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Note 3: Other Surveys (2005)


The Bureau of the Census introduced the American Community Survey (ACS) in 1996. When fully implemented in 2005, it will provide a large monthly sample of demographic, socioeconomic, and housing data comparable in content to the Long Form of the Decennial Census. Aggregated over time, these data will serve as a replacement for the Long Form of the Decennial Census. The survey includes questions mandated by federal law, federal regulations, and court decisions.

Beginning in 2005, the survey has been mailed to approximately 250,000 addresses in the United States and Puerto Rico each month, or about 2.5 percent annually. A larger proportion of addresses in small governmental units (e.g., American Indian reservations, small counties and towns) will receive the survey. The monthly sample size is designed to approximate the ratio used in Census 2000, requiring more intensive distribution in these areas.

National-level data from ACS are available starting with 2000. Under the current timetable, annual results will be available for areas with populations of 65,000 or more beginning in the summer of 2006, for areas with populations of 20,000 or more in the summer of 2008, and for all areas—down to census tract level—by the summer of 2010. This schedule is based on the time it will take to collect data from a sample size large enough to produce accurate results for different size geographic units.

Indicator 5 uses data from the ACS for the years 2000–03. For further details on the survey, see


The Academic Library Survey has been conducted by NCES since 1966 at irregular intervals. Beginning with the 1990 survey, it has been conducted every 2 years. It covers all academic libraries in 2- and 4-year degree-granting institutions, including institutions that are eligible for Title IV aid, branch campuses of Title IV-eligible institutions, and institutions that are eligible for Title IV aid for deferment only. IPEDS provides the frame used in the survey. The survey collects information on outlets, staff, collections, expenditures, library services, and electronic services.

Indicator 33 uses data from the Academic Library Survey. For further details on the survey, see


The Common Core of Data (CCD), the Department of Education’s primary database on public elementary and secondary education in the United States, is a comprehensive annual, national statistical database of information concerning all public elementary and secondary schools (approximately 91,000) and school districts (approximately 16,000). The CCD consists of five surveys that state education departments complete annually from their administrative records. The database includes a general description of schools and school districts; data on students and staff, including demographics; and fiscal data, including revenues and current expenditures.

Indicators 1, 2, 29, 36, 37, 38 and 39 use data from the CCD. Further information about the database is available at


The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS–B) is an ongoing study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The study follows a nationally representative sample of children born in 2001 from birth to 1st grade. The ECLS–B is designed to provide detailed information on children’s development, health, and in- and out-of-home experiences in the years leading up to school.

A nationally representative sample of 10,688 babies born in 2001 participated in the ECLS–B. The sample includes children from different racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and includes oversamples of Chinese and other Asian/Pacific Islander children, American Indian children, twins, and children with moderately low and very low birth weight. Sampled children subsequently identified by the state registrars as having died or who had been adopted after the issuance of the birth certificate were excluded from the sample. Also, infants whose birth mothers were younger than 15 years at the time of the child’s birth were excluded.

When babies in the sample were 9 months of age, ECLS–B collected data (through a child assessment, interview with primary caregiver, a self-administered father questionnaire, and an in-home visit, and from the National Center for Health Statistics) regarding prenatal care and delivery during a visit in the child’s home. These data were collected on a rolling basis between October 2001 and December 2002 (when babies born in January through December 2001 were turning 9 months old). The design was to collect information on children about 9 months of age (i.e., 8 to 10 months); however, children were assessed as young as 6 months and as old as 22 months. Seventy-two percent of the children were between 8–10 months at the time of the assessment and 84 percent were between 8–11 months. The data collection consisted of the following instruments:

Indicator 35 uses data from the ECLS–B. Further information on the survey is available at


The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–99 (ECLS–K) is an ongoing study conducted by NCES. Launched in fall 1998, the study follows a nationally representative sample of children from kindergarten through 5th grade. The purpose of the ECLS–K is twofold: to provide both descriptive and analytical data. First, the ECLS–K provides descriptive national data on children’s status at entry into school; children’s transition into school; and their progression through 5th grade. Second, the ECLS–K provides a rich data set that enables researchers to study how a wide range of family, school, community, and individual variables affect children’s early success in school.

