Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Education

Parent Survey Offers Schools Harvard-Tested Questions

By Michele Molnar — January 16, 2013 1 min read

What is the best way to survey parents to assess their impact on student learning?

a) Ask a series of questions in a survey you created about student learning.
b) Use a survey developed and field-tested by Harvard University School of Education researchers.
c) Ask parents only a few questions to make sure you don’t take up too much of their time.
d) Give them several statements to agree or disagree with, since that’s easier to respond to than asking questions.
e) Other ___________________

This poorly rendered multiple-choice question demonstrates the challenge when non-experts write survey questions that appear to be simple and straightforward, but aren’t. A respondent would likely be scratching his or her head about how to answer this with any degree of certainty.

School districts, which rarely employ qualified survey developers, face the daunting task of creating surveys that will give them data they can act upon to direct their parent-engagement efforts.

That’s why SurveyMonkey—a Palo Alto, Calif. company which provides web-based survey solutions to individuals and organizations—commissioned Harvard University to produce a scientifically valid survey that would help schools measure parent engagement.

Over the past two months, early adopting public school districts have started accessing and using the questions developed by the Harvard team to evaluate how parents perceive their children’s schools, and how much they are connected to those institutions.

Schools can access the 71-item Question Bank database for free, using the entire questionnaire, or sections of it, to query their own community.

Learn more in Education Week’s story, “Harvard, SurveyMonkey Offer Tool to Weigh Parent Engagement.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.

Events

Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
The 4 Biggest Challenges of MTSS During Remote Learning: How Districts Are Adapting
Leaders share ways they have overcome the biggest obstacles of adapting a MTSS or RTI framework in a hybrid or remote learning environment.
Content provided by Panorama Education
Student Well-Being Online Summit Keeping Students and Teachers Motivated and Engaged
Join experts to learn how to address teacher morale, identify students with low engagement, and share what is working in remote learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Join us for our NBOE 2021 Winter Teacher Virtual Interview Fair!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark Public Schools
Special Education Teacher
Chicago, Illinois
JCFS Chicago
Assistant Director of Technical Solutions
Working from home
EdGems Math LLC

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read