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Overview of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools and Districts: School Year 2001-02

Technical Notes

The Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe and the Local Education Agency Universe Surveys are annual state-level collections of information about the numbers and types of public schools and education agencies, the numbers and selected characteristics of students, and the numbers of dropouts, high school completers, and education staff. These two surveys also include directory information such as school and agency names, addresses, and telephone numbers. The School and Agency Surveys are part of the Common Core of Data (CCD) collection of the National Center for Education Statistics. All of the CCD surveys use information reported by state education agencies.

Enrollments. Because some students may receive a public education outside a local school district or school (for example, may attend a state-operated residential school), the numbers of students reported on the CCD school or local education agency surveys are not used as the official state totals in CCD publications. The total numbers of students shown in tables 1 and 11 of this publication are those reported on the 2001-02 State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education. However, the percentages of students shown in the tables are based on the School or Agency Survey.

A student cannot be reported in the membership counts of more than a single school on the CCD. Students who are dually enrolled in a regular school and a vocational school, for example, can only bereported among the membership of one of these schools. It should be noted that this report excludes a disproportionately high number of vocational schools for which enrollment presumably is attributed to a regular school.

Missing data. Not all states collect and report all of the data items requested on the CCD surveys. NCES imputes (replaces a nonresponse with a plausible value) some missing items on the State Nonfiscal Survey. Imputations were not used in this report for the School and Agency Surveys. Missing information is treated differently within individual states and across all states as a whole. An individual state is considered to have missing data if an item is reported by less than 80 percent of its schools or agencies. For example, table 11 shows missing data for Tennessee, which did not report minority student enrollment on the Agency Universe, although this was reported at the state level so that the total numbers of students and minority students could be reported. However, when information is missing for no more than 5 percent of cases across the United States, NCES calculates totals and identifies them as totals for reporting states rather than the United States. For example, table 11 sums the number of minority students reported, because the missing Tennessee data represented less than 5 percent of all students nationwide.

Data quality. Staff at NCES and its collection agent, the Bureau of the Census, edit all CCD reports and ask state CCD Coordinators to correct or confirm any numbers that appear out of range when compared with other states or with the state's reports in previous years. Tables include footnote explanations for any seemingly anomalous numbers.

Additional follow-up checks were carried out for two items. States were asked to reconfirm any missing or not applicable entries for Title I school or magnet school status. Each state that was contacted provided the requested confirmation or correction.