Government Statistics Section - Social Statistics Section
Government Statistics Program
Social Statistics Program
Joint Statistical Meetings
Government Statistical Section
Social Statistical Section
August 13-17, 1995
Both the Government and Social Statistics Sessions have strong
programs for the 1995 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM). Remember
that this year's annual meeting begins on Sunday, August 13, at
4 pm, so be sure to keep this in mind when you make your travel
plans. Reports from the program chairs follow. A detailed listing
of the sessions is provided as an insert to this newsletter.
GSS has three invited sessions, ten special contributed sessions,
three contributed papers sessions, and five luncheon roundtables.
In addition, GSS is the primary ASA section co-sponsoring invited
sessions from two outside organizations. Many of these GSS-sponsored
sessions are attuned to the theme of the Joint Statistical Meetings,
"Statistics in Action," (See insert for calendar of
all GSS-sponsored events.)
Sunday, August 13, 4 pm
Our first invited session is entitled Review of the "Federal
Race and Ethnicity Classification." The categories currently
in use are contained in the Office of Management and Budget's
(OMB) Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, Race and Ethnic Standards
for Federal Statistical and Administrative Reporting, adopted
in 1977. During the past few years, these standards have been
criticized for not reflecting the diversity of our Nation's population.
The first two papers in this invited session present overviews
of this review:
Suzann Evinger, OMB, will discuss the rationale behind the
review. Clyde Tucker, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). will outline
the research agenda on issues surrounding the definition of racial
and ethnic categories. A third paper, by Manual de la Puenta,
Census Bureau, will summarize the results from a study using the
Current Population Survey Supplement. Reynolds Farley, University
of Michigan, will discuss these papers.
Monday, August 14, 2 pm
GSS's second invited session, organized by Connie Citro, features
the report of the National Academy of Sciences-National Research
Council's (NAS-NRC) Panel on Poverty and Family Assistance. Robert
Michael, panel chair, will summarize conclusions and findings
of the report. Connie has lined up an excellent group of discussants-
Nancy Gordon, Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Daniel Weinberg,
Census Bureau, and Harold Watts, Columbia University- for her
session. The report recommends substantial changes in the definition
of poverty and how it is measured. We are fortunate that the JSM
will be one of the first public forums for presenting the results
of this important study. It promises to be a lively and informative
session, especially given the interests of the current Congress.
(See related special contributed sessions.)
Tuesday, August 15, 10:30 am
Memorial session in honor of Roger Herriot. Before his untimely
death, Roger was Associate Commissioner for Statistical Standards
and Methodology at the National Center for Education Statistics
(NCES). Before that, he worked at the Census Bureau in a variety
of different jobs. Roger was a creative individual who used an
innovative approach to try to improve the ways and methods of
the federal statistical system. Therefore, it is fitting that
his memorial session is entitled "Overcoming the Bureaucratic
Paradigm." This session was organized by Daniel Kasprzyk,
NCES, and Fritz Scheuren, George Washington University. It features
William Butz, Census Bureau, and Leslie Kish, University of Michigan,
as the speakers. Timothy Smeeding, Syracuse University, and Clifford
Clogg, Pennsylvania State University, will be the discussants.
(GSS is one of the sponsors of the Roger Herriot Award for Innovation
in Federal Statistics. The first Herriot Award will be presented
at the memorial session.)
GSS is primary section sponsor for invited sessions of two
outside organizations. Both of these invited sessions will be
Wednesday, August 16.
The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics'
(COPAFS) invited session, "Moving the Federal Statistical
System into the 21st century." Richard Rockwell, University
of Michigan, will provide an overview of the issues as he sees
them. Miron Straf, NAS-NRC's Committee on National Statistics,
will talk about the new roles, responsibilities, and relationships
of statistical agencies in the 21st century. Robert Groves, University
of Maryland-University of Michigan Joint Program in Survey Methodology,
will focus on the roles of the government statistician in the
21st century. Edward Spar, COPAFS, will discuss implications for
users of federal statistical data.
Mary Batcher has organized an invited session on behalf of
the Caucus for Women in Statistics entitled "Quality Improvement
and Customer Satisfaction in the Federal Government." The
session describes the responses of three agencies to Vice-President
Gore's National Performance Review. The agencies represented are
BLS, NCES, and the Internal Revenue Service. Speakers will be
Catherine Kazanowski, Carol Kindel, and Jeri Mulrow, respectively.
