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Characteristics of Public, Private, and Bureau of Indian Education Elementary and Secondary Schools in the United States:
NCES 2009-321
June 2009

Appendix D. Description of Variables

The variables that are included in this report are listed in table D-1. Those with variable names that begin with "S" and are followed by four digits are survey variables that come from items on the school questionnaires. For survey variables, the numeric part of the variable name can be found in the questionnaires to the left of the corresponding question. The variables without the letter plus four digit names are "created variables," meaning they were created using survey variables, frame variables (variables taken from the sampling frame), other created variables, or a combination of these. They are frequently used in the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) publications and have been added to the data files to facilitate data analysis. The definitions for the created variables follow table D-1. The variables without a variable name were created for this analysis and are not on the data files.

Charter school identifier (CHARFLAG): A flag variable that identifies charter schools. 1 = School is a public charter school, 2 = School is a traditional public school. A charter school is a public school that, in accordance with an enabling state statute, has been granted a charter exempting it from selected state or local rules and regulation. CHARFLAG is based on S0230 from the public school and BIE school data files.

Number of male/female students in school: A variable based on S0041—the number of enrolled male students—and S0047—total number of enrolled students. The number of enrolled male students equals S0041. The number of female students was created by subtracting S0041 from S0047. In the private school data file, S0041 was asked only from schools that indicated they are coeducational. If both male and female students were enrolled, this variable was coded the same way as in the public school data file. If a school was not coeducational, the number of male/female students enrolled in school equals S0047.

Percentage of 12th-grade students who graduated with a diploma (private): A variable created for this analysis by dividing S0516— number of 12th-grade students who graduated with a diploma— by S0515— number students enrolled in 12th grade.

Percentage of students in school approved for the National School Lunch Program (NSLAPP_S): Taken from the public, private, and BIE school data files, NSLAPP_S is a continuous variable created by dividing the number of students approved for free or reduced-price lunches (S0217) by the total number of K–12 grade students enrolled (S0047) among schools that participated in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) (S0215=1). Schools that did not participate in the NSLP have valid skip values. For this report, NSLAPP_S is recoded as a categorical variable describing the proportion of students approved for free or reduced price lunches.

Student enrollment (SCHSIZE): Taken from the public, private, and BIE school data files, SCHSIZE is a continuous variable based on the number of K–12 and ungraded students enrolled in a respondent's school (S0047). For this report, SCHSIZE was recoded into six categories for public schools and five categories for private schools.

Three-category private school typology (RELIG): Taken from the private school data file, RELIG is a three-category variable based on the variables that identify the religious or nonreligious orientation of a private school (S0440–S0441): Catholic, Other religious, or Nonsectarian.

Three-category school level (SCHLEVEL): Taken from the public, private, and BIE school data files, SCHLEVEL is a three-category variable based on grades reported by the school: Elementary, secondary, and combined. Elementary schools are those with any of grades K–6 and none of grades 9–12. Secondary schools have any of grades 7–12 and none of grades K–6. Combined schools are those schools with grade levels in both elementary and secondary grade levels, or with all students in ungraded classrooms.

Urban-centric school locale code (URBANS12): Taken from the public, private, and BIE school data files, URBANS12 is a created variable collapsed from the 12 category urban-centric school locale code (SCLOP_07) which was assigned using the 2000 Decennial Census data and recoded into four categories: city, suburban, town, and rural.