Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Surveys about PPS

From another post:

"Anonymous said...
Survey finds city teachers happy with school environment

More than three-fourths of city schools' educators are happy with the learning and working environment at their school, according to an independent survey released today.

Gates-funded survey finds city teachers happy with school environment.

This was found in the Triblive edition.

This blog is very quiet and really too quiet!

Where are my favorites Questioner, Oldtimer and Mark Rauterkus.

I cannot believe all the PPS teachers are this happy as indicated by this April 2010 on line survey.

Being an online survey with PPS computer software programs-would this present an issue of identifying the teacher or professional answering the questions.

This survey could be biased data for conclusions.

I would like the title and information regarding the school now has a teacher who will develop building-specific strategies to improve the teaching and learning environment, including addressing students' behavioral issues.

For this last statement-the title job position for the teacher addressing students' behavioral issues."

and parent1 said...

"I was otherwise occupied but took a call last night from a nice girl named Abby asking me about many things for a survey. What did I know about the Gates Foundation? Do I think PPS is moving in the right direction? Is the federal government moving in the right direction with education? Am I familiar with Empowering Effective Teachers? Am I satisfied with principal...etc...? As usual I came away knowing once again that surverys are useless. We need the opportunity to qualify our answers and explain why an answer to a strategically worded question might contradict a previous answer. I hope Abby got it down each time I asked her to include a footnote.

For a half dozen years I listened as parents discussed the results of the surveys sent out each year for PPS. There is little room for comment after you point out reasons for any STRONGLY DISAGREE answers. I get why phone surveys are needed, I doubt the response rate for the yearly mailed survey is worth writing home about, but can't we have other options. Town hall meetings by grade levels or mini-EFA meetings with a focus, break out sessions. How about a call in-show on cable or radio? The superintendent did live chats not too long ago. We are preoccupied with the big picture and are neglecting the day-to-day stuff. Speaking of which, I need to go help a kid with homework now. "

October 5, 2010 6:13 PM
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Questioner said...

Here's the link to the PG article on this topic:


PPS surveys in general seem to be aimed more at proving a point than truly seeking information. Remember the facilities questionnaires? And before that the suveys asking about "a scholarship program" (that would eventually become the Pittsburgh Promis).

Anonymous said...

I think defeat and apathy are winning. We/the community are doing exactly what they want us to do. We can't win, we/Pittsburgh do not matter. School board is all in, minus Mr. Brentley.

It is exhausting and I can't imagine anything will change. What can we do other than stand in front of a microphone 3 minutes a month?

Anonymous said...

Btw, this survey was funded by Gates.

Questioner said...

PG article:


The article indicates that school by school results will be released at a future date (sound familiar?).

Anonymous said...

Pure propaganda. I did not fill out a survey. I won't bend down and kiss, um, rings.

Anonymous said...

It was clear that your answers could be traced back to you, whether or not you filled it out on a district computer.

Not only was your school (access codes were handed out randomly, but were for that school) traceable, but I believe it asked questions about years teaching and subjects. It wouldn't be hard at all to trace out anyone who used an anonymous computer once you crossed out all the names from the school that you knew.

Have heard many times that the powers that be request lists of who has accessed what, when all the time, so it's not all that paranoid to assume that they took the time to map out survey answers.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember even hearing about this type of concern before MR?

Old Timer said...

Why does everyone miss the point about Roosevelt? I am the only person who read the biographies of the three finalists for the top job six years ago? Apparently so, and you could have heard me carping then that either of the other two candidates was far more deserving because they were *educators* and this guy was not. This guy was a corporate leader. Look, he didn't trick anyone. There was no great lie. His six years here were consistent with what I read in his bio---nothing he did surprised me.

And that certainly includes his PR savvy, something no other superintendent utilized during their respective tenures. The man has always been smart enough to know how to capture media and big business interests. He has controlled media for six years to the point where all the news you read and hear comes from press releases.

Where has Andy Sheehan been? Where has Team 4 been? Rick Earle?
Oddly slient, don't you think? And I won't even begin to talk about print media.

Yeah, this survey was just another piece. And true, principals could easily monitor answers. Ha. Any teacher who doesn't feel he is being watched is incredibly naive.

Big Brother lives.

Anonymous said...

There is a company (Winston) doing phone surveys.

Anonymous said...

I heard Joe Smydo got yanked from education reporting when the Post gazette got complaints about negative reporting.

Anonymous said...

Negative reporting? Joe always sounded to me like he was a PPS PR man!