Book Review

How To Conduct Survey Research

A Guide for Schools

by Alicia Williams and Nancy Protheroe, Educational Research Service, Alexandria, Va., 2008, 146 pp., $28 softcover

You have students leaving your school district via open enrollment, resulting in a loss of state dollars. Your school district needs to pass an operating levy to avoid budget reductions. The high school needs to either be remodeled or built anew. As administrators, do you know how your stakeholders feel about these issues?

How to Conduct Survey Research

Alicia Williams and Nancy Protheroe of Educational Research Service provide a readable book to help the school district gauge the feelings of stakeholders in the community. They have created a small guidebook for responsive planning for administrators — an alternative to hiring expensive consultants to conduct survey research.

How To Conduct Survey Research: A Guide for Schools reviews a sequence of the survey process with diagrams and examples that can give the planning committee the tools to develop a survey and carry it out. The book covers the characteristics of a survey, sample size, wording of surveys and rates of return. The authors provide online resources for tabulation purposes.

As a former superintendent who worked on operating levies and bonds, I believe this guide gives helpful examples for all the elements as well as what to avoid in creating the instruments, analyzing data and reporting the results.

Reviewed by Jerry Horgen, adjunct professor of educational administration, Capella University and St. Cloud State University, Henning, Minn.