National Education Longitudinal Study, 1988: First Follow-up (1990) (ICPSR 9859)

Version Date: Aug 18, 1999 View help for published

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United States Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics


Version V1

This data collection presents follow-up data for the NATIONAL EDUCATION LONGITUDINAL STUDY, 1988 (ICPSR 9389). The base-year study collected information from student surveys and tests and from surveys of parents, school administrators, and teachers. It was designed to provide trend data about critical transitions experienced by students as they leave elementary school and progress through high school and postsecondary institutions or the work force. This collection provides the first opportunity for longitudinal measurement of the 1988 baseline samples. It also provides a point of comparison with high school sophomores from ten years before, as studied in HIGH SCHOOL AND BEYOND, 1980: A LONGITUDINAL SURVEY OF STUDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES (ICPSR 7896). Further, the study captures the population of early dropouts (those who leave school prior to the end of the tenth grade), while monitoring the transition of the student population into secondary schooling. The student component (Part 1) collected basic background information about students' school and home environments, participation in classes and extracurricular activities, current jobs, and students' goals, aspirations, and opinions about themselves. The student component also measured tenth-grade achievement and cognitive growth between 1988 and 1990 in the subject areas of mathematics, science, reading, and social studies. The school component (Part 3) supplies general descriptive information about the educational setting and environment in which surveyed students were enrolled. These data were collected from the chief administrator of each base-year school and cover school characteristics, grading and testing structure, school culture and academic climate, program and facilities information, parental interactions and involvement, and teaching staff characteristics. The dropout component (Part 5) provides data on the process of dropping out of school as it occurs from eighth grade on. Variables include school attendance, determinants of leaving school, self-perceptions and attitudes, work history, and relationships with school personnel, peers, and family. The teacher component (Part 7) was administered to teachers of follow-up students in four basic subject areas: mathematics, science, English, and history. The questionnaire elicited teacher evaluations of student characteristics and performance in the classroom, curriculum information about the classes taught, teacher demographic and professional characteristics, information about parent-teacher interactions, time spent on various tasks, and perceptions of school climate and culture.

United States Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics. National Education Longitudinal Study, 1988:  First Follow-up (1990)      . Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999-08-18.

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1988 -- 1990

The codebooks and data collection instruments are provided as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided in the codebook and through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.

Two-stage sampling involving the selection of a core group of students who were in the eighth-grade sample in 1988 distributed across 1,500 schools. In order for this to be a valid probability sample of all students currently enrolled in the tenth grade in the 1989-1990 school year, the sample was "freshened" with students who were tenth-graders in 1990 but not in the eighth grade during the 1987-1988 school year. Base-year students who had dropped out of school between 1988 and 1990 were subsampled with certainty.

All tenth-grade students in the United States during the 1989-1990 school year.

personal interviews, questionnaires, and test scores


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. National Education Longitudinal Study, 1988: First Follow-Up (1990). U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement [producer], 1992. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999-08-18.

1999-08-18 Separate PDF codebooks are now available for the Student, School, and Dropout data. The Student and Dropout Data codebooks have been divided into two parts (Parts 9 and 10 and Parts 11 and 12, respectively) due to their size.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.