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News and Speeches

Chancellor Walcott Announces Results of Annual Public School Survey


Ninety-four Percent of Parents Satisfied with the Education Their Child is Receiving
Eighty-two Percent of Teachers Recommend Their School to Parents
Ninety-three Percent of Students Say Teachers Expect Them to Continue Education After High School

Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott today announced that a record 967,009 parents, students, and teachers participated in this year’s New York City School Survey, providing important feedback on the quality of our public schools. In the survey, parents showed that they are satisfied with the number of opportunities to be involved in their child’s education and with the way their child’s school communicates with them. More students reported that their schoolwork is more rigorous, and their school helps them prepare for college or future careers. Teachers are enthusiastic about their schools and believe that their schools set high academic standards.

“For six years, the feedback provided by parents, teachers, and students in our annual School Survey has provided a valuable perspective on our efforts to provide every student with a high-quality education,” said Schools Chancellor Walcott. “We are always looking for ways to improve and enrich every school’s environment, and I want to thank all 967,009 respondents for sharing their views and experiences, and making the School Survey the largest in the Nation.”

Key Findings from the 2012 School Survey

This year, 476,567 parents participated in the 2012 School Survey. Across all boroughs, on average, 94 percent of parents were satisfied or very satisfied with the education their child has received this year:

  • In Brooklyn, 143,545 of parents completed the survey
  • In Queens, 126,661 parents completed the survey
  • In Manhattan, 74,603 parents that completed the survey
  • In the Bronx, 99,974 parents that completed the survey
  • In Staten Island, 31,784 parents that competed in the survey

    Citywide, 428,327 students in grades 6 through 12 participated in the  survey:

    • Eighty-two percent of students responded that they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms, and locker rooms at their school, an increase from 80 percent in 2011.
    • Ninety-five percent of students reported that they need to work hard to get good grades, an increase from 93 percent in 2010, suggesting that academic rigor is increasing as schools begin to introduce the Common Core standards.

This year, 62,115 teachers completed the survey. For the first time, teachers were asked to evaluate the quality of their school’s environment, their understanding of the Common Core Standards, and their satisfaction with the current teacher evaluation process. Although these responses will not factor into school Progress Report grades, the NYC Department of Education will use the responses to better understand how teachers view the school where they teach and their understanding of curriculum.

  • Teachers would recommend their school to parents, and look forward to working in their schools:

    • Eight-three percent of teachers usually look forward to each working day at their school.
    • Eighty-two percent of teachers would recommend their school to parents seeking a place for their child.

  • Teachers understand the Common Core Standards and feel their schools support its integration, and that their schools support students who plan to attend college:

    The Common Core Standards require teachers to raise the rigor of their classroom instruction by introducing more complex texts and more challenging math problems.

      • Ninety-two percent of teachers reported that they understand the Common Core Learning Standards.
      • Eighty percent of teachers reported that they received feedback on their practice that helped them to integrate the Common Core Learning Standards into their instruction.
      • Ninety-four percent of teachers responded that their school does a good job supporting students who aspire to go to college.

  • Teachers are receiving opportunities for professional development, and many do not believe the current evaluation system recognizes great teaching:

    • Fifty-one percent of teachers responded that they do not feel that the current evaluation system, according to which principals rate teachers Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory, recognizes exemplary performance.
    • Forty-three percent do not find that the current evaluation system helps teachers improve their instructional performance by providing specific and useful feedback. This indicates widespread dissatisfaction with the current evaluation system, which only provides two options for ratings and does not permit principals to differentiate meaningfully among teacher performance.
    • Seventy-eight percent of teachers responded that they received professional development or coaching based on a research-based rubric of teacher practice.

The Survey results also indentify areas for improvement, and the Department of Education will take steps this school year to address concerns expressed by parents, teachers, and students. Over 30 percent of students feel that students who get good grades are not respected in their schools. This fall, the Department of Education will increase its efforts to engage parents and families on how they can raise academic expectations for students by building on our progress introducing the Partnership Standards for Schools and Families, and launching the Parent Academy.  In addition the Remarkable Achievement Awards and school visits, the Chancellor will seek new ways to recognize students, “This year, I’m going to personally reach out to members of school communities where students believe they are not encouraged to excel academically,” said Schools Chancellor Walcott.

“For the past two years, we have been introducing the Common Core Learning Standards, which require teachers to increase the rigor of their classroom instruction by introducing more complex texts and more challenging math problems,” said Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky.This year’s school survey shows that teachers who reported they received training to improve their instructional practices. Schools are striving to adopt these new standards, and raise expectations for what it takes for students to graduate college- and career-ready.”

“Clear Channel New York has been thrilled to support the NYC School Survey, which ranks among the largest surveys of any kind ever conducted nationally,” said Clear Channel President Joe Puglise. “It is truly rewarding to see more parents, teachers, and students make their voices heard by completing the survey every year.”

The NYC School Survey has been taken annually since its inception in 2007. It is the largest survey conducted in the United States.  The School Survey measures parent, student, and teacher satisfaction with academic expectations, communication, engagement, and safety in every school. Parents of students in all grades, students in grades 6 through 12, and teachers completed the survey online and via mail. For the third year, all teachers took the survey online. Survey results determine 10-15 percent of the letter grade on a school’s Progress Report. The survey was conducted from February through April 2012. Citywide and individual school results will be posted on the Department’s website this week.

To view survey results from 2012 and past years, please visit http://schools.nyc.gov/surveys.