Sick of school closing talk? Me, too. So let's take a little break and talk about school and classroom surveys, which are one of several "next big things" in education circles (along with blended learning, flipped classrooms, and playground drones) and are coming to Chicago in a big way starting in January. Are they already being used at your school or in your classroom, and do you think they could be useful to you, parents, or administrators? Does anyone have any idea about how these new ISBE surveys will be different from the ones CPS is already using? What do you think about classroom level surveys, in particular -- not the usual learning environment stuff but ones focused on how much learning and instruction is going on?
Surveys aren't particularly new, and CPS has been doing them at the school level for a while now, but I first got wind of the statewide program in the recent Advance IL report, which mentions the rollout of "research-based surveys to collect information about learning climate and conditions" coming from the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute.
The surveys will include both teachers and students -- the Gates folks and others say that student survey results are sometimes as good or better at predicting how much learning is going on as student achievement results or other measures and in fact are promoting classroom learning surveys (not just learning climate or hostile environment).
There's lots of this going on nationally -- a new online survey company called Panoramarecently won a contract with New Haven, CT and is working with states like CT, NY, NY, NJ, CA, PA, and MA. They're also working with LAUSD, TFA, and a few other districts.