An example of how widespread reporting of disaggregated data from the E&S survey has influenced school policies comes from Florida in the 1980s. When Florida media, using E&S survey data, reported that many Florida school districts routinely administered corporal punishment to 20 percent of their black students each year, a number of districts changed their disciplinary practices, and the frequency with which corporal punishment was used dramatically decreased (Joan First, director, NCAS, personal communication, 2002).
Until recently, E&S survey data rarely have been used for academic research. A few researchers have used the data to analyze issues related to school desegregation (see, e.g., Farley, 1975, 1976, 1978; Farley, Richard, and Wurdock, 1980; Welch, 1987; Farley and Taeuber, 1974; Orfield, 1977, 1978, 1986, 1996; Orfield and Yun, 1999). The data also have been used to discuss racial disparities in special and gifted education (see, e.g., Harry and Anderson, 1995; Ford, 1998; MacMillan and Reschly, 1998; Oswald et al., 1999; National Research Council, 2002b). Recently, a number of publications associated with the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University also have used E&S survey data (see, e.g., Losen and Orfield, 2002a, 2002b; The Advancement Project and The Civil Rights Project, 2000; Orfield, 2001b).
Because the OCR until recently has not publicized the survey nor disseminated even basic findings, many researchers have been unaware that the survey data exist. Some researchers who have been aware of the survey have had difficulty gaining access to the data in a format that allows for the use of a full range of analytical strategies. When access has been obtained, technical documentation has been sparse (see Chapter 4).