RETA: Lincoln School Staff Social Network Questionnaire Longitudinal Study, 2007-2008 (ICPSR 33583)

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 2007-2008, RETA 2007-2008

The Lincoln School Staff Social Network Questionnaire Longitudinal Study, 2007-2008 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.

For the Lincoln longitudinal study, there was a partnership with the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, as part of the Math in the Middle MSP. In 2007, the School Staff Social Network Survey (SSSNQ) was administered to all 10 middle schools in the Lincoln Public Schools District. In 2008, Math in the Middle was collaborated with to conduct the SSSNQ for a second administration in all 10 middle schools, which provided longitudinal data to analyze changes in formal and informal leadership for mathematics education in these schools. The SSSNQ was administered for the third time to the entire cohort of Math in the Middle Teaching Associates that have undergone training through the Math in the Middle MSP.

Spillane, James, Peterson, Penelope, Sherin, Miriam, Fisher, Stephen, and Konstantopoulos, Spyridon. RETA: Lincoln School Staff Social Network Questionnaire Longitudinal Study, 2007-2008. Ann Arbor, MI: 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

2007 -- 2008
  1. The Math in the Middle Teaching Associates data is not available.

  2. The cross sectional data files for the 2007 and 2008 study are not available due to confidentiality issues.


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.

From a directory search on the Nebraska Department of Education website (, data on staff names and positions for every school in the state of Nebraska was obtained, including both public and private schools. Data were downloaded on March 7, 2007, and are believed to be current as of mid-February or later. All ten middle schools in the Lincoln Public Schools system were surveyed. Also, from Math in the Middle (MITM) administrative records, the following information was obtained:

  • Lists of all participants in MITM cohorts 1 through 3.
  • Lists of all applicants to MITM cohort 4, including both those that were accepted and those that were rejected.
  • Lists of all MITM project personnel.


School teachers and leaders in one small urban southeastern school district.


Responses were received from 86 percent of teaching staff, 50 percent of school principals, 60 percent of assistant principals, 90 percent of media specialists/librarians, 71 percent of program consultants/coordinators, 89 percent of school counselors, and 46 percent of other school staff. School-level response rates for teaching staff varied from 70 percent to 94 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: Lincoln School Staff Social Network Questionnaire Longitudinal Study, 2007-2008. ICPSR33583-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 was 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).