ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — March 15, 2007 — The Department of Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) announced today the results of its 2006-2007 Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS).
The survey, administered every other year to parents, students in grades 4 -12 and teachers, provides DoDEA with valuable information about the quality of education it provides and areas needing improvement. More than 63,000 people responded to the survey from November 1, 2006 through February 28, 2007.
Total overall response rates for the 2006-2007 CSS were 40% higher than when the survey was last administered in 2004-2005. Teachers account for the most significant rise in response rates, with 93% of DoDEA teachers responding to the current survey as opposed to a 58% response rate during the last survey administration. A similar increase occurred in the student population, with nearly 75% of DoDEA students in grades 4 through 12 responding to the 2006-2007 survey as opposed to 53% in 2004-2005.
"We are extremely pleased with the increased response rate across the respondent categories," said Dr. Janet Rope, DoDEA's Administrator, System Accountability and Research. "The high response rate will provide our schools with valuable information about their programs and will be critical to us in improving the quality of education we provide to students of Department of Defense families."
Questions posed in the survey related to school issues such as curriculum, instruction, standards, assessment, technology, partnerships and student support. They were developed through a review process of various groups, including Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS) and Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) teachers' unions, DoDEA Teachers of the year, superintendents, principals, students and DoDEA Headquarters Education Directorate staff members. Some questions were adapted from the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools with additional DoDEA-specific questions. The survey was available to respondents online and where internet access was not available, electronic versions of the surveys were available for printing and submission.
Selected survey questions were rated on a "letter grade" scale, with "A" being the highest rating on the scale and "Fail" being the lowest rating on the scale.
In general, 74% of DoDEA parents rated their schools quite favorably, compared to the 2006 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll (2006 PDK/Gallup) in which 56% of parents responded in a similar fashion. DoDEA parents rated public schools in general more favorably than parents who responded to the (2006 PDK/Gallup).
Two of DoDEA's main goals outlined in its 2006-2011 Community Strategic Plan (CSP) are for all students to meet or exceed challenging standards as well as form stronger partnerships between parents, the schools and communities. In this regard, 75% of DoDEA parents gave the school system an "A" or "B" rating in meeting or exceeding challenging standards while 68% of DoDEA parents felt partnerships are strong.
DoDEA faces unique circumstances that many of its counterparts in civilian communities do not face. One of these circumstances is the transitory nature of its population, with many students transitioning between schools every two to three years due to the mobility of their military sponsors. Parents, teachers and students rated DoDEA schools high on their ability to welcome new students into the schools, with 70-80% of responses falling into the favorable rating continuum.
Student achievement and achievement testing are topics on the minds of parents, students and teachers everywhere, and DoDEA is no exception. In the 2006 PDK/Gallup survey, 37% of parents reported there was about the right amount of achievement testing in their school. In response to a similar question, 59% of DoDEA parents felt there was about the right amount of testing in DoDEA schools. DoDEA teachers were split on whether there is too much emphasis (42%) or about the right amount of emphasis (50%) on achievement testing in DoDEA schools.
The survey indicated a need for improvement in the area of high school counseling services. Only 58% of students in grades 9-12 gave their high school counseling services an "A" or "B." Parent response was exactly the same for this area, with 58% rating high school counseling services with an "A" or "B."
Survey results will help DoDEA plan for the future. In the opinion of respondents, DoDEA should continue to focus on capital and fixed resources, continue to attract high quality educators and continue the high level of parental involvement in its schools.
A complete wrap-up of the CSS results is available on the DoDEA website, www.dodea.edu. DoDEA will use the information derived from the surveys to improve planning efforts at all levels throughout the organization. Schools, districts and areas will use the survey results to gain insight into the satisfaction levels of sponsors and students, which is one of many measures used for planning future student programs and services. Results will also be used to monitor the DoDEA CSP, which contains DoDEA's strategic direction for the years 2006-2011.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from prekindergarten through grade 12.
DoDEA will administer the next CSS beginning in November 2008.