Base year data were collected in 1988 and included questionnaires from students, school administrators, and parents; teacher ratings of students; and students' achievement test scores.
The first follow-up of NELS:88 was conducted in 1990. At this time, data was collected by way of a student questionnaire (including a brief new student questionnaire for new students who were brought into the sample to preserve representativeness), a dropout questionnaire (of base-year respondents who had since left school), a student achievement test, a teacher questionnaire, and a school administrator questionnaire.
A second follow-up was conducted in 1992. Data come from student (original and new) questionnaires, dropout questionnaires, student achievement test scores, school administrator and teacher questionnaires, and a parent questionnaire focusing on the financing of postsecondary education. In the second follow-up, only math and science teachers for each student were surveyed. Academic transcripts were collected for each student. The 3rd follow-up was conducted in 1994, when the students were approximately two years out of high school. Education, work, and family formation characteristics were included in this wave of the survey. The fourth and final follow-up will take place in 1997.
School administrator questionnaire: school, student and teaching staff characteristics, school policies and practices (e.g., admissions, discipline, grading and testing structure), school governance and climate, and school problems.
Teacher questionnaire: impressions of the student, student's school behavior and academic performance, curriculum and classroom instructional practices, school climate and policies, and teacher background and activities. The teacher questionnaire for the second follow-up was only given to math and science teachers, who were asked to rate their own professional qualifications and preparation.
Student questionnaire: family background and characteristics (including household composition, ethnicity, parental education, eco-