September 7, 2007

Attitudes about Public Schools in NYC

In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg released the findings of the "Learning Environment Survey," part of an effort to grade schools on an A to F system. The results offer some unique insight into the top issues for parents and teachers.

Given a list of potential school improvements and asked which one they would most like their children’s school to make, 24 percent of parents selected smaller class size, a hotly contested issue in NYC.

Only 26 percent of parents responded, but rates were better among teachers and students. Forty-four percent of teachers and 65 percent of middle and high school students filled out the survey. Parent and teacher response rates were lower in schools that are largely poor and minority.

There has been a lot of talk recently about parent involvement in schools- it's great that the results of the parent survey will be included in individual school report cards, but what is the commitment of the city as a whole and individual schools to increasing parental participation?

Survey results are available here.