Poll reveals satisfaction in schools and areas of improvement

Feb. 24, 2011 at 8:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 23, 2011 at 8:24 p.m.

The results of a survey conducted by the Harris Interactive School Poll reveal teachers, students and parents in the Victoria school district are overall more satisfied with the district than in previous years.

Each of the so-called stakeholders in the district - elementary students, middle and high school students, parents and teachers and staff - reported improved satisfaction compared to the first biannual poll conducted in 2006. All stakeholders also beat the overall satisfaction indicated in the poll's database of hundreds of schools.

"The progress that has been made since the first poll conducted in 2006 is a definite reflection of the continuous improvement efforts of the district and increased levels of community involvement in the schools," the district's communication director, Diane Boyett, said.

One of the most significant areas of improvement in the school district were the reported number of people who felt Victoria's schools offered a safe environment. In 2006, 21 percent of the people polled reported they did not believe the district's schools were safe. That number was down to 6 percent in 2010.

"I don't know if in the future we can take these leaps and bounds, but it shows the groundwork is set for continuous improvement," Boyett said.

Only two areas showed a decrease in satisfaction: elementary students reporting computer technology satisfaction and middle and high schoolers reporting satisfaction with social studies teachers.

"The only way to ensure we're good and getting better is to look at what's not right," Boyett said. "The poll results show where areas of concern are and where overall satisfaction could improve if there weren't these areas of concern."

Andrea Pieters, who's been with Harris for five years, presented the results to a small group of administrators Thursday night.

Most notable to her - and a finding that earned at least one "wow" from the audience - was the high amount of satisfaction reported by parents.

Parent satisfaction increased more than one whole point on a one-to-10 scale since 2006.

"It's pretty common for parents to see decreases in some areas," Pieters, 26, said. "This district is unique in that satisfaction is high and only increasing."

For parents, the biggest areas of concern involved communicating with teachers.

Pieters will present the results to the district's leadership team Friday morning.

Boyett said the district will look at areas of improvement and develop strategies to address the concerns.

She gave the example of students reporting being unsatisfied with cafeteria food in 2006. The district brought in vendors, and kids were able to taste their food and rate their favorites.

"A lot of areas of concern that showed in (2006) are miniscule now," Boyett said.



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