RETA: Chicago School Staff Social Network Questionnaire Longitudinal Study, 2005-2008 (ICPSR 32921)

Version Date: Jan 11, 2013 View help for published

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James Spillane, Northwestern University; Penelope Peterson, Northwestern University; Miriam Sherin, Northwestern University; Stephen Fisher, Northwestern University; Spyridon Konstantopoulos, Northwestern University


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SSSNQ 2005-2008, RETA 2005-2008

The Chicago School Staff Social Network Questionnaire Longitudinal Study, 2005-2008 is a part of the RETA Distributed Leadership for Middle School Mathematics Education: Content Area Leadership Expertise in Practice study. The goal of RETA was to design and validate a series of research instruments to identify leadership for mathematics instruction in middle schools and for documenting instructional leadership practice. Adopting a distributed perspective on leadership, this work focused on both formally designated and informal leaders and their leadership routines. The objective was to develop valid and reliable instruments that make the day-to-day practice of school leadership for mathematics instruction more transparent, as well as measure changes in this practice over time. This project utilized Social Network Surveys, Experience Sampling Methods (ESM), and Daily Practice Logs. To validate these instruments, a combination of shadowing, end of day cognitive interviews, and semi-structured interviews was used. These instruments were used to describe and analyze when and how teachers and other educators solicit or provide instructional advice and the degree to which these resources influence their work.

The first component of the Chicago longitudinal study involved the administration of the School Staff Social Network Questionnaire (SSSNQ) to staff in a purposeful sample of 22 schools starting in the Winter of 2005 and continuing through the Spring of 2006. A 23rd school responded, but was dropped from analysis due to a problem with the structure of the survey questions. All teachers and administrators at each school were asked to take the survey online. In January 2007 the Office of Mathematics and Science for Chicago Public Schools, with the support of the Chicago Community Trust, asked for the School Staff Social Network Questionnaire (SSSNQ) to be administered to 23 Chicago public schools (both K-8 and middle schools) as part of the work with these schools around distributed leadership for mathematics and language arts instruction. At the time of the study, all of these schools were participating in a leadership and school-restructuring initiative called the Cluster 4 Middle Grades Program. In May and June 2007, the survey was administered to 19 of the schools (the other four schools declined the invitation). In June of 2008, the SSSNQ was administered again, but this time it was only given to the 12 schools that had a response rate over 70 percent in 2007.

Spillane, James, Peterson, Penelope, Sherin, Miriam, Fisher, Stephen, and Konstantopoulos, Spyridon. RETA: Chicago School Staff Social Network Questionnaire Longitudinal Study, 2005-2008. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-01-11.

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National Science Foundation (NSF#412510)


This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. Data must not be linked to the schools.

Restricted Use Files: To protect respondent privacy, the data are restricted from general dissemination. 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, which can be accessed via the study home page.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2005 -- 2008
  1. The Winter 2005 and Spring 2006 original data collection instrument is not available.

  2. The pseudonyms (two-letter codes) for interview participants from the Chicago Schools Staff Network Survey Qualitative Interviews (ICPSR 33582) can be linked to the variable "pseudoname" used in this study.

  3. The cross sectional data files for the 2008 study are not available due to confidentiality issues.

  4. The following files can be merged to create a longitudinal file between years 2005-2006 and 2007:

    • DS 6: Winter 2005 and Spring 2006 Survey Longitudinal Datafile
    • DS 7: Spring 2007 Survey Longitudinal Datafile
    • DS 8: Winter 2005 and Spring 2006 Network Longitudinal Datafile
    • DS 9: Spring 2007 Network Longitudinal Datafile

The program of research and development addresses three main goals:

  • To describe and analyze content leadership practices for middle school mathematics instruction and generate empirical evidence concerning which of these practices enables improvement in mathematics teaching and learning.
  • To describe the dimensions of knowledge for content leadership in mathematics at the middle school level and design, pilot, and validate these instruments for measuring content leadership knowledge.
  • To generate more robust empirical evidence about whether and how content leadership knowledge can be learned through both formal learning opportunities (e.g., MSPs, Institute Partnerships) and informal on-the-job learning.

The 2005-2006 study involved administration of the SSSNQ to staff in a purposeful sample of 22 schools in a large urban school district. These 22 schools consisted of 16 public schools, 4 Catholic schools, and 2 charter schools. Five of the public schools were middle schools; the other schools were K-8. The 2007 study used the same sample. The 2008 survey was administered to the 12 schools that had a response rate of over 70 percent in 2007.


School teachers and leaders in one large urban Midwestern district.


School Staff Social Network Questionnaire

  • In 2005, 11 schools had response rates above 70 percent and 16 schools had response rates above 50 percent.
  • In 2006, all 4 schools had response rates above 80 percent, with a mean response rate of 85 percent.

  • The peer-report items are based on a measure used by the Consortium on Chicago Schools Research (CCSR) in their bi-annual surveys of Chicago schools. The 7 self-report items are selected from a 12-item measure studied in Lee and Smith's 1996 article "Collective Responsibility for Learning and Its Effects on Gains in Achievement for Early Secondary School Students."
  • Nine-item measure drawn from a paper by Lee, Smith, and Cioci (1993) called "Teachers and Principals: Gender-Related Perceptions of Leadership and Power in Secondary Schools."
  • Six-item scale to measure trust among teachers, drawn from a measure used by CCSR.; 8-item scale to measure trust between teachers and the school principal, drawn from a measure used by CCSR.
  • Seven-item scale to measure staff assessments of the principal's level of instructional leadership, drawn from a measure used by CCSR.
  • Six-item scale to measure teachers' attitude towards innovation, drawn from a measure used by CCSR.



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:
  • Spillane, James, Penelope Peterson, Miriam Sherin, Stephen Fisher, and Spyridon Konstantopoulos. RETA: Chicago School Staff Social Network Questionnaire Longitudinal Study, 2005-2008. ICPSR32921-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-08-31.

2013-01-11 Document covers have been updated.

2012-12-21 Document covers have been updated.

2012-09-06 Public documentation has been added.

2012-08-31 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:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

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Education Research Data Sharing Initiative

This study is maintained and distributed by The Education Research Data Sharing Initiative: an AERA-ICPSR Partnership, a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).