A nationally representative sample of 21,260 children enrolled in 1,277 kindergarten programs participated in the initial survey during the 1998–99 school year. These children were selected from both public and private kindergartens, offering full- and half-day programs. The sample consists of children from different racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and includes an oversample of Asian/Pacific Islander children. All kindergarten children within the sampled schools were eligible for the sampling process, including language minority and special education students. The sample design for the ECLS–K is a dual-frame, multistage sample. First, 100 Primary Sampling Units (PSUs), which are counties or groups of counties, were selected. Schools within the PSUs were then selected—public schools from a public school frame and private schools from a private school frame, which oversampled private kindergartens. In fall 1998, approximately 23 kindergartners were selected within each of the sampled schools.

Data on the kindergarten cohort were collected in the fall and spring of the kindergarten year from the children, their parents, and their teachers. In addition, information was collected from children’s schools and school districts in the spring of the kindergarten year. During the 1999–2000 school year, when most of the cohort moved to the 1st grade, data were again collected from a 30 percent subsample of the cohort in the fall and from the full sample in the spring. Spring 1st-grade data were obtained between March and July 2000, and spring 3rd-grade data were obtained between March and July 2002, with 80 percent of the assessments at each round conducted between early April and late May.

Trained evaluators assessed children in their schools and collected information from parents over the telephone. Teachers and school administrators were contacted in their school and asked to complete questionnaires. The children and their families, teachers, and schools provided information on children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. Information was also collected on the children’s home environment, home educational practices, school and classroom environments, curricula, and teacher qualifications. Additional surveys of the sampled children are planned for spring 2004 (when children are in the 5th grade).

ECLS–K constructed a family risk index consisting of whether the household income was below the poverty level, the primary home language was other than English, the mother’s highest level of education was less than a high school diploma or GED, and whether the child lived in a single-parent household. The percentage of fall 1998 kindergartners with zero family risk factors was 62 percent; 23 percent had one family risk factor; 12 percent had two family risk factors; 3 percent had three family risk factors; and less than 0.5 percent had four family risk factors.

Indicators 8 and 18 are based on the ECLS–K.

Indicator 8 presents student proficiency in specific reading and mathematics skills. In reading, the skills are literal inference (e.g., recognizing the comparison being made in a simile), deriving meaning from text (e.g., using background knowledge combined with sentence cues to understand the use of homonyms), interpreting beyond text (making connections between problems in a narrative and similar life problems), and recognizing sight words (recognizing common words by sight). In mathematics, the skills include ordinality and sequence (demonstrating an understanding of the relative position of objects), place value (demonstrating an understanding of place value in integers to the hundreds place), and rate and measurement (using rate and measurement to solve word problems).

For indicator 18, children’s kindergarten enrollment status in fall 1998 was determined from two items on the parent questionnaire. One addressed whether the child had been in kindergarten previously. If this was the child’s second (or greater) year in kindergarten, the child’s enrollment status was defined as “repeating kindergarten.” The other question asked about the timing of the entry relative to when the child was age eligible according to district requirements. Children who were not repeating kindergarten (i.e., were enrolled for the first time in fall 1998) were categorized as “first-time, entered on time” when their parents reported enrolling them the year in which they met the age requirement; “first-time, delayed entrants” when their parents reported that they had waited until fall 1998 to enroll their children even though they had been age eligible a year earlier; and “first-time, early entry” if their districts had allowed them to start kindergarten before they were officially age eligible (this last category accounted for only 2 percent of children enrolled in kindergarten). “Delayed entry” children could have been kept out by their parents to allow for an extra year to mature or possibly because of developmental difficulties.

The analysis sample for indicator 18 was limited to students who were enrolled in kindergarten in fall 1998, who did not enter early, who were promoted to 1st grade in fall 1999, and who were assessed in English in the fall and spring of kindergarten and spring of 1st grade. Approximately 69 percent of Hispanic children and 84 percent of Asian children were assessed in English at all three points in time.

The ECLS–K battery to assess knowledge and skills covered reading and mathematics. Scale scores were developed to describe reading and mathematics achievement, and estimates of the percentage of children mastering certain skills were calculated. Reading skills assessed included letter recognition, beginning sounds, ending sounds, sight words, and the use of words in context. Mathematics skills assessed included number and shape recognition, relative size, ordinality, addition and subtraction, and multiplication and division.

