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Information for Participants

WHAT IS THIS SURVEY ABOUT?
In 2013, the United States is participating for the first time in the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), an international study of teachers and principals of lower secondary school (grades 7, 8, and 9 in the United States). TALIS is part of an effort by the United States and other countries to gain a better understanding of the working conditions of teachers and their principals around the world. The results from TALIS will be used to inform policymakers and educators from participating countries about shared concerns and promising educational approaches.

TALIS is being conducted in two phases: a field trial in spring 2012 and a main study in spring 2013. A brochure outlining the main study is available here.

HOW DID YOU SELECT ME?
Your school was selected randomly to participate in the study from a list of all schools that serve students in grades 7, 8, or 9 in the country. Once your school is selected, we ask that the principal (or head administrator) and a random selection of up to 22 teachers complete online questionnaires. If your school has fewer than 22 teachers that teach students in grades 7, 8, or 9, all teachers are selected. Schools and teachers are randomly selected in order to ensure that participating schools and teachers in each country truly represent the variety of schooling in a country.

CAN I ASK A COLLEAGUE TO DO IT INSTEAD?
You were randomly selected as part of a statistical method to ensure each country is selecting participants in the same way. That means we cannot substitute anyone else for you. Every principal and teacher in the study has been selected as part of this process to ensure all countries are participating fairly, and it is very important that we get input from every person selected.

HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE?
The principal and teacher questionnaires are estimated to take 45 minutes each to complete. You are not required to complete the questionnaire in one session. The online versions of the questionnaires have been designed so that you can complete portions, log off, and return to complete it in as many sessions as you need. And, of course, if preferred, you can complete a paper copy of the questionnaire instead.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO ASK ME?
School principals are asked about teacher and principal professional development participation and access; school leadership, management and workplace issues; and the evaluation of teachers’ work and the feedback and recognition teachers receive about their work; among other topics.
Teachers are asked about teacher ongoing professional development; school leadership, management and workplace issues; and the evaluation of your work and the feedback and recognition you receive about your work; among other topics.

DO I HAVE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS?
Your participation is voluntary. However, because you have been randomly chosen to represent many others like you, it is very important that you participate. You can refuse to answer specific questions simply by skipping them.

HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE IF I DON’T USE A COMPUTER?
If you do not use a computer on a regular basis or are not comfortable using one, you can complete the questionnaire 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. Your responses are not shared with anyone at the school, school district, or state education agency. In addition, everyone working on the study has signed a confidentiality agreement pledging to keep all information provided by respondents confidential. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget has reviewed and approved this data collection under OMB #1850-0888.

HOW WILL THE RESULTS BE USED?
The data will be included in a report that will allow educators, policymakers, and researchers to understand better the working conditions of teachers and their principals. Individuals are never identified in any reports. All reported statistics refer to the United States as a whole or to national subgroups.
Data from TALIS will be reported in an international report released by the OECD in June 2014 as well as in a U.S. national report released at the same time.

WHO CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
If you have any questions about TALIS or your participation, please feel free to call the contractor for the study, Strategic Research Group (SRG) at 800-341-3660 or send an email to TALIS@ed.gov. You may also obtain more information about TALIS by contacting Patrick Gonzales at NCES at 415-920-9229 or patrick.gonzales@ed.gov.


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