Administrators WORK WITH PARENTS & THE COMMUNITY
Statistical Resources for Nonpublic Schools
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Primary Surveys and Studies Involving Private Schools and Homeschooling

Private School Universe Survey (PSS):

Overview:

The purposes of the Private School Universe Survey (PSS) are to build an accurate and complete list of private schools to serve as a sampling frame for NCES surveys of private schools, and to generate biennial data on the total number of private schools, teachers, and students.

The PSS consists of a single survey that is completed by administrative personnel in private schools. Information collected covers the following topics: religious orientation; level of school; size of school; length of school year, length of school day; total enrollment (K-12); number of high school graduates, whether a school is single-sexed or coeducational and enrollment by sex; number of teachers employed; program emphasis; existence and type of kindergarten program.

The target population for the PSS consists of all private schools in the U.S. that meet the NCES definition. NCES defines "private school" as a school that is not supported primarily by public funds, provides instruction for one or more of grades K-12 or comparable ungraded levels, and has one or more teachers. Organizations or institutions that provide support for homeschooling without offering classroom instruction for students are not included.

The PSS produces data similar to that of the NCES Common Core of Data (CCD) for public schools. For information on CCD, visit http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/.

PSS data is used in the school search functions of the NCES website including "Search for Private Schools" at http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch/. (See Appendix A for more information.)

Notable Publications:

Characteristics of Private Schools in the United States: Results From the 2003-2004 Private School Universe Survey (3/2006)

Characteristics of Private Schools in the United States: Results From the 2001-2002 Private School Universe Survey (10/2004)

Private School Universe Survey: 1999-2000 (8/2001)

Private School Universe Survey, 1997-98 (8/1999)

References:

PSS website

NCES Handbook of Survey Methods (4/2003)

Contact:

Stephen Broughman
National Center for Education Statistics
1990 K Street, NW
Room 9012
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 502 7315

Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS):

Overview:

The purpose of the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) data collection is to collect the information necessary for a complete picture of American education. The focus of SASS data collection is the measurement of teacher and school capacity.

SASS is the nation's largest sample survey of the characteristics and conditions of America's public and private elementary and secondary schools and the teachers and principals who work in them. SASS gathers information on a variety of topics including: characteristics of, programs offered in, and parental involvement in schools; and characteristics, perceptions, and attitudes of principals and teachers. SASS surveys facilitate comparison between public and private schools, providing nationally reliable data for both subgroups as well as state-reliable data on public schools and affiliation-reliable data on private schools.

SASS consists of five core components: the District Questionnaire, School Questionnaire, Principal Questionnaire, Teacher Questionnaire, and Library Media Center Questionnaire. (Private schools do not receive the District Questionnaire.) The surveys are linked so that researchers may analyze school-level and district-wide data.

SASS Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS):

The purposes of the SASS Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS) are to provide estimates of teacher attrition, retention, and mobility in public and private schools and to project demand for teachers; to provide national data on the characteristics of teachers who leave teaching, their reasons for leaving, and their current occupational status; and to provide information on the career paths of persons who remain in teaching.

TFS is a follow-up survey of elementary and secondary school teachers who participated in SASS; it is conducted in the school year following SASS data collection. TFS uses two questionnaires, one for teachers who left teaching since the previous SASS ("Former Teacher questionnaire"), and another for those who are still currently teaching either in the same school as last year or in a different school ("Current Teacher questionnaire"). The topics for the Former Teacher questionnaire include employment status, ratings of various aspects of teaching and their current jobs, information on decisions to leave teaching, and ratings of various strategies for retaining more teachers. The topics for the Current Teacher questionnaire include teaching status and assignments, ratings of various aspects of teaching, the time teachers spend on different aspects of the job, professional development over the past two years, and ratings of various strategies for retaining more teachers.

Notable Publications:

Characteristiscs of Schools, Districts, Teachers, Principals, and School Libraries in the United States: 2003-2004 Schools and Staffing Survey (3/2006)

Teacher Professional Development in 1999-2000: What Teachers, Principals, and District Staff Report (1/2006)

Private School Teacher Turnover and Teacher Perceptions of School Organizational Characteristics (6/2005)

Teacher Attrition and Mobility: Results from the Teacher Follow-up Survey, 2000-01 (8/2004)

The Status of Public and Private School Library Media Centers in the United States: 1999-2000 (3/2004)

A Brief Profile of America's Private Schools (6/2003)

Schools and Staffing Survey, 1999-2000: Overview of the Data for Public, Private, Public Charters, and Bureau of Indian Affairs Elementary and Secondary Schools (5/2002)

Private Schools in the United States: A Statistical Profile 1993-94 (7/1997)

References:

SASS website

NCES Handbook of Survey Methods (4/2003)

Schools and Staffing Survey: 2003-2004 (9/2003)

Contacts:

Kerry Gruber
National Center for Education Statistics
1990 K Street, NW
Room 9013
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 502 7349

Stephen Broughman
National Center for Education Statistics
1990 K Street, NW
Room 9012
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 502 7315

National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES):

Overview:

The National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) is designed to describe Americans' educational experiences, thereby offering policymakers, researchers, and educators a variety of statistics on the condition of education in the U.S.

