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

Version Date: Apr 27, 2007 View help for published

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


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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.

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

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United States Department of Education

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.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

  1. Questionnaire responses should be read as alphabetic characters.

  2. 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.


National stratified random sample.

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


Teacher-administered standardized academic tests and self-enumerated questionnaires



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:
  • 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. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06389.v3

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.

1995-06-05 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.