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Digest of Education Statistics: 2007
Digest of Education Statistics: 2007

NCES 2008-022
March 2008

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 2005–06 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 2006 SSOCS was constructed from the public school universe file created for the 2003–04 Schools and Staffing Survey from the 2003–04 Common Core of Data (CCD) Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe File. The sample was stratified by instructional level, type of locale (urbanicity), and enrollment size. The sample of schools in each instructional level was allocated to each of the 16 cells formed by the cross-classification of the four categories of enrollment size and four types of locale. The sample was allocated to each subgroup in proportion to the sum of the square roots of the total student enrollment in each school in that stratum. The effective sample size within each stratum was then inflated to account for nonresponse. Once the final sample sizes were determined for each of the 64 strata, the subgroups were sorted by region and percent minority enrollment, and an initial sample of 3,565 schools was selected. Of those schools, 2,724 completed the survey. In March 2006, 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 80.6 percent, and item nonresponse rates ranged from 0 to 33.7 percent. A nonresponse bias analysis was conducted on the 13 items with weighted item nonresponse rates greater than 15 percent, and it was determined that the increased potential for bias in these items was not enough to warrant their exclusion from the data file. 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 2005–06 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