The Education Research unit is directed by Siobhan Foley. She is assisted by three full-time staff and over a dozen part-time survey administrators. She is responsible for supervising all aspects of project development and planning, data collection, and analysis for multiple state-funded survey projects for the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS). The education unit of the BCSR works with clients to develop new surveys and adapt existing paper surveys to be programmed into Qualtrics, and is directly involved in collecting and analyzing survey data from key stakeholders: students, parents, teachers, and school administrators.
New Jersey Department of Education New Jersey Student Health Survey | 2006 – ONGOING
The New Jersey Student Health Survey is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Survey information is collected from high school students about behaviors that are highly related to the most important causes of preventable premature illness and death among youth and young adults. The BCSR staff works with the New Jersey Department of Education to develop a paper survey, trains and supervises a team of full-time research assistants to administer the survey in schools located throughout the state of New Jersey, creates sample frames, enters and analyzes the data in SPSS, and writes a summary report on findings.
New Jersey Department of Human Services Risk and Protective Factor Survey |2006 – ONGOING
The New Jersey Middle School Risk and Protective Factor Survey is a student health survey sponsored by NJDHS. It is designed to systematically collect data on risk and protective behaviors among New Jersey youth. The survey questionnaire includes risk and protective items that show the strongest correlations to drug use, including feelings about school and their neighborhood; self-reported and peer use of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol; and the availability of such substances. Survey information is used to create tailored prevention programs for New Jersey’s youth population and complete the federal application for block grant funding. The BCSR is responsible for all data collection and analysis efforts.
New Jersey Department of Education School Health Profiles Survey | 2008 – ONGOING
The New Jersey School Health Profiles Survey (Profiles) is a survey of middle and high school principals and lead health educators, using survey questions developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Data from the Profiles survey help state agencies monitor the status of: school health education requirements and content; physical education and physical activity; school health policies related to HIV infection/AIDS, tobacco-use prevention, and nutrition; asthma management activities; family and community involvement in school health programs; and school health coordination. The BCSR is responsible for all data collection and analysis for the Profiles survey.
New Jersey Department of Education Post School Outcomes Survey |2009 – ONGOING
The New Jersey Post School Outcomes Study is a survey of students with disabilities who exit high school (graduate, aged out, drop out or move and are not known to be continuing). The goal of this survey is to better understand the post school outcomes for students with disabilities. Emphasis is on measuring their engagement in work and/or further education one year after exiting. The BCSR is responsible for preparing data for analyses, conducting analyses, and completing statistical and narrative reports of findings for the five cohorts of districts participating in the study.
New Jersey Department of Education School Climate Survey |2012 – ONGOING
The BCSR developed, in collaboration with the NJDOE, the 2012 New Jersey School Climate Survey. This included assisting in the creation of all instructional materials and questionnaires for four survey populations- elementary school students, middle and high school students, parents, and school staff. The BCSR created a questionnaire that measured various dimensions of school climate for each of the four survey populations and a survey administration guide so school districts could administer the survey on their own. The BCSR also created scaling algorithms for each survey population and a data entry and display template in Excel that districts use to report survey results. In 2014, after the NJDOE conducted a pilot test with selected districts across the state, the BCSR conducted a reliability and validity study and used the results to improve upon the 2012 survey instruments and provided updated materials for download on the NJDOE website. The BCSR has once again been asked in 2016 to revise the survey instruments, provide updated materials for dissemination, and conduct new data analytics.
New Jersey Department of Education School Parent Survey |2005 – ONGOING
The Parent Survey involves an annual survey of parents of students with disabilities to determine how schools have facilitated parents’ involvement in their child’s program. The parent survey is disseminated statewide to all parents of students with disabilities over a five-year period. Each year a cohort of districts is randomly selected to participate, based on demographic information, to represent the population of students with disabilities residing in New Jersey. The BCSR works with the NJDOE to train New Jersey school districts to use an Excel template and FTP site to collect parent address data. Each annual cohort contains about 40,000 parent addresses. Surveys are administered by mail and on-line. The BCSR sets up a 1-800 number to respond to parents’ questions regarding the survey. Data are cleaned, scored, and analyzed using SPSS. Numerous reports are provided including sections on: response rates, demographics, item analysis, overall and individual district reports, and a district history report.