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For The First Time, Over Half a Million Parents Complete NYC School Survey

  • Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 Updated: Thu Apr 19, 2018

Results show significant improvements in college access and awareness in first year of College Access for All

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the results of the 11th annual NYC School Survey. Overall survey participation hit a record high and exceeded one million respondents for the second year in a row, with 1,013,131 students, teachers, and parents participating. 

The responses also reveal continued improvements in schools’ work preparing students for college and careers, in the first year of the City’s College Access for All initiative. Building on record graduation and college enrollment rates, these include: 

  • 84 percent of high school students reported that school staff helped them plan to meet their career goals, up from 78 percent in 2016.
  • 82 percent reported that school staff helped them consider which colleges to apply to, up from 75 percent in 2016.
  • 93 percent of parents reported that their child’s school kept them on track for college and careers, up from 92 percent in 2016.
  • 95 percent of high school teachers reported that their school created an atmosphere encouraging students to work towards a college degree, up from 90 percent in 2016.
“The School Survey reflects our partnership with parents, students, and staff, and we’ve had another record year of participation – including the most parent responses ever,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “It’s also encouraging that more of our students feel supported on their path to college and careers as we’ve instituted the College Access for All initiative, including eliminating the CUNY application fee for low-income students and offering the SAT free of charge during the school day. We deeply value feedback from parents, students and staff and we’ll continue to use it as we work towards equity and excellence in all our schools.” 

The NYC School Survey represents the Chancellor’s ongoing commitment to using the feedback of parents, students and educators to achieve equity and excellence for all students. Overall, survey responses indicate a consistently high level of satisfaction with the City’s schools. In 2017, 95 percent of parents reported satisfaction with their child’s education, the same as in 2016. 

The improvements in college- and career-related survey responses – also seen in parent and teacher responses – come in the first year of the College Access for All initiative. Through College Access for All, every middle school student will have the opportunity to visit a college campus and every high school student will graduate with an individual college and career plan by 2018-19. In the first year of the initiative, the City eliminated the CUNY college application fee for low-income students, made the SAT exam available free of charge during the school day for all high school juniors, and launched or expanded a number of citywide events to encourage a college and career culture across the five boroughs. 

This included 365 high schools participating in College Application Week in November, 250 high schools participating in the DOE’s first-ever College and Career Month in January, and 282 high schools participating in College Decision Day in May. At the 101 College Access for All high schools that received new staff training and funding in 2016-17 to build a schoolwide college and career culture, teacher survey responses mirrored those at schools not receiving this targeted support – closing a gap that existed before this year. 

For the second year, the survey included questions about Pre-K for All. Pre-K programs operate in district schools, NYC Early Education Centers, charter schools, and DOE Pre-K centers and results from all pre-K parents reflect strong partnership between parents and teachers to support student learning. 98 percent of pre-K parents were satisfied with how teachers helped their children adjust to pre-K and 95 percent reported that their child’s pre-K teacher gave them helpful ideas about how they could support their child’s learning. 

The percentage of students, teachers, and parents participating in the survey citywide increased to 64 percent, up from 63 percent last year. Parent participation in the survey increased to over 500,000 responses for the first time, and is now over 50 percent in all five boroughs. 

The survey continues to be aligned to the six core elements of the Framework for Great Schools: rigorous instruction, collaborative teachers, supportive environment, effective school leadership, strong family-community ties, and trust. Together, these elements form a robust foundation for student achievement and allow communities to clearly identify and address areas of improvement. In collaboration with the Research Alliance for New York City Schools, the survey is refined annually to ensure actionable, Framework-aligned feedback about each school. 

Survey respondents also showed continued satisfaction with the Schools Chancellor. This year, 75 percent of parents and 55 percent of teachers were satisfied with the Schools Chancellor, up from 72 percent of parents and 27 percent of teachers in 2013. 

“The NYC School Survey serves as a springboard for school communities to ask essential questions and discuss ways to improve together. It’s thrilling to see a record-high participation by students, parents, and teachers, another example of our partnership with families to ensure that every student is firmly on the path to success,” said Phil Weinberg, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning. 

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with the NYC Department of Education to ensure that the NYC School Survey is a strong instrument, grounded in sound theory and ongoing research. We look forward to continuing this important work, helping the district develop even more nuanced measures of schools' capacity to support effective teaching and learning,” said James Kemple, Executive Director, Research Alliance for New York City Schools at New York University. 

The survey’s questions and results can be found at the NYC School Survey Website.