LCSD School Climate Survey

I don’t have a lot of time in the foreseeable future, but I’ve read parts of the LHS staff and student responses and have a few points to make. (The results can be found here, by the way.)

1. I found it really interesting that students were “neutral” on so many of the questions (to me, it suggests that neutral should not have been a response to the questions).

2. I also happen to think that the results one can draw from the survey given the anonymous and self-selected nature are different than if the demographics of the survey respondents were known, but overall, it’s a valuable tool and I’m glad the LCSD did it.  (As a side note, it provides interesting ammunition during bargaining on certain issues for the management side of the table.  Not sure if it provides equivalent ammo for the LEA.)

3. I have some quibbles with the wording of the questions – not that I think they are illegitimate or the results are illegitimate, but that I think there is a positive response bias given the wording, and that the best conclusions that might be able to be drawn have more to do with student perceptions than student realities.

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11 Comments on “LCSD School Climate Survey”

  1. anon Says:

    This survey is a joke. I did survey research for my master’s thesis, and after just scanning the student responses at the high school ….this is pathetic!

    What was the n? how was the sample chosen? and that’s just the start of questions about this survey (you raised some other good points RE the question wording) my student tells me that Jody what’s-her-name, the TOSA teacher, was nailing students in the halls to complete this survey, which may reflect the plethora of “neutral” comments…kids who didn’t want to get into it with her or just didn’t want to complete it between classes. she also reportedly picked and chose which students to hand it to, not that it looks like that worked out for her. oh my God. Where did the people who designed this project go to grad school? I am ashamed and embarrassed for this community. I know this is strong language. But this is pathetic.

  2. Susan Says:

    I was not impressed with the survey, but given there is no other way to gather data, I am not condemning it either.

    I know Jody. I know how she teaches, how she interacts with students, and how she interacts with parents.

    Anon @ 8:19 says that she was “nailing students in the halls” to take the survey. If you are a teacher and you want to encourage all students to have a say in their school, then yes, she was probably “nailing students in the halls”.

    All teachers should have encouraged students to take the survey, she did a good thing. You didn’t?

    You say she picked and chose the students she wanted to take the survey?

    You do not know her very well do you.

  3. Tim Says:

    Susan, this anonymous person should be treated here as an anonymous person, no name means no voice, let’s not engage the anonymous folks. DNFTT http://tiny.cc/yecqA ….

    The Anon post does make me wonder, why all this negativity directed at people who are really trying to improve your district? Get involved and walk in their shoes before you criticize, condemn or cast stones.

    It’s great that Dr. Hess has offered up his time to meet with at least 100 people in July. Wouldn’t it be great if the negative complaints would go away and the positive solutions would start cropping up? Make an appointment with Dr. Hess and bring your solutions. Ideas are welcome…

  4. anon Says:

    This is not how you get a representative sample of students…grabbing those walking by. With all due respect, Susan, I am assuming survey research is not an area of specialty for you. Actually, I know Jody better than you thing…my child had her as a teacher once long ago….sorry, we disagree about her teaching skills.

  5. anon Says:

    I do plan to schedule an appt. with Dr. Hess, whom I have great respect for. So anyone with honest feedback about a fiasco is negative…you people are too much. I actually have had some experience as a parent when Dr. Hess was a principal. He is quality. The survey and Jody, sorry, are not. This is so interesting how some people like to label those not supportive of their “side” as negative. Hardly open-minded.

  6. LT Says:

    It seems as though there is some confusion about surveys. There was a paper survey done in the fall where a couple of people assigned to the high school passed them out to students at lunch.

    The school climate survey was created in the D.O. — an online survey — and Kim Fandino coordinated getting computer time for advisories to do the surveys at the high school. We are not sure who was involved in creating the questions, but it did not appear that Fandino had anything to do with the process other than creating a computer schedule.

    While it was not a perfect survey, the intent seemed to be to collect some baseline data and then work to improve conditions across the district.

    Is there any evidence that the survey was constructed to gain a particular result or to support the positions of a particular special interest? Not to our knowledge.

