Posts Tagged ‘Chalkboard Project’

Oregon’s Teens Sound Off on Public Education: Part 2

Posted on: November 6th, 2013 by dhm-research

On Wednesday, DHM Research Associate Ari Wubbold continued the conversation on the Chalkboard Project’s blog site. An excellent article, and even more we’re proud to partner with our friends at the CP, adding to the conversation and working to make our education system the ideal model it should and can be. Read the full article below and make sure to visit Chalkboard’s blog here.

DHM Research is proud to have worked with the Chalkboard Project on the 2013 Oregon Student Survey. This study was an effort to learn what Oregon high school students think about public education in our state. Media coverage of the survey can be found herehere, and here. While my previous blog post focused on the findings from the student engagement portion of the survey, I’d like to take this opportunity to focus on the 200+ students who took part in the scientific random sample portion of the study, specifically those findings that have not yet been covered in the media. The survey sample was reflective of the Oregon high school student population as a whole.

Let’s start with student’s opinions about the kinds of classes that are currently available to them. The trend we observed was, given the opportunity to weigh in, students prefer expanded class offerings.   

  • Roughly two-thirds (63%) of students disagreed with the statement, there are too many classes offered outside of the core areas of reading, writing, and math.
  • Later in the survey, 58% of students said their district places too little emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. This sentiment was higher among males than females (67% vs. 50% said too little).
  • Students who felt that additional funding is needed for public K-12 education were provided the open-ended opportunity to explain why. The second-most popular response was more elective classes (23%).

Also of interest are student’s responses to a series of statements regarding issues outside of the classroom that can impact their educational experience.

  • Roughly nine in ten (88%) students agreed with the statement, having family support for learning at home is essential for students’ success in school.
  • Only three in ten (31%) students said they were interested in volunteering to help improve the state’s K-12 education system. This interest in volunteering jumped to 42% when we asked the question of self-identified student leaders (participated in leadership opportunities such as student government, tutoring, service learning, etc.).
  • Lastly, only 20% of students agreed with the statement, the business community in my district is doing enough to help the public schools. However, roughly half of students (47%) were either neutral (31%) or unsure (16%) on the issue, indicating that their opinions are far from fixed.

Well there you have it: a thin slice of the data from the Chalkboard Project and DHM Research’s recent Oregon Student Survey. If you are interested in reading more about the study I strongly suggest you check out the media stories linked to earlier in this post. We’ve been excited to see the passionate public reaction to this study and we look forward to future surveys of Oregon students!

Oregon’s Teens Sound Off on Public Education

Posted on: July 25th, 2013 by dhm-research

On Thursday, DHM Research Associate Ari Wubbold continued the conversation on the Chalkboard Project’s blog site. An excellent article, and even more we’re proud to partner with our friends at the CP, adding to the conversation and working to make our education system the ideal model it should and can be. Read the full article below and make sure to visit Chalkboard’s blog here.

DHM Research is proud and excited to be working with the Chalkboard Project on the 2013 Oregon Student Survey. This study is an effort to learn what Oregon high school students think about public education in our state. To date, as part of the non-scientific, student engagement portion of the project, 300 students have shared their thoughts with us. I’d like to take this opportunity to provide a teaser of what we’ve learned so far. Final results, including the results of a scientific random sample survey, will be shared with the public shortly before the start of the coming school year.

  • When comparing the education they have personally received to that provided to all students, respondents were much more satisfied with their own personal education: (83% vs. 49%).
  • When asked about what is expected of students in Oregon schools, 41% of respondents said that expectations were just about right. Notably, respondents were more than four times as likely to believe Oregon public schools expect students to learn too little rather than too much (38% vs. 9%).
  • We then asked students about funding issues in Oregon schools. With scores higher than what we see from traditional voter surveys, 79% said that additional funding is needed for K-12 education.
  • In another divergence from traditional voter surveys, thirty four percent (34%) were unsure whether their local public school district spends money wisely (voters tend to have pretty strong opinions on this point).
  • Students had little doubt when it came to what level of education the state should prioritize its funding for in order to best improve student achievement, with one-half (51%) specifying the high school grades of 9-12. For reference, the next most popular education level for allocating funds was K-5th grade (17%).
  • Lastly, we touched on school safety. Students overwhelmingly felt that their school is safe (86% vs. 6% unsafe). However, seven in ten (69%) agreed that bullying in schools is a serious problem and additional legislation is needed to address it.

