6. Understanding the EDSCLS Scales

This section provides education agencies with some basic information about the EDSCLS scales. The EDSCLS surveys measure three domains—Engagement, Safety, and Environment—and 13 subdomain topical areas (see figure 4 in Appendix A). For the student, instructional staff, and noninstructional staff surveys, the aim is to measure most of the topical areas with scales; these topical area scale scores are consolidated into the domain scores (Engagement, Safety, and Environment). Not all of the survey items are included in the scale score calculations. The items that are not included in the scale scores are noted in the Survey Item Lists and Code Books available online on the EDSCLS administration page. No scales were created for the emergency readiness and management topical area in all three surveys and the physical health topical area in the student survey. No scales were created for any of the topical areas in the parent survey.

For each domain and topical area in the EDSCLS surveys, scale score reports in the EDSCLS system are available for each respondent group the day after data collection closes. For each respondent group, individual responses of all completed surveys will be aggregated by topical area and graphically presented at the education agency level. The scale scores are also reported by subgroups (e.g., race, gender, grade) within each category of respondent.

The EDSCLS platform will produce graphical displays of scale scores for domains and topical areas. The graphical presentation of these scores will show the average score across a particular respondent group on the scale and the school average (see Survey Results Reports). Beginning with VM 3.0 (released in December 2017), the scale scores are benchmarked into three performance levels. The platform now produces graphs showing the scale scores imbedded into three performance levels. The benchmarking allows users to compare all scale scores no matter the topic or domain. For example, if students in a school are in benchmark level 1 (Least Favorable) for Engagement and benchmark level 2 (Favorable) for Safety, it suggests that they perceive the school is not doing as well in engaging students as it is in providing for safety. For the definitions of the three performance levels and basic information on the benchmarks, please see https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/edscls/benchmarks. For more technical details on how the benchmarks were developed, please see the benchmarking report in Appendix G.

If there are very few respondents overall or in a subgroup (for example, if there is only one respondent of a certain race/ethnicity), reporting might result in indirect disclosure of a respondent’s identity. To minimize the risk of disclosure to respondents while providing as much usable information as possible, scale scores for any respondent group or subgroup with fewer than 10 respondents will be suppressed.[1] Additionally, if any items for a respondent group are hidden in the survey, regardless of whether or not they are part of a domain or topical area scale, the system does not produce any scale score reports for that respondent group.

[1]   In place of the graph, a note will be displayed: “Item not shown due to disclosure risk.”

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