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ERIC Number: ED542101
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 37
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 77
Improving the Measurement of Socioeconomic Status for the National Assessment of Educational Progress: A Theoretical Foundation--Recommendations to the National Center for Education Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
At the request of the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB, 2003), the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) convened a panel of experts to provide recommendations concerning socioeconomic status (SES) as a construct, with the understanding that their recommendations might ultimately lead to a new measure of SES that could be used for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The current, most prominent NAEP measure of student SES, National School Lunch Program (NSLP) eligibility, has become less valid over time. The panel's main focus was on the theoretical foundations of SES. The panel made four key recommendations to improve measurement and reporting of SES: (1) Family income and other indicators of home possessions and resources, parental educational attainment, and parental occupational status should be considered components of a core SES measure, and should be the subject of immediate focus for NAEP reporting; (2) Neighborhood and school SES could be used to construct an expanded SES measure, and measures of these variables could contribute to an expanded SES; (3) Composite measures have many advantages, such as being a single summary useful for reporting, greater reliability, and representing the full range of SES factors. In addition, treating SES as a composite measure does not preclude reporting on relationships between individual SES components and achievement. Therefore, attempts should be made to develop an SES composite measure; and (4) The validity of NSLP eligibility has been decreasing due to jurisdiction-wide eligibility and other factors, and that trend is likely to continue. There is concern over the quality of student reports, particularly regarding parental educational attainment (for 4th-graders) and occupational status (for all grades). Due to these data quality issues, along with burden considerations, attempts should be made to explore the possibility of linking to Census data on SES components. (Contains 1 footnote.)
National Center for Education Statistics. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress
IES Funded: Yes
IES Cited: ED560723; ED560724