Teaching Profession

Survey Attempts to Gauge Student Satisfaction

By Hana Maruyama — October 17, 2013 1 min read

A recent survey of 200 public high school students in Oregon found that nearly 30 percent of respondents were not satisfied with the education they receive, reports The Oregonian.

The survey, conducted by DHM Research and Chalkboard Project, found that, among the students who expressed dissatisfaction, 20 percent pointed to “incompetent/bad/careless teachers.” In contrast, of the 68 percent of students who indicated they were at least somewhat satisfied with their education, the most frequently cited cause was “quality/helpful teachers.”

More than three-quarters of students surveyed said that teacher salary should not be based on seniority but on experience, performance, and workload.

The study had a 7 percentage-point margin of error. In addition, some of the open-ended questions generated questionable responses (for instance, in the case of the 11 students who, when asked why they were satisfied with school, listed “incompetent/bad teachers”).

That said, the results are noteworty in light of the fact that there’s been growing interest around the country in incorporating student surveys into teacher evaluations. A study conducted by the MET project found that including student surveys in composite measures of teacher effectiveness can give a more balanced representation of a teacher’s performance. But many teachers are concerned about giving students a say in their livelihoods. Teachers, what do you think when you see survey results like this?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.