The website at the National
Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is remarkable. Public-use NCES datasets,
with electronic codebooks and data-analysis systems, are available free. Some
datasets can be downloaded directly on-line, while others are
sent to you on a CD-ROM in the mail, on request.
NCES also provides
prompt and friendly user-support for its data products. Information
about each dataset is provided on the web, often along with summary
statistics. Each dataset has a support
person to respond to your phone or email questions. For
most datasets, NCES also maintains a database of FAQs, technical
reports, substantive findings, users' names and affiliations, etc. It
even gives away software (called DAS)
for obtaining summary statistics interactively from the datasets
or for conducting statistical analyses that take account of the
complex survey sample design (called AM).
Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Nationally-representative
assessment of US students' skills in art, civics, geography, history,
math, reading, science, and writing, on-going since 1969. Not
longitudinal at the individual student level.
Early Childhood Longitudinal
Study (ECLS). Nationally-representative
longitudinal data on the development and early school experiences for
two cohorts of children. The Kindergarten Cohort contains
23,000 kindergartners who were first surveyed in 1998 and will be followed
through 5th grade. The Birth Cohort contains
15,000 children who will be followed from birth in 2000 up through
and Staffing Survey (SASS). Longitudinal
data on teachers, principals, schools and school districts in the
US public and private education system. To be administered
next in the 2003-2004 school year.
Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS). Data on
crime and safety from a nationally-representative sample of 3000 US
elementary and secondary public schools from principals, administered
first in 2000 and then every two years.
and Beyond (B&B). Longitudinal data
on education and employment experiences (including, in the teaching
profession) for a cohort of students who completed a bachelor's
degree in 1992-93, with follow-ups in 1994 and 1997.
Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF). Repeated
cross-sectional data on a nationally-representative sample of full-and
part-time faculty at public/private, not-for-profit, 2/4-year institutions
in the USA, conducted first in 1987-88 and repeated in 1992-93 and
1998-99, with the next data collection planned for 2003-04.