Surveying Students About Teachers

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.


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    Surveying students about their teachers is a joke. Come on! My teacher wife actually assigns homework....actually grades it...actually expects effort from her students...they hate her. But you know what? She moves the kids more than any teacher in her school - she gets awards for it. But now we're going to ask the students if they like it? Crazy. We empower and entitle these students and parents to not even try and blame EVERYONE else for their failures.

  • In reply to M Wesoloskie:

    Mr. M - There are also plenty of teachers who make their students work hard, work hard themselves, AND are loved by their students. My kids have had several of those. The teachers whom my kids hated were the ones who, eventually, were let go for poor performance.

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    In reply to CPS Parent:

    The fact that you are on here shows that you care deeply about your childrerns' education. And I suspect that you are able to sedn your children to a better perfoming CPS school where they are surrounded by like minded families who care about their education. This matters - as it sets the atmosphere for learning and the students pick up on it and know they will not get away with making excuses for laziness. So I'm sure you pass that onto your children. I'm referring to the parents and children who don't care - who don't try - and think (correctly unfortunately) if they complain enough and point fingers that they'll simply be passed along, given more free services, and ushered into an adult life completely unable to take care of themsleves or their future's a cycle. Now let's throw into the mix letting those students say whether or not they "like" their teacher who has the nerve to ask them to put down their Xbox long enough to do some homework. IF ratings were ALL about performance...then my wife would be more than fine.

  • I think the teacher who provides the most candy is going to WIN!

  • In higher ed, student surveys and opinions (ever look at ratemyprof?) can be helpful but are not a great measure of the learning going on. For example, a 100-leve course faculty member can get rave reviews by students and then the next faculty member who gets those students sees they don't have the needed learning to perform at the 200 level. Popular, but ineffective.

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    In reply to district299reader:

    Good point. That is exactly my point. CPS and Rham will not care if it is effective (when have they ever?)! That's the point I'm trying to make- students LOVE teacher who do not not give homework...and do not care.

  • Ha! "Playground drones." There's money to be made in that. ;)

  • WBEZ interviewing Ferguson & Kane about making sure student surveys aren't popularity contests #5bb

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