Skip Navigation
Illustration/Logo View Quarterly by  This Issue  |  Volume and Issue  |  Topics
Education Statistics Quarterly
Vol 4, Issue 3, Topic: Note from NCES
Note from NCES
By: Kathryn A. Chandler, Program Director, Elementary/Secondary Sample Survey Studies Program

Introducing the 1999–2000 Schools and Staffing Survey

This issue of the Education Statistics Quarterly features the two reports used by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to release data from the 1999–2000 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). The first report, Schools and Staffing Survey, 1999–2000: Overview of the Data for Public, Private, Public Charter, and Bureau of Indian Affairs Elementary and Secondary Schools, presents 60 tables and a discussion illustrating the breadth of the findings for 1999–2000. The second report, Qualifications of the Public School Teacher Workforce: Prevalence of Out-of-Field Teaching 1987–88 to 1999–2000, examines the percentages of teachers who taught in fields outside their areas of training and certification in 1999–2000 and how these percentages changed between 1987–88 and 1999–2000.

Previously conducted in 1987-88, 1990-91, and 1993-94, SASS is the nation's largest recurrent sample survey of elementary and secondary schools and the teachers and administrators who staff them. It features five types of questionnaires, which collect data from school districts, schools, principals, teachers, and library media centers, respectively. In 1999-2000, traditional public schools, private schools, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) schools, and public charter schools were surveyed. Included in the 1999-2000 SASS were large, nationally representative samples of traditional public and private schools, as well as the entire national populations of eligible BIA and public charter schools. In addition to these schools, their principals, and samples of their teachers, SASS included the public school districts for all sampled traditional public schools-or about one out of every three school districts in the nation. Information about library media centers in traditional public, private, and BIA schools was requested on a separate library media center questionnaire, while the school questionnaire for public charter schools included items pertaining to library media centers. The following table gives some idea of the scope of the 1999-2000 SASS:

1999–2000 Schools and Staffing Survey sample sizes
School sector
Questionnaire type
District School Principal Teacher Library
media center
Traditional public
5,465 9,893 9,893 56,354 9,893
() 3,558 3,558 10,760 3,558
Bureauof Indian Affairs
() 124 124 506 124
Public charter
() 1,122 1,122 4,438 ()
5,465 14,697 14,697 72,058 13,575

Not applicable.

The content framework that guided development of the 1999–2000 SASS was built around the concept of "capacity"—specifically, district, school, teacher, and library capacity. District capacity includes teacher recruitment and hiring, programs, salary and benefits, and professional development. School capacity includes school policies and practices, school programs and services, curriculum and instruction, parent involvement, and school safety and student behavior. Teacher capacity includes teacher qualifications, experience, and professional development. Finally, library capacity includes qualifications of librarians, resources, technology, and scheduling.

The first two reports using SASS 1999–2000 data, while extensive, only scratch the surface of what these data have to offer. Future reports will continue to delve more deeply into the 1999–2000 data. Over the next year, NCES plans to release reports that present statistical profiles of America's teachers and schools; examine characteristics of traditional public, private, BIA, and public charter schools; provide information about teacher professional development; look at school districts' monitoring of homeschooled students; and give SASS state-level results. These and other NCES reports will cover the breadth of the content framework on which the 1999–2000 SASS was built. Apart from NCES reports, substantive reports on the 1999–2000 data can also be expected from the many other education researchers and analysts who use SASS data to help inform important school resource and policy issues.

Still to come is the release of the Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS) to the 1999–2000 SASS. Conducted the year following SASS on a subset of the SASS teacher respondents, TFS provides comprehensive information on teachers who stay at their schools, teachers who leave their schools for other teaching assignments, and teachers who leave the profession. The first report from the 2000–01 TFS will focus on teacher attrition.

The SASS team is already at work on the 2003–04 SASS. From here on out, we expect SASS to be conducted on a 4-year cycle. For more information and the latest news on SASS, go to the SASS web site at

back to top