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Results of ALearn’s Parent Survey. August 2008. Methodology. Objective To understand parents’ experience with MV-LA education and what they need to engage in their child’s education To inform program design for ALearn Surveys 20 questions on paper - based survey

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Presentation Transcript
  • Objective
    • To understand parents’ experience with MV-LA education and what they need to engage in their child’s education
    • To inform program design for ALearn
  • Surveys
    • 20 questions on paper - based survey
    • 15 closed ended questions, 5 open-ended questions
    • Convenience sample
    • 98 surveys from middle school/high school parents
      • 80% Spanish (78) & 20% English (20)
    • 41 surveys from elementary school parents (only)
  • Location where surveys were distributed
    • Churches in Mountain View: St. Athanasius & St. Joseph (Sunday July 13, 2008)
    • MAP Program
    • Other - surveys were given at other church group gatherings
alearn parent survey july 2008
ALearn Parent Survey, July 2008
  • 98 final surveys from parents of middle school students or high school students (reported in full)
      • 27% with elementary students, 73% with middle school students, 28% with high school students
      • Many Latina/o, many Free-Reduced Lunch families
      • 70% have MVWSD students, 33% have MVLA students
      • 77% of parents educated in South or Central America, 21% in U.S.
      • 40% of parents with 1-8 years of school, 32% have 9-12 years of school, 13% with some college, 15% college graduates
  • 41 additional surveys of parents of elementary school students only
      • Comments/views captured
parents opinions about the best thing about mv public schools
Parents’ Opinions about the Best Thing about MV Public Schools
  • 38/98 answered (39% response rate)
  • Believe there’s a high quality of education (9)
    • “This district is excellent and very helpful.”
    • “Mountain View schools have a high level of education. They teach for the STAR test.”
    • “The variety of classes.”
  • Like the after school programs (6)
    • “That they have after-school programs.”
    • “They offer good after school programs”
      • i.e. Beyond the Bell
  • Think school attends to the needs of the students (6)
    • “Equal treatment and that they always worry about the students not on the basis of color or ethnicity.”
    • “…I like that there are people that care for my children during recess...”
    • “That [teachers] attend to the children well.”
parents opinion about how mv public schools could be improved
Parents’ Opinion about How MV Public Schools Could Be Improved
  • 38/98 answered (39% response rate)
  • Worry about the safety of their child (10)
    • “There should be more meetings that talk about gangs and its influence on youth”
    • “…safety of our children.”
    • “There is no control of the gangs.”
  • Need for more communication with teachers/school administrators (7)
    • “Schedule more meetings with parents, teacher, student and be more transparent with school issues.”
    • “That sometimes teachers do not treat the students well.”
    • “The lack of personal attention.”
  • Need for more programs that target the Latina/o population (6)
    • “…they do not put much attention on our Latino children”
    • “There should be more programs for kids…with priority to Hispanics.”
    • “…programs that will give [Latinas/os] more information about a student's future.”
parents ranking of concerns for their children
Parents’ Ranking of Concerns for their Children
  • Top 3 concerns: Quality of education (87%), Entrance to a 4-year university (86%), Graduation from high school (85%)
parents understanding of their child s education
Parents’ Understanding of their Child’s Education
  • Most parents rated highly their level of information about their child’s school and grading system. However, many are only somewhat educated on the American education system.
college expectation levels
College Expectation Levels
  • 72% of the parents expect their child to go to college; surprisingly, 88% of the parents said that their child was aware of their expectation of attending college
parents explanation for their expectation of their child going to college
Parents’ Explanation for their Expectation of their Child going to College
  • 29/34 responses (Explain why you expect/don’t expect your child to go to college): 85% response rate
  • More successful/better job/financial independence (11)
    • “I don't want our children to be stuck in the low paying jobs one day.”
    • “I want them to have economic freedom to live where (they) want and feel safe and my daughters to feel they don't have to depend on any one to be happy. I want them to travel, meet different customs, I want them to appreciate life.”
  • Academic focus, desire to succeed (10)
    • “College is a priority in my household.”
    • “Because my son has potential and I will help him to have his dream come true. Since he was a first grader he (always wanted) to go to (college).”
  • Unsure (4)
    • “My children are very reserved.”
    • “I have a daughter that went to a university … but I have 3 other kids about which I do not know; maybe, but I see little interest from them.”
    • “Primarily because of the lack of financial aid.”
key barriers to college expressed by parents
Key Barriers to College Expressed by Parents
  • Parents perceived the most common barriers to college to be financial aid (85%), academic readiness (34%) and understanding the college application process (30%)
frequency of parent involvement in school meetings
Frequency of Parent Involvement in School Meetings
  • Parent involvement in meetings at school and at other community locations is low (“rarely or never”) to medium (“sometimes”), yet there are some parents who meet with teachers “with great frequency”.
parent education group involvement is low
Parent Education Group Involvement is Low
  • Few parents (14%) are involved in parent education groups.
  • Involved parents reported the most valuable lessons that they learned
    • Communicating with their children
    • Devoting more time to them
    • Connecting with teachers

- “I learned that it is very important to attend all the events I can, and to communicate with teachers, counselors and others.”

    • Knowing about programs and resources available
  • There are barriers to parental Involvement
    • Conflict with work schedule

- “Unfortunately, it is impossible for me to attend consistently because I work.”