NHES is a system of telephone surveys of representative samples of the non-institutionalized civilian population of the United States. Recurring NHES survey topics include Adult Education, After-school Programs and Activities, Early Childhood Program Participation, Parent and Family Involvement in Education, School Readiness, School Safety and Discipline. To monitor educational trends over time, NHES conducts repeated measurements of the same phenomena in different years. NHES has also fielded surveys on topics of interest to the U.S Department of Education that are not expected to be repeated. These surveys have addressed Civic Involvement, Household and Library Use, and School Safety and Discipline.

Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey (PFI):

The NHES Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey (PFI) focuses on children age 3-20 who are enrolled in grade 12 or below. PFI gathers data on a variety of topics in parent and family involvement in education, including school choice and homeschooling. Regarding homeschooling, PFI addresses the following research questions:

  • How many and what percentage of students are homeschooled?
  • Have there been changes in these figures since the last data collection?
  • Why are children homeschooled?

Notable Publications:

Homeschooling in the United States: 2003 (2/2006)

Parents' Reports of School Practices to Provide Information to Families: 1996 and 2003 (1/2006)

Parent and Family Involvement in Education: 2002-03 (5/2005)

1.1 Million Homeschooled Students in the United States in 2003 (7/2004)

Trends in the Use of School Choice: 1993 to 1999 (5/2003)

Homeschooling in the United States: 1999 (7/2001)

Issues Related to Estimating the Home-Schooled Population in the United States with National Household Survey Data (9/2000)

References:

NHES website

NCES Handbook of Survey Methods (4/2003)

Contact:

Chris Chapman
National Center for Education Statistics
1990 K Street, NW
Room 9086
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 502 7414
chris.chapman@ed.gov

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP):

Overview:

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a congressionally mandated project to continuously monitor the knowledge, skills, and performance of the nation's children and youth. As the 'Nation's Report Card', NAEP has measured and reported on a regular basis what America's fourth, eighth, and twelfth graders know and can do since 1969. It provides objective data about student performance at national, regional, and state levels in reading, writing, mathematics, science, U.S. history, civics, geography, the arts, and other subjects. NAEP assessments follow subject-area frameworks developed by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), and use the latest advances in assessment methodology.

There are two types of NAEP assessments: 'main' assessments and long-term trend assessments. Main assessments are administered separately at national and state levels. Long-term trend assessments are administered only at the national level. In addition to these assessments, NAEP also coordinates a number of ongoing special studies including the Private Schools Report.

Main NAEP

National main NAEP reports statistical information about student performance and related factors for the nation and specific subgroups of the population. It reports results for student achievement at grades 4, 8, and 12. State main NAEP assesses at grades 4 and 8, but not at grade 12. Main NAEP assessments given in the states are the same as those given nationally.

In national main NAEP, the academic performance of a national sample of nonpublic (private) school students is reported. From the NCES Private School Universe Survey (PSS, see above), NAEP selects samples representing the broad spectrum of nonpublic schools at grades 4, 8, and 12. Results for students in nonpublic schools are reported as a national average. Where possible, national average results for non-public schools students are also reported by student subgroups.

Long-Term Trend NAEP

NAEP long-term trend assessments give information on changes in the basic achievement of America's youth over time. They have measured students' performance in mathematics, science, reading, and writing and have monitored trend lines first established 30 years ago. Results have been reported for students ages 9, 13, and 17 in mathematics, reading, and science, and for students in grades 4, 8, and 11 in writing. Nonpublic school students are included in NAEP long-term trend assessements, although results are not always reported for nonpublic school students as a subgroup.

Information and data on participation and performance in NAEP assessments by nonpublic school students is compiled in the Private Schools Report.

Notable Publications:

Private Schools Report

Main NAEP

Long-term Trend NAEP

High School Transcript Study

References:

Contact:

Arnold Goldstein
National Center for Education Statistics
1990 K Street, NW
Room 8086
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 502 7344
Arnold.Goldstein@ed.gov


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Last Modified: 06/01/2009