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E.D. TAB: Advanced Telecommunications in U.S. Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, 1995
NCES: 96854
March 1996


The National Information Infrastructure (NII), set forth by the President, encourages an acceleration of the goal to connect all of the nation's school classrooms, as well as libraries, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies, to the "Information Superhighway."

In response to this federal goal, the U.S. Department of Education commissioned a survey to obtain current data to compare with baseline data obtained in 1994 on the status of advanced telecommunications in public elementary and secondary schools. The survey requested information regarding the types of advanced telecommunications equipment and services that are currently available in public schools and the specific locations of the equipment; current computer networking capabilities in public schools; the number of schools that have plans to connect to wide area networks; the formal role groups have in developing telecommunications plans; and the various barriers that limit schools' acquisition or use of advanced telecommunications.

This report contains tabular summaries based on data collected from the Survey of Advanced Telecommunications in U.S. Public Schools, K-12 conducted in fall 1995 for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The report is presented as an E.D. TAB, that is, as a collection of tables whose sole purpose is to make data or tables available to the general and research public quickly. E.D. TABS are not intended to present analyses of the data from the survey. The tabular summaries present the actual data collected, and only selected findings are highlighted in this report.

The tables in this report present data for public schools overall and for schools by instructional level (elementary, secondary), size of enrollment (less than 300, 300-999, 1,000 or more), metropolitan status (city, urban fringe, town, rural), geographic region of the country (northeast, southeast, central, west), percent minority enrollment (less than 6 percent, 6 to 20 percent, 21 to 49 percent, 50 percent or more), and the percent of students eligible for the federally funded free or reduced-price lunch program (less than 11 percent, 11 to 30 percent, 31 to 70 percent, 71 percent or more). The statistics in all tables are based on national estimates (see Table 1). Any statement of comparison made in this report has been tested for statistical significance through chi-square tests or t-tests adjusted for multiple comparisons using the Bonferroni adjustment and are significant at the .05 level or better.

The survey was conducted by Westat, Inc., a research firm in Rockville, Maryland, through the NCES Fast Response Survey System (FRSS). FRSS was designed to provide data quickly on policyrelated issues regarding emerging educational developments.

The data from this survey provide valuable information that federal agencies will use to measure progress and determine the tasks and activities required to help our nation's public schools move forward in obtaining and using telecommunications technology. An additional report containing detailed analyses of the findings from the survey is forthcoming, as is a report of the findings for a fall 1995 survey of advanced telecommunications in private schools.