NC DPI’s Latest Bad Idea: Survey Kids About Their Teachers

The most recent State Board of Education meetings have been an exercise in what NOT to do for the Department of Public Education (DPI).

Behold, DPI’s latest bad idea: Surveying kids about their “perceptions” of their teachers.


Abstract description:

There is a substantial body of educational research that indicates that student perception surveys can provide educators with meaningful feedback on their instructional practices.  It is the intent of the State Board of Education to provide North Carolina educators with these data for the purpose of informing Professional Growth Plans (PGPs) and School Improvement Plans.  These data will not have a formal connection with the North Carolina Educator Effectiveness System (NCEES), but will be provided to educators as a standardized artifact.  The goal of the State Board of Education is to implement these student perception surveys state-wide, with the possibility of a phased roll-out over multiple years.

So, these “perceptions” won’t have a “formal” connection? What’s the point then?

How will this be administered? Are kids names anonymized?  How does this work exactly?

I am told that there was discussion at the board meeting on these proposed surveys and that it’s already in Powerschool and Superintendents have been told it’s to go live ASAP??

Given that elementary parents largely don’t have access to Powerschool yet, this is a problem right off the bat.

Also, WHO IS PAYING FOR THIS?  Show me the money, DPI.

Ok, so I looked over all the documents attached and see that this proposal calls for “perception surveys” of kids starting in 3rd grade. Wait, what?  One of my kids is in 3rd grade.

Did DPI plan to ask for parental permission?  There is no documentation present indicating they even thought about the parents.  Gee, shocker.

I ask about permission, because I don’t want my kid taking this survey, much less any survey involving subjective and unscientific “perceptions” of young children that would have possible ramifications for our teachers.

Look at the questions for the 3rd through 5th graders, which appear to be identical for  grades 6-12. Subjective and loaded are two terms that leap to mind.  There are 29 questions… 29!  That’s just about as long as a CASE21 test.

The very first one is “How excited are you about going to this class?”. What does that even mean?? My kid gets excited about Pokemon cards, how about yours?

Another one — “How fair or unfair are the rules in this class? “.  How does an 8 or 9-year-old think about fairness?

Yet another question calls for a child to guess what a teacher might be thinking about them: “Overall, how high are this teacher’s expectations of you?”

Hey, will this data be published? Kept in the Longitudinal database? ANSWERS PLEASE?

This is not just a bad idea, it’s the mother of bad ideas.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), EDUCATION, EXCLUSIVE, June Atkinson, NC Board Of Education, NC DPI and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to NC DPI’s Latest Bad Idea: Survey Kids About Their Teachers

  1. Pingback: The Backstory On Those “Student Perception Surveys” – #NCed | Lady Liberty 1885

  2. Kathy says:

    Holy cow! The teachers who are most permissive or who give out candy will score best with the kids.


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