Research Participants

Surveys

This project involves teacher and student surveys in our partner districts and principal surveys in Texas and Florida. To see copies of our surveys, please use the links below. The teacher survey is administered to teachers in all subject areas.

FAQs

Project Information

Q

What is the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools (NCSU)?

A

The National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools (NCSU) is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education. We are a collaboration between research universities, large urban school districts, and intervention development specialists. We focus on identifying and developing processes for scaling up the combination of essential components and the programs, practices, processes and policies that make some high schools in large urban districts particularly effective with low-income students, minority students, and English language learners.

Q

Who is conducting this project?

A

The researchers involved are from Vanderbilt University, Florida State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Georgia State University, and The University of Wisconsin – Madison. The researchers are conducting this study in partnership with your school district.

Q

Who is funding this project?

A

NCSU is funded with a five-year, $13.6 million grant (R305C100023) from the Institute of Education Sciences, a research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.

Q

What is the contact information for NCSU?

A

Dr. Thomas Smith is the Principal Investigator. You may contact the NCSU office at (615) 322-0225 or by email at .

Survey Information

Q

Why am I being asked to take this survey?

A

(Teachers): You are being asked to participate because teachers are vital to school success and we are interested in your perspective on the essential components of effective high schools and about their curriculum and instruction.

(Principals): You are being asked to participate because you have experience with the policies and practices of a high school.

(Students): It is important for us to understand how students experience their high school. For this reason, we are asking a sample of students to complete a survey.

Q

How long will it take to complete the survey?

A

(Teachers): Approximately 15-20 minutes

(Principal): Approximately 25 minutes

(Students): Approximately 10-15 minutes

Q

What period of time do teachers report on?

A

Teachers should report on the entire current school year.

Q

I am a high school principal in Florida or Texas, but not in one of the partner districts. Should I still complete the principal survey?

A

Yes. While the work focuses on two partner districts, by the conclusion of the Center’s work, we will have developed, implemented, and tested new processes that other districts will be able to use to scale up effective practices within the context of their own goals and unique circumstances. As a token of our appreciation for completing the principal survey, you will receive an individualized report of results to compare your high school to other high schools in your district and state. Further, your school will be eligible to win one of ten $500 stipends or ten $300 stipends to use as you wish.

Q

Are all students in my school taking this survey?

A

No. We only need a sample of students to complete this survey. We will work with the school to randomly select four classes per grade level (16 total per school).

Q

How will you obtain parent consent for student surveys?

A

To encourage students to return parent consent forms, we will enter all students who return the forms into a raffle to win one iPod Touch or one of four amusement park gift cards per school. Parents do not need to grant consent for students to be eligible for the drawing. Students who return signed consent forms in which parents state they do not want their child to participate will still be eligible for the drawing.

Survey Participation

Q

Do I have to participate?

A

No, your participation is completely voluntary.

Q

When will my teachers and students need to take this survey?

A

We will allow the teachers to complete the survey over several weeks. We can work with the school to find a relatively convenient time to take the survey, such as working around testing schedules. We can also come to a faculty meeting to discuss the Center's partnership with your district and administer the teacher survey at that time.

For the student survey, we will administer the surveys in person on a day that is convenient for the school.

Q

When does the survey close?

A

The survey closes ten weeks after initial contact with respondents.

Incentives / Benefits

Q

What are the incentives/benefits to participating?

A

(Teacher): Your responses will be used to inform high school reform efforts in your district through a collaborative design process between the researchers, district personnel, and school and teacher leaders. If at least 80% of teachers in your school complete this survey, your school will receive $700 in addition to the $300 it will receive for participating.

(Principal): Principals that complete the principal survey will be entered into a lottery for one of ten $500 stipends or one of ten $300 stipends for their school. Additionally, principals who complete the principal survey will be sent an individualized report based on the survey results that allows them to compare their school to others in the district and state. View a sample report here.

For principals in our partner districts (Broward County and Fort Worth ISD), the knowledge gained from this study will contribute to our understanding of how schools implement effective practices for traditional low-performing students, in particular low-income students, minorities, and English language learners. This knowledge will then be used, in collaboration with district and school personnel from your district, to develop and implement a process to scale up practices of effective schools in other high schools in the district. Further, your school will receive $300 for participating in the teacher survey and if at least 80% of teachers in your school complete this survey, your school will receive an additional $700. Thus your school can receive up to $1000 depending on how many teachers complete the teacher survey.

Confidentiality

Q

How will my data be held confidential? / Who will know what I say?

A

No one will know what you say. Researchers will remove personally identifying information, assigning a code to identify principals and their schools. Only key study personnel will have access to the coding system. Your name, or the name of your school, will never be used in research products that result from the study. Only aggregate survey results will be presented so that you are not individually identifiable. We will keep survey data for up to 10 years at which time it will be destroyed.