Special Contributed Sessions
GSS's ten special contributed sessions cover a wide variety
of topics relevant to the GSS membership. On behalf of GSS's executive
committee, the GSS program committee extends a hearty "thank
you" to those who arranged this rich set of sessions.
n Poverty Estimates
Two special contributed sessions are concerned with poverty
estimates. John Coder, Census Bureau, has organized a session
on the use of census income and poverty estimates at the state
and county level. A session organized by Leslie Christovich, U.S.
Food and Nutrition Service, will examine the use of selection
bias in evaluating federal poverty programs.
n Statistical Data
Several GSS special contributed sessions focus on specific
types of statistical data. Leonard Gaines, New York State Department
of Economic Development, has organized a session concerning the
needs of non-federal data users for the 2000 Census. Robert Klein,
Department of Veterans Affairs, has organized a session on research
topics of import to his department. Last, but not least, there
will be a session on methodological innovations and improvements
in four federal transportation surveys (two from the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one from the Energy Information
Administration, and one from the Federal Highway Administration.)
n Privacy and Confidentiality
Two special contributed sessions concern privacy and confidentiality
issues. N. Clyde Tucker of BLS has organized a paper session entitled
"Emerging Privacy and Confidentiality Issues." A panel
organized by Ginny de Wolf will discuss the 1995 effort to broaden
legal authority to share confidential microdata and will focus
on business and economic data.
n Cross-Cutting Sessions
The remaining special contributed sessions cut across agency
boundaries. Staff development in federal statistical agencies
is the focus of the session organized by Ruth Ann Killion, Census
Bureau. Robert Kominski, Census Bureau, has organized a panel
discussion on the information highway and federal agencies' efforts
for the Internet. Denise Myers, National Agricultural Statistics
Service, has put together a session on the Federal Committee on
Statistical Methodology and its contributions over the past twenty
This year GSS will sponsor one non-lunch roundtable discussion
group, held on Wednesday, August 16 at 8:30 am. (This format was
introduced at the 1994 JSM. Non- lunch roundtables do not require
pre-registration. No food will be served.) Thomas Brundage, The
Logical Connection, and Leonard Gaines, NY State Department of
Economic Development, will lead a discussion group that focuses
on the role of state and local statisticians in the ASA.
The GSS has five luncheon roundtables scheduled for Wednesday,
n "Reinventing Government"
Two of these roundtables were inspired by governmental efforts
to "reinvent government." Katherine K. Wallman, OMB,
will bring participants up to date on the latest information on
the likely impact of these efforts on federal statistical agencies
and will lead a discussion of possible alternative responses from
the federal statistical community. Lynda Carlson, Energy Information
Administration, will lead a discussion on customer surveys in
data collection and dissemination organizations.
n Data Collection
Three other luncheon roundtables examine topics related to
data collection. Don Dillman, Washington State University, will
challenge government and other survey organizations to rethink
their avoidance of financial incentives in mail surveys. Judith
Rowe, Princeton University, and Harvey Schwartz, Agency for Health
Care Policy and Research, will discuss privacy and confidentiality
issues related to government and commercial data bases, including
an update on new federal legislation. Pat Doyle, Agency for Health
Care Policy and Research and Chair of the Association of Public
Data Users Committee on Modernizing Data Documentation, will address
the question of how data providers can make CAPI and CATI documentation
more useful and user friendly.
The GSS program committee is very excited about the roundtables
it has organized and urges all members to make luncheon reservations
early to ensure a seat.
The remainder of GSS's program consists of three regular contributed
paper sessions on topics of interest to our members.
Finally, be sure to attend the GSS business meeting on Wednesday,
August 16, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm.
See you all in Orlando!!
The Social Statistics Session (SSS) has a full program of
exciting sessions in Orlando. They include sessions on decennial
census planning and tests, the role of statistics in health care
policy formulation, discussions of statistics on minority populations,
and examination of microsimulation modeling. Linked with sessions
from other sections, particularly GSS, we see an exciting five
days of discussion of contemporary statistical issues in Orlando.
The program also includes seven luncheon roundtable discussions
on Monday, August 14, and four "statistical applications"
sessions broadly focused on themes of concern to members. The
topics include education, health care, demography, and general
survey practice. (See insert for calendar of all SSS- sponsored
SSS will sponsor four invited sessions at this year's JSM.
