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Equality of Educational Opportunity (COLEMAN) Study (EEOS), 1966 (ICPSR 6389)

Principal Investigator(s): Coleman, James S., Johns Hopkins University


The Equality of Educational Opportunity Study (EEOS), also known as the "Coleman Study," was commissioned by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1966 to assess the availability of equal educational opportunities to children of different race, color, religion, and national origin. This study was conducted in response to provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and serves as an example of the use of a social survey as an instrument of national policy-making. The EEOS consists of test scores and questionnaire responses obtained from first-, third-, sixth-, ninth-, and twelfth-grade students, and questionnaire responses from teachers and principals. These data were obtained from a national sample of schools in the United States. Data on students include age, gender, race and ethnic identity, socioeconomic background, attitudes toward learning, education and career goals, and racial attitudes. Scores on teacher-administered standardized academic tests are also included. These scores reflect performance on tests assessing ability and achievement in verbal skills, nonverbal associations, reading comprehension, and mathematics. Data on teachers and principals include academic discipline, assessment of verbal facility, salary, education and teaching experience, and attitudes toward race.

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.

    One or more files in this collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more.

    To ensure confidentiality, certain identifying variables are not available in the public-use versions. Restricted-use versions containing these variables are available. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to these data through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  First-Grade Data - Download All Files (110.344 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup   
DS2:  Third-Grade Data - Download All Files (166.542 MB) large file
ASCII + SAS Setup   
DS3:  Sixth-Grade Data - Download All Files (141.62 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup   
DS4:  Ninth-Grade Data - Download All Files (185.742 MB) large file
ASCII + SAS Setup   
DS5:  Twelfth-Grade Data - Download All Files (156.376 MB) large file
ASCII + SAS Setup   
DS6:  Teacher Data - Download All Files (97.121 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup   
DS7:  Principal Data - Download All Files (72.315 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup   
DS8:  USOE Codes (Restricted Only)
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


Coleman, James S. Equality of Educational Opportunity (COLEMAN) Study (EEOS), 1966. ICPSR06389-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-04-27. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06389.v3

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06389.v3

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Education

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    academic ability, academic achievement, accreditation (institutions), administration, after school programs, behavior problems, certification, counseling, curriculum, demographic characteristics, education, educational assessment, educational environment, educational planning, educational policy, educational programs, experience, friendships, home environment, household composition, life plans, memberships, opinions, race, racial attitudes, racial integration, school busing, schools, self concept, social attitudes, social behavior, socioeconomic status, special needs students, students, teachers, testing and measurement, wages and salaries

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1966

Date of Collection:   

  • 1966

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Public schools in the United States and the District of Columbia.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data, medical records, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Questionnaire responses should be read as alphabetic characters.

A comma-separated values (CSV) file (USOE Codes) and associated codebook have been added to the restricted portion of this collection. This CSV file provides a crosswalk between the USOE school codes in the confidential version of this study and Census geographic units.


Sample:    National stratified random sample.

Data Source:

Teacher-administered standardized academic tests and self-enumerated questionnaires

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1995-06-05

Version History:

  • 2007-04-27 A comma-separated values (CSV) file (USOE Codes) and associated codebook have been added to the restricted portion of this collection.
  • 2006-01-18 Files CB6389AP.ALL.PDF and CB6839.ALL.PDF were removed from any previous datasets and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.
  • 2000-08-04 Two additional documentation files have been provided by NCES, a study report and a supplemental appendix, which have been converted to Portable Document Format (PDF) files.
  • 2000-03-21 Blanks at the end of the records in Part 7, Principal Data, have been removed, resulting in a record length of 300 characters. In addition, SAS data definition statements have been produced to accompany this collection, along with a machine-readable codebook and data collection instruments in one PDF file. Also, the documentation now accurately reflects the number of variables in each file.

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