Further information on the survey is available at


The Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002) is the fourth major national longitudinal survey of high school students conducted by NCES. Three similar previous surveys were the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 (NLS–72), the High School and Beyond Longitudinal Study of 1980 (HS&B:80), and the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88). Like its predecessors, ELS:2002 is designed to provide information to researchers, policymakers, and the public about high school students’ experiences and activities, and to track changes in these young people’s lives as they mature in the years after high school. ELS:2002 sampled and collected data from 10th-graders in spring 2002 (the base year), along with data from their English and mathematics teachers, their school’s librarian and principal, and one parent for each student. The base-year data include 10th-graders’ scores on cognitive tests in reading and mathematics, and the first follow-up will include a test in mathematics. Follow-up surveys are currently planned for 2004 (when most students in the cohort will be seniors preparing for high school graduation) and for 2006. About 750 schools were selected (in both the public and private sectors); about 15,000 students in these schools completed base-year surveys, along with about 13,000 of their parents, 7,000 of their teachers, 700 principals, and 700 librarians.

ELS:2002 collected information on students’ experiences while in high school (including their coursetaking, achievement, extracurricular activities, social lives, employment, and risk-taking behaviors); students’ aspirations, life goals, attitudes, and values; and the influence of family members, friends, teachers, and other people in their lives. Following the same cohort of students over time allows data users to monitor changes in students’ lives, including their progress through high school, participation in postsecondary education (entry, persistence, achievement, and attainment), early experiences in the labor market, family formation, and civic participation. In addition, by combining data about students’ school programs, coursetaking experiences, and cognitive outcomes with information from teachers and principals, the ELS:2002 data support investigation of numerous educational policy issues. Such policy questions include the influence of different curriculum paths, instructional methods, and teacher characteristics and whether the effectiveness of high schools varies with their size, organization, student body composition, academic climate, and other characteristics.

Indicator 29 uses data from the ELS: 2002. For further details on the survey, see


The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is the core program that NCES uses for collecting data on postsecondary education. (Before IPEDS some of the same information was collected by the Higher Education General Information Survey [HEGIS]. Indicators 7, 32, and 40 use data from the HEGIS.) IPEDS is a single, comprehensive system that encompasses all identified institutions whose primary purpose is to provide postsecondary education.

IPEDS consists of institution-level data that can be used to describe trends in postsecondary education at the institution, state, and/or national levels. For example, researchers can use IPEDS to analyze information on (1) enrollments of undergraduates, first-time freshmen, and graduate and first-professional students by race/ethnicity and sex; (2) institutional revenue and expenditure patterns by source of income and type of expense; (3) salaries of full-time instructional faculty by academic rank and tenure status; (4) completions (awards) by type of program, level of award, race/ethnicity, and sex; (5) characteristics of postsecondary institutions, including tuition, room and board charges, calendar systems, and so on; (6) status of postsecondary vocational education programs; and (7) other issues of interest.

Data are collected from approximately 9,900 postsecondary institutions, including the following: baccalaureate or higher degree-granting institutions, 2-year award institutions, and less-than-2-year institutions (i.e., institutions whose awards usually result in terminal occupational awards or are creditable toward a formal 2-year or higher award). Each of these three categories is further disaggregated by control (public, private not-for-profit, private for-profit), resulting in nine institutional categories or sectors.

The completion of all IPEDS surveys is mandatory for all institutions that participate or are applicants for participation in any federal financial assistance program authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Indicators 7, 31, 32, 33, 34, and 40 use data from the IPEDS. The institutional categories used in the surveys are described in supplemental note 8. Further information about IPEDS is available at


The Longitudinal School District Fiscal-Nonfiscal File, fiscal years 1990 to 2000 (FNF) contains fiscal and nonfiscal district data for each year from 1989–90 to 1999–2000 for the universe of regular public elementary and secondary school districts. The database is designed to be used by researchers to test hypotheses about longitudinal trends in school districts over this period. To facilitate analysis, all missing data have been replaced by statistical imputations, and clearly erroneous responses have been edited and replaced by plausible values.