Monday, August 14, 10:30 am
Our first invited session, 1995 Census Tests and Their Implications
for the 2000 Census, was organized by Barry Edmonston and Constance
Citro. The featured speakers are: Susan Miskura and John Thompson;
discussants are: Stephen Fienberg and Jeffrey Passel.
Tuesday, August 15,
Wendy Alvey organized our second invited session, entitled
Record Linkage Applications for Health Care Policy. The session
chair, Manning Feinleib, will preside over lively presentations
featuring Martha Fair, Harvey Schwartz, Randall Spoeri, and Fritz
Collecting Survey Data on Minority Populations: What Do We
Know or Do We Know What We Really Have? is the subject of our
third invited session, organized by Patricia Golden, and chaired
by Robert Santos. Patricia Golden, Timothy Johnson, and Carol
D'Onofrio are the featured speakers.
Wednesday, August 16, 2:00 pm
Our final invited session was organized by B.K. Atrostic,
and is chaired by Nancy Gordon. Sheila Zedlewski, William Trautman,
B.K. Atrostic, Len Nichols, and Donna Pavetti will discuss Improving
the Quality of Information for Government Decision-Making: The
Role of Microsimulation Modeling.
SSS is also sponsoring four contributed sessions.
Monday, August 14, 2:00 pm
The first contributed session, Survey Innovation and Research
Practice, will be chaired by Edith McArthur, will feature Yasuo
Amemiya, Judith Eargle, David Nichols, Charles Mason, and Mary
Schmidt as speakers.
Tuesday, August 15, 4:00 pm
The second contributed session will be chaired by Daniel Weinberg.
Its subject is Statistical Applications in Demography. Speakers
will be Edward Ng, Miquel Arino, Balkrishna Kale, and Mack Shelley.
Wednesday, August 16, 2:00 pm
Statistical Applications for Health Care Policy, chaired by
Pat Doyle, will feature Lori Thombs, Edith Zang, Edward Norton,
James Boyle, Mary-Lynn Brecht, and Ayah Johnson as speakers.
Thursday, August 17, 8:30 am
Finally, our last contributed session, Statisical Applications
for Education Policy, will be chaired by Susan Miskura. It will
feature Richard Ingersoll, J. Michael Hardin, Edith McArthur,
Jerry West, and George Michailidis.
Special Contributed Sessions
SSS will sponsor two special contributed sessions at this
year's JSM. One examines census books and statistical innovation,
while the other looks at multiple imputation.
Tuesday, August 15, 10:30 am
Margo Anderson organized a special contributed session on
Census Books and Statistical Innovation: The Authors and the Critics.
Speakers will be Barbara Bryant, Harvey Cholodin, Constance Citro,
and Linda Gage.
Wednesday, August 16, 8:30 am
Chaired by Joseph Schafer, our second special contributed
session looks at Multiple Imputation: Microsimulation and Other
Applications. The session was organized by Nancy Gordon, and will
feature Fritz Scheuren, Alan Zaslavsky, Pat Doyle, B.K. Atrostic
and Arthur Kennickell.
Seven luncheon roundtables are sponsored by SSS. All will
be held on Monday, August 14, at 12:30 pm. Constance Citro will
lead a discussion on Measuring Poverty. Jon Czajka will guide
a dialogue on Policy Analysis in the Era of Block Grants. Suzann
Evinger will facilitate an exchange on Reconsidering Standards
for Racial and Ethnic Data. Martha F. Riche will lead a discussion
on Reengineering the Decennial Census. Margo Anderson's roundtable
will focus on Statistics and Politics. Joseph Salvo will expedite
a conversation on Year 2000 Census Content, and Geoffrey Hole
will lead a discussion on Administrative Data to Complement/Supplement
Data from Household Surveys.
Messages from the Chairs
SSS: Daniel Weinberg
Expecting to have a year in which to learn my new job, I was
rudely shaken by Marty Riche's decision last November to resign
as Chair-Elect of the Social Statistics Section to take the much
less demanding job as Director of the Census Bureau. By the by-laws,
that makes me chair for both 1995 and 1996! (Congratulations,
condolences, and any other messages can be conveyed to me at the
address given at the end of this newsletter.) It will take me
a while to catch on, so please be patient.
