Survey Design for TANF Caseload Project: Summary Report and Recommendations. Common Measures Used, Pros and Cons


Most surveys included measures of educational attainment. The WES, Missouri, Nebraska, Alameda, and Illinois surveys all asked for the highest grade or year of regular school that the respondent completed. The Missouri, Nebraska, and Illinois surveys followed up by asking for the types of degrees, diplomas, and certificates received. Examples of such degrees and certificates included GED or high school diploma, college-level degrees (BA, BS), and vocational or technical certificates, such as for a nursing assistant or welder. These questions gather the basic information needed to evaluate educational attainment.

The WES also included a question that asked for the age at which the respondent stopped attending school. We do not believe this measure is necessary, since it is unclear what information can be gleaned from these data.

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