Well there you have it! Some very interesting findings from the non-scientific, student engagement portion of the 2013 Oregon Student Survey. Stay tuned for the release of complete results later this summer. I personally can’t wait to see what the scientific survey shows and to dig deeper into the data to see how students’ opinions differ by grade level, gender, ethnicity, and other demographic groups. Special thanks to Sara Nilles of the Oregon Association of Student Councils (OASC) for allowing us to administer the survey to some of the (lucky?) student leaders attending their spring conference.

THE GREAT DIVIDE—NOT AS GREAT AS YOU MAY THINK

Posted on: April 3rd, 2013 by dhm-research

On Wednesday, DHM Research Founder and Principal Adam Davis continued the conversation on the Chalkboard Project’s blog site. An excellent article, and even more we’re proud to partner with our friends at the CP, adding to the conversation and working to make our education system the ideal model it should and can be. Read Adam’s snippet below, and then read the full post here:

Much is made in Oregon of the urban/rural divide—the supposed gulf that separates Oregonians living in urban and rural areas of the state based on differences in their values and beliefs. I started measuring these differences thirty-six years ago when I first began to research opinion in all corners of the state. While there are important differences, what I also learned then, and continue to see in our surveys today, is how similar we Oregonians are in much that we hold dear, regardless of where we live in the state. Too often only the differences are reported by the media and beaten like a drum in political speeches.

With all the challenges we face as a state, including the need to improve our public education system, it is important to acknowledge the values and beliefs we share and try to build our future on these, rather than let differences separate us and undermine our efforts to build a better Oregon for our children and grandchildren.

What do Oregonians value about living in the state? It doesn’t matter where you live. The answers are the same: natural beauty, clean air and water, proximity and variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, sense of community, and . . . the climate!  READ MORE

DHM Panel Survey Finds Support for Stricter Gun Laws

Posted on: February 8th, 2013 by dhm-research

From January 25-28 of 2013, DHM Research conducted an online survey of 365 Oregonians via the DHM Panel on issues related to gun control and immigration. Survey demographics reflected the Oregon population as a whole. The margin of error on the survey was +/- 5.1%.

Below is a summary of our findings from the gun control portion of the survey:

  • 36% of those surveyed had a gun in their home, compared to 63% who did not. Republicans were more likely to be gun owners than Democrats (48% vs. 27%). 33% of those with a child under the age of 18 in the home also had a gun in the home.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) said they felt laws covering the sales of firearms should be made more strict, compared to 33% of who felt they should be kept as they are now. Only 5% said gun laws should be made less strict. Females were more likely to feel that gun laws should be made more strict than males (71% vs. 55%).
  • Participants were more supportive of expanded background checks for potential gun buyers than they were for laws that would ban the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips and assault weapons.
  • Three-fourths (76%) favored a law requiring background checks before people could buy guns at gun shows. 11% were opposed. 59% of gun owners supported background checks at gun shows.
  • Nearly six in ten (57%) said they would support a law which would ban the sale and possession of high-capacity ammunition clips that can contain more than 10 bullets. One-third (33%) were opposed. There was a strong partisan divide, with 85% of Democrats supportive compared to 32% of Republicans.
  • Similarly, 56% were supportive of a law which would ban the sale and possession of assault weapons. 33% of gun owners were supportive of an assault weapons ban. Notably, support for the ban increased with age (18-34: 41%; 35-54: 57%; 55+: 64%).
  • Overall, there were significant differences of opinion when it came to enhanced gun laws, with large preference divides between men and women (women were more supportive); Republicans and Democrats (Democrats were more supportive); and area of state (Tri-County and Willamette Valley residents were more supportive than residents from the rest of the state).

Thanks again to all who participated in this survey. To sign up for the panel and participate in upcoming surveys click here. We look forward to hearing your opinions!