As our first activity, we have taken survey results to heart
and have begun a section newsletter. Actually, we've "piggybacked"
on the Government Statistics Section newsletter with their kind
permission. The Executive Committee is looking for other ways
to coordinate the activities of the two sections, since so many
of our interests overlap. David Cantor, the Publications Chair,
is looking for a newsletter editor, so if you are interested or
know of someone who would be, please contact him at the address
As you can see by the article from Margo Anderson, we have
an exciting set of sessions planned for the August JSM in Orlando,
including some interesting roundtables planned by the incoming
Program Chair, Sue Miskura.
The Council of Sections has voted to help ASA establish an
Internet link. The Executive Committee has voted to contribute
$750 to that effort this year only. We are looking for someone
who is interested in being the Section's link to the steering
committee for that effort. Contact me if you're interested.
We are also planning on establishing a standing committee
of three to nominate ASA Fellows from our Section. More on that
GSS: Robert Lehnen
The 1994 congressional elections have already produced significant
changes in how the Nation thinks about what government does and
who should do it. These changes are much more profound than making
Congress "live by the same laws as others" or structural
changes, such as term limits and the balanced budget amendment.
These changes affect the very nature of our federal system of
The January-March 1995 issue of "News from COPAFS"
(Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics) notes
that federal statistical agencies will not be immune from across
the board budget cuts and that round two of the Re-Inventing Government
initiative (REGO II) will consider a proposal to consolidate some
federal statistical agencies having collective budgets totaling
$1 billion. From my vantage point at the Indiana University School
of Public and Environmental Affairs, these proposals are only
part of much broader changes that will have direct impacts on
government employees working with statistics at both the federal
and state levels.
The more profound changes I see coming are the shift of responsibilities
and budgets to the state level. Just one example being discussed
in Washington illustrates my observation: the proposal to close-down
the U.S. Department of Education and transfer its responsibilities
to the states. Although one proposal that I have seen proposes
to put the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in
the Bureau of the Census, the question still remains whether the
currently strong federal role in education statistics will continue
or whether state departments of education will be expected to
expand their statistical activities to maintain the quality of
education statistics. If this occurs, it will be a major shift
in responsibility. Proposals to move welfare and social services
to the states also raise important questions about the expanding
role of the states in the collection, analysis, and reporting
of government statistics.
What does this discussion have to do with the Government Statistics
Section? Plenty, I think. GSS was organized to promote the quality
and usefulness of government statistics at all levels of government.
Since its inception, GSS has sought to reach people involved in
government statistics to represent their concerns and serve their
Let GSS know of your professional needs and how the section
may best serve you. Become involved in GSS, by attending the GSS
business meeting on August 16 from 5 to 6 pm at the annual meeting
in Orlando. If you can not attend the annual meeting, write a
note or send an e-mail message to me or one of the section officers.
Their names, addresses, and e-mail addresses are provided at the
end of this newsletter. In my next column, I will report on what
you have said. Keep in touch.
It's That Time of Decade Again
Edward J. Spar
As we move rapidly toward the year 2000 (for those of you
who know me, that grey hair is all too real), the question is
how widespread is the use of metropolitan areas on the part of
the business community? With the availability of demographic,
socio-economic, and industrial data at the smallest levels of
geography, how many in the private sector care about these relatively
large areas? Are they still important for determining sales territories?
Is there still a strong relationship between metropolitan areas
and television and radio markets? Do companies still use metropolitan
areas as one level of geography for evaluating new sites for outlets,
or for determining the site for an entire manufacturing facility?
Although all the mapping packages have coordinates available for
metropolitan areas, does anyone use them?
For federal, state, and local government agencies, metropolitan
areas are still very important. For example, the Health Care Financing
Administration (HCFA) uses the metropolitan area designation to
channel special funding to hospitals. The National Agricultural
Statistical Service also uses the metropolitan/non-metropolitan
designation in their funding decisions. At the local level, farmers
may lose certain funding if their county becomes metropolitan.
I am not familiar with any study that shows how many federal programs
are tied to these areas, but I've no doubt billions of dollars
are allocated based upon the designation. However, ironically,
the OMB did not design the designation to be used in the allocation
of funds. Indeed, OMB has always held that the areas' purpose
is to achieve consistency throughout the federal system. The metropolitan
area designation sets up standards, not regulations.
First defined prior to the 1950 Census, the metropolitan area
standards have been revised several times since their adoption.
