Have you ever wondered what people are really thinking? As a principal, counselor, administrator, school board member, or teacher, a lot of faith is put into the idea that we are doing a good job and the people we work with feel the same way. But sometimes those perceptions are wrong, sometimes our perceptions aren’t those of our key stakeholders, and sometimes the educators need to be educated.
NSBA’s Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) recently conducted a study led by Dr. Brian Perkins (along with recommendations from the PTA) regarding school climate. What We Think, surveyed more than 10,000 urban parents in 17 different states to find out their opinions about bullying; teacher/student respect; safety; and expectations, to name a few of the topics.
NSBA and CUBE have previously examined student perspectives on school climate (Where We Learn) and teacher and administrator perspectives (Where We Teach). The third study came to some interesting conclusions, including:
~ Slightly more female parents (76.7%) indicated visiting the school to support its activities than did their male counterparts (72%).
~ Parents overwhelmingly believed that their child was capable of high performance on standardized tests (84%).
~ Most parents felt respected by the teachers at their child’s school (87%).
~ Parents with children in the middle grades (6-8) indicated that their children were bullied at least once per month more than parents at other grades (13%).
~ Generally, parents who used self-experience as their primary source of information about their school held more positive views about safety (76.1%), while parents who used the newspaper as their primary source of information about their school held more negative views about safety (12.5%).
Take a look for yourself. The study (as well as the first two) is available on CUBE’s website and the results are sometimes surprising. Our friends at Education Daily and Public School Insights already have, and there’s no disputing the fact that parents have an important insight into our schools and are crucial to their success.