Teachers, a penny (or more) for their thoughts—It is worth it

Posted on: February 4th, 2013 by dhm-research

On Monday, DHM Research Founder and Principal Adam Davis continued the conversation on the Chalkboard Project’s blog site. An excellent article, and even more we’re proud to partner with our friends at the CP, adding to the conversation and working to make our education system the ideal model it should and can be. Read Adam’s snippet below, and then read the full post here:

My last two postings presented some issues education reform advocates in Oregon should consider as they work to improve public K-12 education in Oregon and do battle, often with teacher unions, in Salem and in their local districts. Another tool to have in your advocacy tool box are survey findings showing how teachers (as opposed to teacher union leadership) feel about the issues, including an understanding of the motivations that underlie those feelings, if attitudes cut across the full teacher population or if there are certain subgroups of teachers (e.g., newer teachers) that may feel differently than other subgroups, and how these feelings compare to voter attitudes.

Your advocacy needs to anticipate questions from policymakers about teacher attitudes. These questions can be very general (Besides more money, what do teachers consider to be the most important thing to do to improve student academic growth?) or about a specific issue. (How do teachers feel about the changes you’re proposing for teacher and principal evaluations?) Showing that teachers support a reform proposal, or that their concerns were identified and considered in the development of a proposal and either incorporated into it or dismissed for good reason, has been helpful to education reform advocates in both Washington and Connecticut where we’ve done independent surveys of teachers. Also helpful is having information to push back on the unions who may be making claims about teachers’ attitudes that are not in line with their full membership or a significant proportion of teachers, or with the attitudes of voters...READ MORE

PUBLIC EDUCATION: WHAT OREGONIANS ARE TALKING ABOUT

Posted on: November 23rd, 2012 by dhm-research

On Wednesday, DHM Research Founder and Principal Adam Davis continued the conversation on the Chalkboard Project’s blog site. An excellent article, and even more we’re proud to partner with our friends at the CP, adding to the conversation and working to make our education system the ideal model it should and can be. Read Adam’s snippet below, and then read the full post here:

Last time we looked at six issues for K-12 advocates to consider in preparing to do battle in Salem during the 2013 legislative session. This time let’s consider six sneaker issues related to public education. Like sneaker waves that are large and unexpected, these issues might rise up without warning and swamp discussions between educators and Oregonians. They are important to know about, because how advocates address them may impact their credibility with people whose support is important in other areas, like improving educator quality and securing more funding.

Too much homework. Many parents feel their children—especially K-8—are being given too much homework, to the point of negatively impacting family dynamics and jeopardizing their children’s health. Parents also get inconsistent messages about the quality and quantity of homework from administrators and teachers. Some believe there is no empirical evidence showing that homework plays an important role in a child’s academic success, and they feel it is a poor substitute for more time in the classroom with teachers and fellow students.

Internet communications. Parents want to be able to use the internet to communicate with their child’s teachers, for everything from arranging conferences to discussing classroom issues to obtaining progress reports. We hear complaints that teachers don’t have the latest technology or training to use it to communicate with parents…

Tips for Education Advocates

Posted on: September 12th, 2012 by Ari Wubbold

Yesterday DHM Research Founder and Principal Adam Davis started the conversation on the Chalkboard Project’s blog site. An excellent article, and even more we’re proud to partner with our friends at the CP, adding to the conversation and working to make our education system the ideal model it should and can be. Read Adam’s snippet below, and then read the full post here:

As parents and students settle into the new school year, K-12 public education advocates prepare for the new legislative session scheduled to begin only four months from now. A quick overview of Oregonians’ attitudes about K-12 public education may be valuable to these warriors as they gird for battle in Salem. Some of these considerations may not be news, but as I watch those advocating for a better K-12 public education system, I am often left wondering if it wouldn’t help to remind ourselves of some past lessons. Following are a few findings from our focus groups and surveys that may be valuable in developing effective communications with voters and state legislators.

It is not all about money. Remember, a significant number of Oregonians believe the system has enough money. They see the problem as not using the money wisely. Education advocates should talk about how public education is being more efficient at the state and local levels and how educators are using new ideas and methods to increase student achievement (e.g., Chalkboard). If you want to connect with more voters and legislators, this has to be as much a part of your advocacy language as pleas for more money.

K-3 is the sweet spot. In a time of limited resources, more Oregonians every day have to make tough decisions and set priorities. They expect the same from their elected representatives, who need to focus on getting the best return on taxpayer money. For many people, that means investing in the early grades. As one focus group participant put it, “You’ve lost them by the time they get to the middle grades and high school. You need to be sure they’re given a good foundation to succeed in life.” If any aspect of your advocacy represents an opportunity to improve K-3 education, then talk about it.  You’ll be connecting with more voters and legislators…