The most dramatic change occurred prior to the 1980 Census with
the advent of hierarchical areas. To this day, I am convinced
that primary metropolitan areas are really secondary, and plain
old metropolitan areas are really primary. (You all understood
that, of course.) The hierarchical structure gave rise to many
debates regarding whether the consolidated area of New York (population
19 million) should be ranked in the same table with Sheboygan
The central question at issue now is whether these revisions
have enabled metropolitan areas to remain an effective classification.
Do evolving settlement patterns, changes in data use, and technical
opportunities indicate changes in approach for the 21st century?
Under the current standards, qualification as a metropolitan area
requires that there must be a population concentration of at least
50,000. If an area does not contain a city that large, it must
have an urbanized area and a total population of 100,000. The
extent of a metropolitan area depends upon commuting patterns
based upon journey-to- work data from the decennial census.
COPAFS is sponsoring a two-day conference to address these
issues. (See the Announcements section of this newsletter for
details.) Whether or not you attend the conference, your input
on the questions raised here would be greatly appreciated.
Government survey takers are increasingly interested in making
use of new technologies to collect and distribute information.
They are not alone. Many government and private sector organizations
realize that the new information infrastructure, being built by
the private sector, is a valuable and cost-effective way to communicate
and to conduct business. The Clinton Administration is committed
to developing the national information infrastructure (NII) and
to getting the American people connected to it. In the process,
the Administration is exploring difficult social, ethical, commercial,
and politically-sensitive issues, such as copyright protection,
security, equal access, and privacy.
The Administration's Information Infrastructure Task Force
has a Policy Committee headed by Sally Katzen of OMB. The Privacy
Working Group, within this Committee, began looking at privacy
issues related to networked computers in the summer of 1993. First,
the group evaluated the need for new Fair Information Principles
to guide NII participants. After reviewing existing standards,
including the 1973 HEW Code of Fair Information Practices, interviewing
fifty experts in privacy, data protection, and telecommunications
technology, and holding two public hearings, the Working Group
drafted its Principles for Providing and Using Personal Information.
These principles have undergone two rounds of public comment and
are being revised for final release in the summer of 1995.
What does this mean for the government statistician? Perhaps
a great deal. The new principles will set broad limits by which
personal information should be collected and used. They are divided
into three categories.: (1) general principles for all participants;
(2) principles for users of personal information; and (3) principles
for providers of personal information.
The individual principles are designed to be applied across
many sectors of government and industry. They are not adequate
to address all issues within each sector, but are intended to
be the basis from which sectoral principles may be crafted. Although
statistical associations like ASA and ISI have developed ethical
guidelines for statisticians, they may not be appropriate for
supporting the Working Group's new principles. New Fair Information
Principles for Statistics may be needed to ensure that survey
and census takers are fully aware of how technology affects individual
privacy. Fortunately, the Council of Europe's Project Group on
Data Protection has recently completed an exercise to produce
Draft Recommendations on the Protection of Personal Data Collected
and Processed for Statistical Purposes, which should serve as
a valuable starting point for U.S. statisticians.
The Privacy Working Group will next report on the advisability
of creating a privacy body in the U.S. to oversee the application
of its Principles and to address privacy concerns in general.
This analysis is underway, and the a report to the Task Force
will be made later in the summer of 1995.
If you are interested in learning more about the Information
Infrastructure Task Force Working Group Principles or the Council
of Europe's Recommendations, please contact Jerry Gates.
The Committee on National Statistics' Panel on Poverty and
Family Assistance has recommended that the U.S. measure of poverty
be revised. The current measure is outmoded and is no longer able
to provide adequate guidance for policy. The panel's report, Measuring
Poverty: A New Approach, released in early May, recommends a revised
concept on which to develop and update the poverty thresholds
and a revised definition of families' incomes for comparison with
the thresholds to determine poverty status.
The Panel on Poverty and Family Assistance was chaired by
Robert T. Michael, Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies,
University of Chicago. Constance F. Citro served as study director.
Several ASA members served on the 13-person panel, including Robert
M. Hauser and Franklin D. Wilson.
The current official measure of poverty compares families'
before-tax money income to a set of after-tax thresholds that
were originally developed by Mollie Orshansky for 1963. The thresholds
were based on the cost of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economy
Food Plan times three to allow for all other needed spending and
were adjusted for various family characteristics. Since that time,
the thresholds have been kept constant in real dollar terms (i.e.,
they have been updated only for price inflation).
The CNSTAT panel recommends for purposes of poverty measurement
that income be defined as disposable money and near-money income.