    • Language barrier

- “I do not participate much because I have trouble when I go. English is difficult for me…”

type of information parents would want to help their child
Type of Information Parents would Want to Help their Child
  • Parents want more information about financial aid (77%), state & federal educational tests (62%) and summer programs (61%)
further ideas to help your child succeed in school open ended
Further Ideas to Help Your Child Succeed in School (Open-ended)
  • 35/98 answered: 36% response rate
  • More help desired from teachers (11 responses)
  • Better teacher-parent communication (8)
    • “…the teachers should expend more energy on the children and their homework”
    • “Need for more help for students who do not fully understand the material.”
    • “More info as trimester goes on, not at end”
    • “Concern with lack of communication between parents and teachers”
  • More after-school and summer programs wanted (7)
    • “There should be after-school programs and summer programs for high school students”
  • More financial aid/career planning information (5)
    • “Motivate children to have a profession”
  • Study groups, more homework help and tutoring
    • “More help for students who do not understand material”
    • “Teach them with more dedication”
where parents went to school makes a difference
Where Parents Went to School Makes a Difference
  • Views of those educated in Mexico, South or Central America (82%)
    • Have lower expectations of children going to college (72%)
    • Are more likely to have a 9-12 year education (13% some college)
    • Have a higher level of concern about most areas (quality of education, academic help needed, high school graduation, safety, etc.)
    • See more barriers to their children going to college
    • Report a higher interaction with schools
      • interact with teachers or administrators “sometimes”
      • are more informed about child’s school, grading system
  • Views of those educated in the U.S. (18%)
    • Expect their children to go to college (94%)
    • Are more likely to have attended college (89% attended, 45% graduated)
    • Have high concern about quality education (77%)
    • See financial situation as most significant barrier to college (78%)
      • But also barrier: academic readiness/preparation (72%)
    • Have very low interaction with schools
      • “Rarely” or “never” interact with teachers, administrators, parent group.
correlation between financial aid concerns and parent s involvement and education
Correlation Between Financial Aid Concerns and Parent’s Involvement and Education
  • Parents who said financial aid is a barrier for their child to go to college
    • Low (“sometimes”) participation in school meetings
    • Not a member of a parent education group
    • Parents want more information about financial aid
  • Parents who said financial aid is NOT a barrier for their child to go to college
    • Attend meetings with teachers “frequently”
    • Attended school for 9-12 years
    • Concerned mostly with quality of education and entrance to a 4-year university
    • Understand the American education system (“well”) and are also (“well”) informed about his/her child’s school
  • Perhaps parental concerns for financial aid can be alleviated if parents are more involved with teachers and schools
elementary school parents opinions
Elementary School Parents’ Opinions
  • Concerns
    • Top 3 concerns out of 12 - Entrance to a community college, After school programs & Financial Aid
  • Barriers
    • 85% said Financial aid was a barrier for their children to attend college
  • Views on the strengths of MV Public schools (open-ended)
    • Resources
      • “the classes they give are very good”
    • Attention to students
      • “…ways of teaching to the students”
    • Translation available
      • “…there is always someone who speaks Spanish”
elementary school parents opinions1
Elementary School Parents’ Opinions
  • Desired improvements for MV Public schools (open-ended)
    • Safety for children
      • “There is no control of the gangs”
    • Food
    • Provide more programs for kids with special needs
      • “That they do not provide more help for kids with special needs”
  • Parent Involvement (open-ended)
    • Understand that “greater parent participation means greater academic success” but cannot attend meetings because of work schedule
  • Other ideas about how children can succeed in school (open-ended)
    • Further improve teaching
      • “Much more help on the part of the teachers”
    • Attend to the needs of children with special needs more
      • “That we give more help for the kids with special needs”
    • Provide info to improve parent involvement in students’ education
      • “I would like to know about her learning capability and how to help with learning”
summary of results
Summary of Results
  • Parents’ concerns
    • Closed-ended: Top 3 concerns out of 12 were quality of education, entrance to a 4-year university, graduation from high school
    • Open-ended: safety, communication with teacher/school administrators, programs that target the Latina/o population
  • High expectations for college but low parent involvement
    • Possible that parents don’t see link between expecting their child to go to college and need to be involved in school
  • Type of information schools need to give parents
    • Financial Aid (85%)
    • Academic Readiness (34%)
    • Understanding the college application process (30%)
summary of results1
Summary of Results
  • College is crucial
    • Top concerns of parents out of 12 concerns, “entrance to a 4-year university” was one of the highest
    • See the advantages to a college education
      • Career/higher paying jobs
      • Expand horizons & independence
  • Parents want help in a number of areas:
    • From closed-ended questions
      • More information about financial aid (77%)
      • State & federal tests (62%)
      • Summer programs (61%)
    • From open-ended responses
      • Better teacher-parent communication
      • More after school/summer programs wanted
      • More financial aid/career planning information
      • More programs for Latina/o students
summary of results2
Summary of Results
  • Parents need to be proactive too
    • Meet with teachers
    • Attend PTA meetings or other community group meetings
    • Learn about financial aid to alleviate concerns about how to afford college
  • Parents education is important
    • Parents will be able to support their child better in applying to college
  • Additional support to parents from C. or S. America
    • Need information about financial aid for college, even if their children are undocumented
    • More information about the U.S education system and how it works