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Sugar House Journal

Stakeholder’s Survey at Highland Park Elementary

May 05, 2016 16h15 ● By Elizabeth Suggs

By Elizabeth Suggs

Sugar House -The year 2016 marked yet another stakeholder survey on climate change, with schools — including Highland Park Elementary — participating. The survey was conducted by the Utah Education Policy Center (UEPC) at the University of Utah, though not affiliated with the University of Utah. But unlike previous stakeholder surveys, this year’s survey was not released to the public. 

“The state’s new evaluation system for teachers requires that parent feedback be part of the evaluation,” Jason Olsen, communications officer, said. “The survey results will allow teachers to identify areas of success or challenges in parent perceptions of important teaching goals.” 

The 2016 stakeholder feedback/survey is not being released to the public, unlike in previous years, Olsen said, because the surveys are not relatable to any other survey that has used the same titles. The purpose is only to help educators. 

Though different from the current study, both the released and unreleased stakeholder surveys have participation from teachers and children and include information on topics such as climate change. 

Both this year’s survey and the previous surveys give a chance for students and teachers to be surveyed on different aspects of the school or things that may relate to school, like climate change and the environment. 

In the 2012–2013 stakeholder survey, participants rated their views on particular subjects by how much they agreed on it. Climate change, for instance, was rated at 78 percent of students agreeing on climate change. Seventy-six percent were in favor school safety. 

Though the current year’s survey is different in terms of how it is presented to educators, this doesn’t delegitimize past surveys. According to Olsen, these surveys should be considered as more of assistance than anything. 

For teachers to meet the requirements, according to Olsen, the district has developed the stakeholder feedback/survey being used in schools this year. 

In the past, surveys have gotten nearly 1,500 responses from elementary schools and nearly a thousand for both middle school and high school. For the 2012–2013 survey, these responses made up 10 percent of elementary schools, 9 percent of middle schools and 12 percent of high schools, which included just students, not parents. 

Only schools and teachers with 10 or more responses were offered school- and teacher-level results as in agreement with the item level. Unlike previous surveys, what was surprising about the 2012–2013 survey was the overall participation. Out of the 51 schools that participated, only 19 had needed or usable responses, with usable responses going back to the 10 or more who participated in the survey.

Whether this could also be determined for the current survey was not expressed. 

The UEPC seeks to inform and influence different educational policy types in Utah. The UEPC focuses on creating opportunities for both children and adults in Utah, and having surveys, such as the climate change survey, among many other surveys, is yet another way for the UEPC to create and improve the Utah educational practices in “planning, coaching and outcome-focused processes.” 

According to the climate change survey, in order to make sure the information given in both current and previous survey materials is accurate, research must include both teacher and student learning, as well as students’ learning outside of school.

For the 2012–2013 survey, the piloting of this reliability was successful, despite the low participation of that year. According to the survey, the schools that were asked to participate and did participate had response rates around 79–85 percent. 

While the 2016 survey is not planned to be released, the results of the survey will be discussed and shown through the educators’ work, Olsen said. 

“Results of the current school climate surveys are designed to assist schools,” Olsen said. “Teachers will be expected to discuss the results with their administrator in their annual evaluation conference.” 

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