A twenty question poll was given to MCPS students and staff last fall with the purpose of measuring students’ success and well being at school.
Overall, Montgomery County public schools students scored slightly lower than average on the markers for hope, engagement, and well being. The questions concerned goals, friends, encouragement, and self confidence.
In addition to this, students’ responses reflected a slightly negative change from past MCPS polls. The overall grand mean for hope dropped from 4.39 (on par with the US average) to 4.37. The engagement grand mean dropped from 3.99 to 3.97 (both below the US average of 4.00). The grand mean of current well being dropped from 7.37 to 7.35, both below the US average of 7.38.
Although much of the data reflected a very slightly negative trend in MCPS students, some of the data was more troubling. For example, the calculated score for students who reported on having “received recognition or praise for doing good schoolwork” in the seven days before the poll decreased steadily from 3.93 in fifth grade to 3.15 in tenth grade, where it remained constant throughout the rest of high school.
In the staff survey, it was found that teachers, similarly to students, reported receiving positive feedback at lower rates than the rest of the country – in the 32nd percentile when compared to other districts. MCPS staff consistently reported lower levels of satisfaction, engagement, and opportunity than the rest of the country, but the scores were all higher than MCPS’s previous scores. Hopefully, this trend will continue and the MCPS teaching environment will improve to become on par or higher than the US average.
The full results of the Gallup Student and Staff Engagement Survey can be found here: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/gallup/
Article by Yaelle Goldschlag of Blair High School