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Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THIS SURVEY ABOUT?
The U.S. Department of Education is committed to increasing the skills of adults in the United States. This survey has been designed to learn about the skills that adults use in their daily lives—such as reading, finding information, and using computers—as well as about their education and work experience. This will help get a clear picture of current skills and needs of our workforce in the 21st century.

WHO IS THE PERSON CONTACTING ME?
The ISAS interviewer is a representative of the U.S Department of Education. The ISAS interviewer who contacts you will be carrying a study photo identification issued by the National Center for Education Statistics.

HOW DID YOU SELECT ME?
Your community was selected randomly from a list of all communities in the country. Then your address was selected randomly from a list of all addresses in your community. The ISAS interviewer does not have the names of the people living in your household.

WHY DONíT YOU ASK SOMEONE ELSE?
Because of the statistical methods used to select you, we cannot substitute anyone else for you if you do not participate. Every household and respondent in the survey has been scientifically selected, and it is very important that we get input from every person selected. The more selected individuals that participate, the more accurate our picture will be of the variety and range of adult skills in the United States.

HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE?
The interview will take about two hours.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO ASK ME?
The interview has a series of questions about your background, and then there are some exercises dealing with activities adults do in their daily lives including using computers.

DO I HAVE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS?
Your participation is voluntary. However, because you have been scientifically chosen to represent many others like you, it is very important that you participate. You can refuse to answer any question at any time during the interview.

HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE IF I DONíT USE A COMPUTER?
If you do not use a computer on a regular basis or are not comfortable using one, you can complete the survey on paper.

HOW DO I KNOW THE INFORMATION IS CONFIDENTIAL?
You are protected by law. Under the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (20 U.S. Code, Section 9543 or Public Law 107-279, Section 153), which authorized the National Center for Education Statistics to conduct this study, any information you provide may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be disclosed, or used, in identifiable form for any other purpose except as required by law (20 U.S. Code, Section 9573 or Public Law 107-279, Section 183). Individuals are never identified in any reports. All reported statistics refer to the United States as a whole or to national subgroups. In addition, everyone working on the study has signed a confidentiality agreement pledging to keep all information provided by respondents confidential. As soon as the survey is completed, all personal information that links data to respondents is removed.

HOW WILL THE RESULTS BE USED?
This survey will provide valuable information to educators, policy makers, and researchers on the current skills and experiences of U.S. adults. This information, in turn, will be used to develop policies and programs to improve the skills that individuals need to participate successfully in the economy and society of the 21st century.

Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.