Indicator 36 uses data from the FNF. Further information about the database is available at


The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the nation’s primary source of information on criminal victimization. Initiated in 1972 and redesigned in 1992, the NCVS annually collects detailed information on the frequency and nature of the crimes of rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft experienced by Americans and their households each year. The survey measures crimes reported as well as those not reported to police. The NCVS sample consists of about 53,000 households. U.S. Bureau of the Census personnel interview all household members age 12 or older within each sampled household to determine whether they had been victimized by the measured crimes during the 6 months preceding the interview. About 75,235 persons age 12 or older are interviewed each 6 months. Households remain in the sample for 3 years and are interviewed seven times at 6-month intervals. The first of these seven household interviews is used only to bound future interviews by establishing a time frame in order to avoid duplication of crimes reported in the six subsequent interviews. After their seventh interview, households are replaced by new sample households. Data are obtained on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. The survey enables the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to estimate the likelihood of victimization for the population as a whole as well as for segments of the population such as women, the elderly, members of various racial groups, city dwellers, or other groups. The NCVS provides the largest national forum for victims to describe the impact of crime and the characteristics of violent offenders.

Indicators 15 and 30 use data from NCVS. Further information about the survey is available at


The National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88) is the third major secondary school student longitudinal study sponsored by NCES. The two studies that preceded NELS:88, the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 (NLS–72) and the High School and Beyond Longitudinal Study of 1980 (HS&B:80), surveyed high school seniors (and sophomores in HS&B) through high school, postsecondary education, and work and family formation experiences. Unlike its predecessors, NELS:88 begins with a cohort of 8th-grade students. In 1988, some 25,000 8th-graders and their parents, teachers, and school principals were surveyed. Follow-ups were conducted in 1990, 1992, and 1994, when a majority of these students were in 10th and 12th grades, and then 2 years after their scheduled high school graduation. A fourth follow-up was conducted in 2000.

NELS:88 is designed to provide trend data about critical transitions experienced by young people as they develop, attend school, and embark on their careers. It complements and strengthens state and local efforts by furnishing new information on how school policies, teacher practices, and family involvement affect student educational outcomes (i.e., academic achievement, persistence in school, and participation in postsecondary education). For the base year, NELS:88 includes a multifaceted student questionnaire, four cognitive tests, and separate questionnaires for parents, teachers, and schools.

In 1990, when the students were in 10th grade, the students, school dropouts, teachers, and school principals were surveyed. The 1988 survey of parents was not a part of the 1990 follow-up. In 1992, when most of the students were in 12th grade, the second follow-up conducted surveys of students, dropouts, parents, teachers, and school principals. Also, information from the students’ transcripts was collected. (For more information on the transcript data, see supplemental note 6.)

In 1994, the third follow-up of students took place. By this time, most of the survey participants had graduated from high school, and many had begun postsecondary education or entered the workforce. This follow-up focused on issues related to postsecondary access, employment, and whether high school dropouts had earned a high school credential (and if so, by what route).

In 2000, the fourth (and final) NELS:88 follow-up occurred. By this time, most of the participants had been out of high school for 8 years. The study focused on postsecondary enrollment and completion, transitions into the labor force, and family formation. For those who had enrolled in any postsecondary education, postsecondary transcripts were collected from each institution attended.

Indicators 21 and 22 use data from NELS:88. Further information about the survey is available at


The National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES), conducted in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, and 2003, collects data on educational issues that cannot be addressed by school-level data. Each survey collects data from households on at least two topics, such as adult education, early childhood program participation, parental involvement in education, and before- and afterschool activities.

NHES surveys the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Interviews are conducted using computer-assisted telephone interviewing. Data are collected from adults and occasionally from older children (grades 6–12). Whether older or younger children are sampled, data about them are collected from the parent or guardian who is most knowledgeable.

Although NHES is conducted primarily in English, provisions are made to interview persons who speak only Spanish. Questionnaires are translated into Spanish, and bilingual interviewers, who are trained to complete the interview in either English or Spanish, are employed. NHES only conducts interviews in English and Spanish, so if there is no respondent in the household who can speak either language, the interview is not completed.

