Improving Data Quality

  • Survey items should be revised to provide more useful and complete information on five topics:

  1. the qualifications and experience of teachers;

  2. the assignment of students to different types of classrooms and educational settings;

  3. the consequences for students of high-stakes testing;

  4. high school completion; and

  5. interscholastic athletics.

  • OCR should ensure that respondents understand how to complete the survey accurately and thoroughly.

  • OCR should carefully scrutinize the data that are collected for thoroughness and reliability.

Increasing Access to the Data

There are several steps that OCR should take to increase access to the E&S survey data:

  • train staff to make more effective use of the survey data;

  • continue to improve the software provided for public access to E&S survey data over the Internet;

  • sponsor or support programs to train advocates, researchers, and educators to use the data for various purposes;

  • make well-edited data available to researchers and others in a usable format and provide a data manual and technical assistance;

  • consider developing a small grants program to encourage research on the topic of access to learning opportunities using E&S survey data; and

  • archive and preserve data from all surveys in a common format and make them accessible to researchers and other interested parties on disk or over the Internet, both for historical purposes and to enable researchers to track longitudinal trends.

Disseminating Survey Findings

Three steps should be taken by OCR to improve dissemination of E&S survey data:

  • conduct or sponsor the conduct of basic tabulations of the data;

  • include findings from analyses of the data in OCR’s regular reports to Congress; and

  • publicize the basic findings from the survey in widely disseminated government publications.

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