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UTD's Green Center Receives $1.1-Million Grant
Funds Will Improve Texas Schools Database
RICHARDSON, Texas (Feb. 5, 2003) - The Cecil and Ida Green Center for the Study of Science and Society at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has been awarded a $1.1-million grant from the Packard Humanities Institute for further development, improvement and maintenance of the UTD Texas Schools Microdata Panel (TSMP).
TSMP is a large and complex, multi-year panel database that currently holds up to 13 years of data for more than eight million individuals attending Texas public schools between 1990 and 2002 as well as data for more than 500,000 public school teachers and staff and for more than 4.5 million Texas residents attending two- and four-year colleges and universities during the same period. The Green Center currently is adding to TSMP quarterly employment and earnings data obtained from the Texas Workforce Commission for 21 million Texas residents in the 1989-2002 period. When that is completed, UTD's Texas Schools database will contain more than 1.1 billion records and data for about 26 million individuals.
TSMP data have been used for research on a broad range of questions related to individual achievement, school performance, special education, charter schools, other forms of choice and access to higher education. Research based on TSMP is described in more than 40 publications. Texas Schools Project working papers may be accessed at the Green Center's website, http://www.utdallas.edu/research/greenctr/
Dr. John F. Kain, director of the Green Center, said the Packard grant would provide three years of funding for three full-time employees and two part-time research assistants-programmers. "We think this will greatly improve data accuracy, extend the range of questions that TSMP can be used to study and make it easier for a growing number of researchers associated with the Green Center to use TSMP for their research," Kain said.
The Packard Humanities Institute is a California non-profit foundation established in 1987 to create tools for basic research in the humanities and to foster public interest in the history, literature and music of the past.
It is the second major grant the Green Center has won in a matter of weeks. Last month, the center was awarded $350,000 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand and complete its research into the access of minorities in Texas to higher education.
The Green Center has worked closely with the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and other organizations that have provided data for inclusion in TSMP to develop procedures to ensure confidentiality. The Green Center files contain no names, and the various IDs are encrypted before they are sent to the center. Also, TSMP data may be used only on secure Green Center computers.
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