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Study: Public Schools Get Poor Grades on Community Engagement

In an online survey, only a third of public school parents said they were very satisfied with their engagement

In the online survey, only a third of public school parents said they were very satisfied with their engagement.  It was higher for parents at private and charter schools -- about half of them said they were very satisfied.
In the online survey, only a third of public school parents said they were very satisfied with their engagement. It was higher for parents at private and charter schools — about half of them said they were very satisfied.

Public schools get low marks on what brings parents the most satisfaction, according to a new study from researchers at Rice University and Texas A&M.

The researchers asked parents nationwide what makes them satisfied with their children’s school.

Turns out it’s not standardized tests, teacher quality or high ratings from state agencies. It’s how well schools engage with parents and the local community, such as involving parents in school activities, getting their input on policies and explaining how their kids are graded.

But while that engagement is the biggest driver of parents’ satisfaction, the study also found that most parents feel public schools don’t do a great job at it.

In the online survey, only a third of public school parents said they were very satisfied with their engagement. It was also low for parents whose children qualify for free or reduced lunch.

It was higher for parents at private and charter schools — about half of them said they were very satisfied with the school’s community engagement. 

The lead researcher, Vikas Mittal with Rice, said that the results can help public schools become more competitive with charter schools.

 

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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