    Yes, there were a number of shortcomings. One problem is that there was no security. Anyone could take any of the surveys and take them as often as they wanted. Does that mean the data is worthless? Probably not. The number of responses were reasonable and the results didn’t seem to be particularly one-sided.

    Why so many neutral answers from high school students? Maybe because (1) they are teenagers, (2)they were asked to complete the surveys during class and/or (3) they may not have seen much purpose to completing it. Those questions were difficult to answer. Do I feel safe at school? Safe from what? Getting beat up or getting harassed or looking stupid? Is school fun? Lunch is fun and I like this teacher because we get to _______________. But math is worthless. So math is lousy and lunch is fun and when I have a class with my girlfriend that is fun and any day when I get the right outfit pulled together is awesome. So do I say I like school or not? I can’t figure that one out and the sooner that I click through this thing, the sooner I can tell Andrew about what happened first period so I’m going to click neutral. Who cares anyway? Did you see what Jordan just did?

    As we heard one person say, the number of participants may be the most important information. For example, there were a little over 50 high school parents and 31 Lacomb parents. We could attribute the low responses to a communication failure or disengagement of parents with the schools or both. But it is symptom of something being wrong.

  7. jody what's -her-name Says:

    I was directed by someone to check this out? Just to clear the “buzz” Dennis I would like to respond if you feel this is appropriate

    – I may be having a severe memory lapse but I do not recall handing out any surveys to anyone except as directed to every freshman in the commons during both lunches last September as an administrative directive and that was to every freshman that the other TOSA and I could find.As for “nailing kids” it is usually a request from a teacher or administrator to work with a student in a constructive way if I am walking anywhere with a student. Haven’t come across one student at LHS that I did not find likable.
    I am saddened that it is perceived by one of you out there as “nailing” and I apologize if I have in any way made a student feel less than valuable and important. Not my typical style. Whoever you are,I have obviously caused some deep hurt and aparent anger
    in some way. I do appreciate the opportunity to hear of it and tell you publicly that I deeply regret how something I have done in our past history once long ago has made you feel. I would hope you would contact me so that I can learn from it and be better for it. I would benefit with your help and openess.
    Aside from that, I have had no personal connection with anyone taking this survey at any time.
    I have never seen any student taking this current survey. I totally agree that what has been described earlier would be “pathetic”.
    I thought that this current survey was done electronically and not a paper handed out. When I took the survey myself on line, I too agree that the “neutral” makes it pretty darn easy to sit on the fence. Thank you Dennis and again, to Anonymous, I am sorry.

  8. Dennis Says:

    Jody – thanks for commenting. I did consider not publishing the comments that attacked you, but as is my wont, erred on the side of airing it out, as it were.

  9. Dennis Says:

    My understanding of the survey tool that was used is that it does have a way, though imperfect, of tracking duplicate survey-takers, so even if you actually believe one person sat there taking the survey over and over and over, they would be caught. As well, I’ve been told the questions have been used many times by many other districts, so inasmuch as even I didn’t like them, that does lend them validity as questions. And finally, it is also my understanding that the DO doesn’t think these questions are intended to give precise, exact answers as much as an overview…. and it would behoove the skeptical commenters out there to ASK THE D.O. before assuming otherwise. Sheesh.

  10. jody what's -her-name Says:

    Not an err in the least Dennis; often folks need to vent and you have provided a venue for all of us to do that. It also clears up genuine and well intentioned misconceptions that otherwise grow. I for one, appreciate this as an opportunity for some personal reflection and growth on my part. Our human nature is a wonder is it not? Do “err on the airing” :>)
    Peace be with us!

  11. ? Says:

    I am interested in why there were 3 separate sets of questions? Seems it would have been better to have the same questions presented to all polled so then results could be evaluated and compared. What can this data really provide and how will it be used? I agree with anonymous, this was poorly designed. Next question would be how much money did the district spend on the development, distribution and interpretation (I will use this term lightly) and how can it be used to help kids?


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