The 1987–1988 Schools and Staffing Surveys (SASS) were developed to enhance research NCES conducts on K-12 education in the United States. The first administration of SASS was during the 1987–88 school year. The data collected from these survey questionnaires described below depict the status of school systems in areas of teacher shortage and demand, teacher and administrator characteristics, school programs and general working conditions. These survey questionnaires also reveal information about teachers' and principals' perceptions of their school environment and student population as well as information regarding safety, management, teacher compensation and district hiring practices.
Note: The PDF files available on this page were created from scanning hard copies of the 1987–88 questionnaires. For help viewing PDF files, go to the Technical Issues page.
Two versions of the TDS were mailed out: one for public school districts and one for private schools. The questionnaires were divided into three sections. The first section requested information about student enrollment, number of teachers, position vacancies and new hires. The second section requested information on teacher salaries and incentives, hiring and retirement policies, and high school graduation requirements. The third section of the public school district questionnaire focused on the other district information such as demographic characteristics of the student population and the teaching working force. The corresponding sections of the private school questionnaire asked for additional information about the school administrator. The data obtained from this survey permit an assessment of teacher demand and shortage, identify areas where a teacher shortage may exist, and provide an estimate of the number of teachers who hold certification in the field of assignment.
The questionnaires sent to public and private schools were similar. This survey obtained information about student characteristics, staffing patterns, student-teacher ratios, types of programs offered, length of school day and school year, graduation and college application rates, and teacher turnover rates. The private school version of the questionnaire included items for identifying the religious or other affiliation of the school. The questionnaires also provide information about the teaching experience of staff, the sources of newly hired teachers, and the destination of teachers who left the school the previous year.
This questionnaire obtained information about the training, experience, professional background, and job activities of school principals or school heads in public or private schools. The questionnaires require both objective responses (e.g., number of years of teaching experience) and subjective responses (e.g., ranking the seriousness of school problems). The data derived from this questionnaire provides information about principals' previous occupations, which school problems administrators view as serious, and how administrators perceive their influence on school policies.
The public and private school teacher questionnaires were virtually identical. The survey collected data from teachers regarding their education and training, teaching assignment, teaching experience, certification, teaching workload, perceptions and attitudes about teaching, job mobility, and workplace conditions. In combination with data from the Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS), this information permits analysis of how these factors affect movement into and out of the teaching profession.