This definition starts with gross money income; adds the value
of such near-money benefits as food stamps, school lunches, and
public housing that support basic consumption needs; and subtracts
expenses that are not available for basic needs. These expenses
include income and payroll taxes; child care, transportation,
and other work- related expenses; child support payments to another
household; and out-of-pocket medical care expenses, including
health insurance premiums. The panel recommends that the Survey
of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) be used instead of
the March Current Population Survey (CPS) to measure families'
incomes and to produce poverty statistics.
The panel recommends that a poverty threshold for a reference
two-adult/two-child family be developed from consumer expenditure
data on amounts spent for three basic needs-food, clothing, and
shelter, including utilities-plus a small added amount for other
needed expenditures (not including those deducted from income).
The panel recommends the use of an equivalence scale to adjust
the reference family threshold for other family types and the
use of a housing cost index to adjust the thresholds for differences
in the cost of housing by region and size of metropolitan area.
Finally, the panel recommends that the thresholds be updated each
year for real changes in consumption of food, clothing, and shelter.
The panel implemented its proposed measure with data from
the March 1993 CPS, augmented with data from SIPP and other sources.
The proposed measure's 18 results paint a different picture of
poverty than those gained by use of the current measure. The proposed
measure shows a larger share of the poverty population in working
families and in families lacking health insurance and a smaller
share of the poverty population in families receiving public assistance.
In general, the proposed poverty measure reflects the impact of
important social and economic changes (e.g., the increase in the
number of working families with child care costs) and changes
in public policy (e.g., tax policy changes and the growth in noncash
benefit programs), which the current measure cannot capture.
In addition to proposing an improved poverty measure for official
U.S. government use, the panel recommends that the U.S. Office
of Management and Budget review the poverty measure every 10 years
to determine further improvements that can be made with regard
to concepts, measurement methods, and data sources.
Copies of the 519 page volume may be ordered for $36.00 (this
price reflects a 20 percent discount for association members)
plus shipping and handling from the National Academy Press, 2101
Constitution Avenue,, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055.
To order by phone using VISA/MasterCard/American Express, call
toll free 1-800-624-6242, or 202-334-3313 in the Washington, D.C.
metropolitan area. Please request the discount when ordering.
Association members may also request compied of the report
summary, which are available free of charge. To obtain a copy,
please contact Agnes Gaskin via e-mail at AGASKIN@NAS.EDU or at
the Committee on National Statistics, 2101 Constitution Avenue,
N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418 (202-334-2240).
The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
was recently completed. It produced landmark data on key indicators
of the Nation's health. New estimates of cholesterol and blood
lead levels, dietary fats, overweight, and hypertension have been
The National Health Care Survey has now fielded all of the
component surveys monitoring health care in America. Surveys of
ambulatory surgery, home health and hospice care, and emergency
and outpatient departments are now in place along with surveys
of inpatient, nursing home, and ambulatory care.
Two new surveys, the National Employers Health Insurance Survey
and the State and Local Immunization Coverage and Health Survey
have been released. The first was developed and fielded to analyze
employer- provided health insurance benefits and choices and to
produce national and state health accounts. The second monitors
the level at which children aged 19 to 35 months are receiving
immunizations as part of the Nation's childhood immunization initiative.
Youth Attitude Tracking Study
The Defense Manpower Data Center has recently completed a
study of youth interest in the military. Since 1975, DoD has conducted
the Youth Attitude Tracking Study annually. This study provides
information on the propensity, attitudes, and motivations of young
people toward military service. Research has shown that the expressed
intentions of young men and women are strong predictors of enlistment
behavior. Findings indicate that the active-duty propensity of
men aged 16 to 21 continues to decline, especially for African-Americans,
while the propensity of other groups toward military service appears
to have stabilized. For further information, contact Jerry Lehnus
Annual Survey of Federal Executives
Each year, the Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association
(FEIAA) conducts a survey of its membership. Membership in the
Senior Executive Service or General Schedule-15 status is required
to attend the Institute; hence, all members of the Association
are senior Federal executives or managers.
The survey covers respondents' sociodemiographic and employment
characteristics; attitudes toward the Federal service and current
policies that affect agency performance; assessment of issues
facing their agencies; projected longevity in the Federal service;
and, for retirees, most recent employment characteristics and
reasons for retirement.
