The study addressed five core research questions:
- What is the nature and extent of behavioral problems on school buses and what types of districts have the most problems?
- How do school districts attempt to reduce misconduct on buses, and what are commonly-used strategies?
- What strategies do transportation officials perceive to be the most effective for reducing misconduct on buses, and are these perceptions contingent on district characteristics (e.g., size, urbanicity)?
- What methods do districts use to assess the effectiveness of behavioral management strategies they implement on school buses?
- What are key challenges faced by transportation officials in establishing safe and positive school bus environments?
The mixed-methods study was conducted in three phases:
- In Phase I, a national web-based survey was administered to district-level public school transportation officials to gather information about the nature and extent of student misconduct on buses, uncover the variety and prevalence of transportation-based behavioral management strategies, and identify the strategies or approaches that officials perceive to be the most effective for reducing student misconduct on buses.
- In Phase II, thirty-nine telephone interviews were conducted with district-level transportation officials to understand the challenges of behavioral management, processes by which strategies are implemented, and the conditions under which different approaches are most successful for promoting safe school bus environments.
The interviews were also used to understand how districts track student disciplinary referrals and to what extent they use data-driven approaches to assess the effectiveness of their efforts.
- In Phase III, survey and interview results were systematically analyzed to identify themes related to student misconduct and concerted efforts to regulate student behavior, and to design recommendations that school systems can use to strengthen their transportation-based behavioral management programs.
A list of 10,384 public school transportation officials and superintendents was merged with the National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) Common Core Data (CCD) dataset, which provided information on district-level characteristics such as size, urbanicity, and racial composition. The CCD increased the sampling frame to 12,494 districts.
Transportation officials employed by public school districts in the United States
Public school district transportation officials
BVSBS_analysis file.dta: school district demographics, use of buses, behavior management strategies for the seven types of bullying, violence, or misbehavior by students, supplementary information on student behaviors while on the bus, demographics of transportation official respondent, and sampling weight
Title Crosswalk File.dta: demographics of transportation official respondent, title used by respondent, and title2 aggregated by P.I
Lessons Learned and Open Dummies.dta: effective and ineffective strategies, challenges of student transportation, observations about student misbehavior,
miscellaneous information, and inapplicable information
CCD dataset.dta: district size and number of schools and students, education offerings, district urbanicity, and district racial composition
BVSB_REGION.dta: region of United States: northeast, midwest, south, west, and weighting strategy
BVSB_SCHOOLS.dta: number of schools in the district, and weighting strategy
BVSB_STUDENTS.dta: number of students in the district, and weighting strategy
BVSB_URBAN.dta: urbanicity of district, and weighting strategy
BVSB_WHITE.dta: percentage of white students in the student body, and weighting strategy
FINALRAKER.dta: unique identifier, and sampling weight
Likert-type scales were used.