Indicator 3 uses data from the NHES. Further information about the program is available at


The Elementary and Secondary School Survey (E&S Survey), conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights since 1968, collects data on the public elementary and secondary schools in the United States. It is the primary vehicle for collecting data on children’s civil rights and federal enforcement of those rights. It is used by the Department of Education to ensure implementation of Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Together, these regulations prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in public education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

The 2000 E&S Survey, unlike its previous versions, was a universe survey consisting of all public school districts in the country. The sample was formed by examining all possible public school districts and removing those that were deemed ineligible, primarily due to either having no schools or containing only prekindergarten schools. The survey was then sent to all 15,089 eligible school districts. Ninety-seven percent of school districts responded, and within those districts, 99.95 percent of schools responded. Each school reported information on the children in the school and was required to sign and certify the accuracy of the information.

Indicator 6 uses data from the 2000 E&S Survey. Further information about the survey is available at


The Private School Universe Survey (PSS) was established in 1988 to ensure that private school data (in categories that have been used since the 1890s) would be collected on a more regular basis. With the help of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the PSS is conducted biennially to provide the total number of private schools, students, and teachers, and to build a universe of private schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, to serve as a sampling frame of private schools for NCES sample surveys.

In the most recent PSS data collection, conducted in 2001–02, the survey was sent to 29,273 qualified private schools and had a response rate of 94.9 percent.

Indicator 2 uses data from the PSS. Further information on the surveys is available at


The Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) is the nation’s largest sample survey of America’s elementary and secondary schools. First conducted in 1987–88, SASS periodically surveys the following:

SASS provides data on characteristics and qualifications of teachers and principals, teacher hiring practices, professional development, class size, and other conditions in schools. SASS data are designed to allow comparisons of public and private schools and staff and permit the analysis of trend data. In addition, SASS data are state-representative for the public sector and affiliation-representative for the private sector. Public schools are also linked to their respective districts. Public charter schools and their teachers and principals were included in the 1999–2000 administration of the SASS.

For the 1999–2000 SASS, to ensure that the sample sizes were sufficient for public and private school estimates, a stratified probability sample design was used that oversampled schools based on certain characteristics. All charter schools that were in existence during the 1998–99 school year and all schools funded by the BIA were included in the sample. For all sampled schools, teachers within those schools were first stratified by specific characteristics as reported by the school and then sampled. In addition, districts (for public schools only), principals, and library media centers (information on charter school libraries was collected on the school survey) associated with the schools were surveyed.

Indicator 26 and the special analysis use data from the SASS. Further information about the survey is available at


The Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPA), initiated by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 1982, is a periodic survey that examines the public’s involvement in a variety of arts and art forms. The SPPA asks participants about their involvement with the performing arts, visual arts, historic site visits, music, and literature. The NEA surveyed the U.S. public in 1982, 1985, 1992, and 2002 as part of larger surveys conducted by the Bureau of the Census. In 1982, the SPPA was part of the National Crime Survey. In 1985 and 1992, it was part of the National Crime Victimization Survey. In 2002, it was part of the Current Population Survey, August Supplement. The NEA also conduced a stand-alone version of the survey in 1997, but due to different methodologies, the results are not compatible to those of other years in the historical trend.

The 1982 and 1985 SPPAs had over 17,000 respondents age 18 or older. These two surveys asked all respondents questions about their live arts attendance and participation and asked questions on a rotating basis pertaining to arts education, non-arts leisure activities, arts facilities, music preferences, arts creation and other participation, media engagement, and barriers to attending live performances.

The 1992 survey included 12,736 adults age 18 or older and used a similar format as the earlier two surveys; however, the non-live arts questions were asked of all respondents. Additional changes were also made: for example, rather than just asking respondents one question about whether they had read any novels or short stories, plays, or poetry in the last 12 months, they were asked three separate questions. In addition, they were asked separate questions to determine whether they had read poetry or had listened to poetry in the past 12 months. In addition, a distinction was drawn between reading books and reading literature by first including a question about reading books (“With the exception of books required for work or school, did you read any books during the last 12 months?”) and then asking the question about reading literature.

The 2002 survey was part of the CPS and had 17,135 respondents. The questionnaire closely followed the 1992 questionnaire, with slight modifications.

Indicator 15 uses data from SPPA. Further information about the survey can be found at


1Bayley Short Form–Research Edition. Copyright © 2001 by The Psychological Corporation, a Harcourt Assessment Company. Adapted from the Bayley Scales of Infant Development: Second Edition. Copyright © 1993 by The Psychological Corporation. Adapted and reproduced by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. (return to text)

2Bayley, N. (1993). Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Second Edition Manual. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation. (return to text)