The 1994 survey was mailed to a population of 2,700 Association
members, of which 1,186 responded. Major results show that morale
is low among Federal executives; that reinvention of government
and downsizing are factors in that low morale; and that executives
rely on peers and subordinates for social support.
Further information about the survey may be obtained from
Dr. Ronald Manderscheid, U.S. Center for Mental Health Services,
Rm 15C-O4, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD
20857; tel. (301) 443- 3343.
NCHS is sponsoring the first annual Summer Minority Public
Health Institute at the University of North Carolina School of
Public Health, June 18-23, 1995. The Institute is designed to
improve research methods, decision making, policy development,
and planning for minority health. It is open to researchers, graduate
students, postdoctoral fellows, and professionals in federal and
local agencies and community organizations. Please call (301)
436-7142 for more information.
The 1995 Public Health Conference on Records and Statistics,
"Data Needs in an Era of Health Reform," is scheduled
for July 17-20, 1995 in Washington D.C. This year's conference
is being held in conjunction with a two-day symposium in recognition
of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics' 45th
anniversary. For more information, please call (301) 436-7122.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is considering new
ways of defining metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. On November
29 and 30, 1995, COPAFS will host a conference on metropolitan
area concepts. The purpose of this conference is to provide a
forum for evaluating alternative definition approaches, and for
OMB to hear the concerns of the user community. Following the
conference, OMB will begin work on developing the standards that
will be used to define areas with 2000 Census data. If these areas
are important to you, the conference is your opportunity to have
input into the process. The cost for the two-day seminar, to he
held at the Holiday Inn, Bethesda, Maryland, will be $125 per
person. Registration is limited to 250 participants. For further
information, contact Edward J. Spar or Susan Cohen in the COPAFS
office at (703) 836-0404. We look forward to seeing you there.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has instituted
a nationwide search for a new Director for NCHS. The position
has been advertised widely and the announcement for the Senior
Executive Service vacancy will close on July 31, 1995. For information
on applying for ES-94-3, please call Nancy E. Peterson, (404)
The Urban Institute Press has recently published a book by
Janet E. Norwood, former Commissioner of Labor Statistics, that
documents a history of public and governmental inattention to
the federal statistical system. As a consequence of this neglect,
we have lost our position as a world statistical leader. The volume
presents policy recommendations, ranging from structural to legislative.
that would make the United States statistical system competitive
The National Center for Education Statistics has released
the 1994 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Reading:
A First Look. The report highlights reading proficiency of 4th,
8th, and 12th graders nationally, and gives average scores for
4th graders in 41 participating states and jurisdictions. The
full NAEP Reading Report Card, containing additional findings
on factors contributing to academic achievement, will be released
later this year. Copies are available from New Orders, Superintendent
of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. Refer
to stock number 065-000- 00756-8; the price is $4.75. Fax credit
card orders to 202-512-2250.
NCHS's National Health Interview Survey, a major source of
information on the health of Americans, is undergoing an extensive
redesign. In operation since 1957, the NHIS provides current and
trend data to describe the extent of illness and disability; use
of health services; health care coverage; and health habits, knowledge,
and attitudes of the U.S. population. As the largest population-based
health survey, the NHIS collects data on many of the Nation's
critical public health issues and works in close collaboration
with other agencies to develop its content and scope.
The goal of the NHIS redesign is to improve its capacity to
provide data on all aspects of health required for monitoring
research and policy purposes. The survey redesign updates content
to meet current data needs, includes additional aspects of health,
reduces respondent burden, and employs state-of-the-art questionnaire
development. It will be administered through computer-assisted
personal interviewing. This will facilitate data processing and
analysis and will improve speed and access to data. The redesign
will also enhance linkages with other data systems and surveys.
It will be implemented in January 1996.
The American Statistical Association's (ASA) Individual Membership
Subcommittee expects to submit a plan for recruiting state and
local government statisticians as ASA members to the Association's
Board of Directors following the JSM. It is hoped that the recommendations
will be considered and approved at the Board's December, 1995
The plan is the culmination of several years' effort by members
of the GSS, the ASA Board, and the Subcommittee. Particular activities
contributing to the development of the plan are: (1) a survey
of state and local government statisticians in three states sponsored
by GSS; (2) a request from the ASA Board that the Committee on
Membership study the question of recruiting state and local government
statisticians; (3) the appointment of several state government
statisticians to the Committee on Membership; (4) a panel discussion
at the 1992 JSM in Boston; (5) the circulation of a draft paper
describing the needs of t