the tables.

Certification type: This author-created variable is based on a teacher's reported certification type (W1T0160, W1T0185, W1T0186) during the 2007–08 school year. The categories for this variable were collapsed due to small size.

Class organization (W1T0068, W2TECLD): The data for these variables were collected on the first and second wave questionnaires.

Community type (W1URBANS12, W2URBANS12): Taken from the SASS public school data file, W1URBANS12 is a created variable collapsed from the 12-category urban-centric school locale code (SCLOP_07) that was assigned using the 2000 Decennial Census data and recoded into four categories: city, suburban, town, and rural. W2URBANS12 is drawn firstly from data on the 2008-09 Common Core of Data (CCD). If data were missing or a school could not be matched on the 2008-09 CCD, the 2007-08 CCD was used. The categories for this variable were collapsed due to small size.

Contract not renewed, leaver (W2LCNYN): The data for this variable were collected on the second wave Former Teacher Questionnaire.

Contract not renewed, mover (W2MCNYN): The data for this variable were collected on the second wave Current Teacher Questionnaire.

Current/former status (W2FCSTS, W3FCSTS): These created variables are a measure of teacher status and indicate whether teachers are currently teaching during the year of data collection and are based on W2STTUS and W3STTUS (see stayer/mover/leaver/returner definition below).

Full- or part-time teaching status (W1FTPT, W2TCHFP): These two-category variables indicate whether the teacher is a full- or part-time teacher. W1FTPT is based on W1T0025 and W1T0028, and W2TCHFP is a survey variable.

Entered teaching through an alternative certification program (WT1053): The data for this variable were collected on the first wave questionnaire.

Highest degree earned (W1HIDEGR): A created variable that indicates the highest degree a teacher had earned at the time of data collection during the 2007-08 school year. It is computed using the following variables (W1T0110, W1T0120, W1T0132, W1T0135, W1T0138, W1T0141). The categories for this variable were collapsed due to small size.

Occupational status (W2OCCST, W3OCCST): The data for these variables were collected on the second wave Former Teacher and the third wave questionnaires. The categories for this variable were collapsed due to small size.

Percentage of K–12 students who were approved/eligible for the free or reduced-price lunches (W1NSLAPP_S, W2TEFRPL): A created variable, W1NSLAPP_S is a continuous variable created by dividing the number of students approved for free or reduced-price lunches (S0217) by the total number of K–12 grade students enrolled (S0047) in schools that participated in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) (S0215 = 1). W2TEFRPL measures the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches and is drawn firstly from data on the 2008-09 Common Core of Data (CCD). If data were missing or a school could not be matched on the 2008-09 CCD, the 2007-08 CCD was used. Schools that did not participate in the NSLP have valid skip values. S0217, S0047, and S0215 can be found on the SASS Public School Data File.

For those teaching in public schools in this report, W1NSLAPP_S and W2TEFRPL are recoded as categorical variables describing the proportion of students approved or eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. For those teaching in private schools beginning in the BTLS second wave, NSLAPP_S is recoded as a dichotomous variable of schools that participated and did not participate. The distribution for this variable was examined in order to determine the categories reported in the tables.

Race/ethnicity (W1RACETH_T) A created variable based on respondents' reported race and ethnicity (W1T0353-W1T0358). The first wave allowed respondents to mark more than one racial category. This variable was recoded into two categories for this report: White, non-Hispanic; all other races/ethnicities. The categories for this variable were collapsed due to small size.

School level (W1SCHLEVEL) A created variable based on grades reported by the school (S0025-S0038): Elementary, secondary, and combined. Elementary schools are those with any of grades K–6 and none of grades 9–12. Secondary schools have any of grades 7–12 and none of grades K–6. Combined schools are those schools with grade levels in both elementary and secondary grade levels, or with all students in ungraded classrooms.

Sex (W1T0352): The data for this variable were collection on the first wave questionnaire.

Stayer/mover/leaver/returner status (W2STTUS, W3STTUS): These created variables are a measure of teacher status and indicate whether teachers stayed in the same school as in the previous year of data collection, moved to a new school in the year of data collection, left the teaching profession, or returned to the teaching profession after a leave of absence. In order to be a returner teacher, a respondent has to be a former teacher during the second wave and a current teacher during the third wave; therefore, returner teachers only appear in the third wave. The following variables were used to create these variables: W2MOVYN, W3MOVYN (or W3NRSAS for wave 2 nonrespondents) W2REGCL, W3REGCL, W2POSSC, W3POSSC, and W3RESAS.

Type of move between schools (W2MVTYP, W3MVTYP): The data for these variables were collected on the second wave Current Teacher and third wave questionnaires. The categories for this variable were collapsed due to small size.

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