ARLINGTON, VA — August 30, 2011 — Parents and student continue to give increasingly high marks to Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools according to results of the 2010-2011 Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS).
The survey is administered every other year to sponsors with children in pre-kindergarten – 12th grade and to students in grades 4-12. For the 2010-2011 survey, more than 19,000 sponsors and 27,000 4th-12th grade students responded to the survey. These statistics represent an approximate response rate of 24% of eligible sponsors (down 1% from the previous survey) and 57% of eligible students (down 18% from the previous survey).
Questions posed in the survey related to school issues such as curriculum, instruction, standards, assessment, technology, student support, and communication. The survey was developed by representatives from various groups, including DoDEA Area and District representatives, DoDEA’s Education Directorate staff, and the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC). Some questions were taken from the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward Schools with additional DoDEA-specific questions.
Highlights of Results – Education in General
Overall, 77% of parents and 73% of students rated DoDEA schools with an “A” or “B.” Students and parents were equally satisfied with their particular school, with 79% of parents and 74% of students rating their school as “A” or “B.” Nationally, 77% of parents rated their child’s school as “A” or “B.”
An increasing number of parents and students rated DoDEA schools highly in how well they were providing for all students to meet or exceed challenging academic standards. Close to three-fourths of parents (76%) and students (72%) rated their school “A” or “B,” a 2-4% increase respectively over the previous survey.
Parents and students were also asked to indicate what topics they felt were major problems, minor problems, or not a problem at all in their schools. DoDEA parents and students continue to report the lunch program as the major issue at their school. According to students, the second major problem is bullying. Students’ comments indicated that other students frequently “pick” on each other, but no one does anything about it. According to parents, the second major problem is financial support/funding. Parents remarked on being asked to “donate” supplies such as paper to the school; however students’ comments referred to the lack of funds for field trips and sports competitions.
When asked to rank the top three actions with the most potential to improve their school, DoDEA students and parents continue to cite raising academic standards and reducing class size as the top two ways to improve their school. However, students and parents disagreed on their third choice, with students selecting “increasing access to instructional technology” and parents choosing “improving teacher qualifications and competence.”
When asked to grade their school in preparing students in several specific curricular areas, parents and students continue to rate their school highest in preparing students in the core content areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, with at least 70% of both groups giving their school an “A” or “B” in these areas. Both parents and students rated their school lowest in preparing students in foreign language with 59% of parents giving their school an “A” or “B.”
Highlights of Results – Assessment
DoDEA parents differ from parents nationally with regard to the amount of emphasis put on achievement testing. While 44% of parents nationally report there is too much emphasis on achievement testing, only 15% of DoDEA parents and 23% of students reported the same.
DoDEA parents were in agreement with parents nationally about whether all states should be required to use the same standardized assessment – approximately two-thirds of both groups approve of this requirement.
Highlights of Results – Technology
Parents viewed the use of online learning positively, with slightly more than half of the respondents approving of students being able to earn high school credits online without attending a regular school – a percentage higher than the 47% of parents nationally who also approved of the practice.
Highlights of Results – Student Support
Parents continue to be less positive than students in their opinions of the counseling services at their school. While 70% of students graded their school’s counseling services as “A” or “B”, only 47% of parents did so. While students’ responses represent an 8% increase over the response in the previous survey, the responses from parents was consistent with results from previous surveys.
Note. Should clarify this is secondary only – maybe either Secondary students and parents or Students and parents at the secondary level…Students and parents continue to express dissatisfaction with the help counseling services provide in preparing students for life after high school (college, work, military service, etc.). Approximately 39% of parents and 44% of high school students graded their school with an “A” or a “B” in this area. These results represent an 11% decrease in parent ratings from the previous survey (50%) and a 21% decrease in the positive responses from students in the previous survey (65%). Definitive conclusions may be difficult to draw from these two comparisons – the wording of questions was changed slightly in the current survey which may have been a factor in the decreased satisfaction ratings.
Highlights of Results – Communication
Parents and students are increasingly pleased overall with the communication by their school. More than 80% of parents rated their child’s school with an “A” or “B” in communicating about academic progress, behavior, general information, and responding to their questions and concerns in a timely manner. Although generally positive, students were less satisfied with the communication from their schools than parents, especially in the timeliness with which the school responded to their questions and concerns, with only 64% rating their school with an “A” or “B.”
A complete wrap-up of the Customer Satisfaction Survey results is available on the DoDEA website, www.dodea.edu
DoDEA will administer the next Customer Satisfaction Survey beginning in November 2012. Delete this statement – as part of the efficiency review for data collections/surveys by OSD this was canceled. We’re trying to get it reinstated but aren’t sure this will happen.DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten -12th grade education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to high quality public education. More than 190 DoDEA schools serve approximately 87,000 students worldwide in Europe, the Pacific, the United States, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the United States that serve more than 1 million children of military families.