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Digest of Education Statistics: 2006
Digest of Education Statistics: 2006

NCES 2007-017
July 2007

Appendix A.2. School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS)

The most recent School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) was conducted by NCES in spring/summer of the 2003–04 school year. SSOCS focuses on incidents of specific crimes/offenses and a variety of specific discipline issues in public schools. It also covers characteristics of school policies, school violence prevention programs and policies, and school characteristics that have been associated with school crime. The survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of regular public elementary, middle, and high schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Special education, alternative, and vocational schools; schools in the other jurisdictions; and schools that taught only prekindergarten, kindergarten, or adult education were not included in the sample.

The sampling frame for the 2004 SSOCS was constructed from the public school universe file created for the 2003–04 Schools and Staffing Survey from the 2001–02 NCES Common Core of Data public school universe file. The sample was stratified by instructional level, type of locale, and enrollment size. Within the primary strata, schools were also sorted by geographic region and by percentage of minority enrollment. The sample sizes were then allocated to the primary strata in rough proportion to the aggregate square root of the size of enrollment of schools in the stratum. A total of 3,743 schools were selected for the study. Of those schools, 2,270 completed the survey. In March 2004, questionnaires were mailed to school principals, who were asked to complete the survey or to have it completed by the person at the school most knowledgeable about discipline issues. The weighted overall response rate was 77.2 percent, and item nonresponse rates in the public-use data file ranged from 0 to 33.3 percent. A nonresponse bias analysis was conducted on the nine items with weighted item nonresponse rates above 15 percent, and minimal bias was detected. Weights were developed to adjust for the variable probabilities of selection and differential nonresponse and can be used to produce national estimates for regular public schools in the 2003–04 school year.

For more information about the SSOCS, contact

Kathryn A. Chandler
Elementary/Secondary and Libraries Studies Division
Elementary/Secondary Sample Survey Studies Program
National Center for Education Statistics
1990 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006