|
|
The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Voters in survey give schools a B

  • If school district patrons were handing out grade cards, Rolla Public Schools would go home with a B, or maybe a B-plus.
    • email print
  • If school district patrons were handing out grade cards, Rolla Public Schools would go home with a B, or maybe a B-plus.
    That's according to the Patron Insight survey conducted in late April and early May on 375 head-of-household, registered voters in the school district. The results of that survey were shared with the Rolla Board of Education June 13.
    "Overall, what grade would you give the Rolla Public Schools?" was one of the questions. Here's the breakdown of the responses: A, 38 percent; B: 53 percent; C, 7 percent; D, 1 percent; F, less than 1 percent; don't know, 1 percent.
    In a weighted analysis of those grades (see related story), Patron Insight gave the district a 4.29, which would be a B on the Patron Insight's 5-point weighted scale. However, given the margin of error, that 4.29 could be interpreted as a B-plus, the Patron Insight representative to the school board June 13. (An A would be virtually impossible to achieve on the Patron Insight scale.)
    The 375 voters in the patron survey were quizzed about 19 factors, in addition to giving the overall grade.
    Here's a look at those factors.
    First, though, the question read to the respondents: "As you know, students in school are usually given a grade to reflect the quality of their work. Those grades are usually A, B, C, D or F.
    Based on your experience, the experience of your children, or things you have heard about the Rolla Public Schools from others, please tell me what grade you would give the Rolla Public Schools on each of the following items. Let's start with ..."
    •Class sizes, meaning the number of students in each classroom: A, 18 percent; B, 41 percent; C, 14 percent; D, 1 percent; F, 0 percent; don't know, 26 percent.
    • Value for the tax dollars spent: A, 24 percent; B, 35 percent; C, 27 percent; D, 4 percent; F, 1 percent; don't know, 9 percent.
    • Balance of spending on academics, athletics and the arts: A, 17 percent; B, 42 percent; C, 22 percent; D, 5 percent; F, 3 percent; don't know, 11 percent.
    • Quality of teachers: 42 percent; B, 51 percent; C, 5 percent; D, 1 percent; F, 0 percent; don't know, 1 percent.
    • Quality of building principals: A, 27 percent; B, 48 percent; C, 10 percent; D, 2 percent; F, 0 percent; don't know, 14 percent.
    •Safety of students: A, 57 percent; B, 26 percent; D, 9 percent; D, 3 percent; F, 0 percent; don't know, 6 percent. •Quality of education in Rolla Public Schools: A, 55 percent; B, 38 percent; C, 5 percent; D, 1 percent; F, 0 percent; don't know, 1 percent.
    •Value of the programming available for students at Rolla Technical Institute and Rolla Technical Center: A, 22 percent; B, 23 percent; C, 4 percent; D, 0 percent; F, 0 percent; don't know, 51 percent.
    •The district's performance in keeping current, including technology for students, and utilizing the latest approaches to teaching and learning: A, 31 percent; B, 32 percent; C, 1 percent; D, under 1 percent; F, 0 percent; don't know, 35 percent.
    Page 2 of 3 - •Teaching of "the basics," such as math, science, English and social studies: A, 37 percent; B, 34 percent; C, 16 percent; D, 2 percent; F, less than 1 percent; don't know, 10 percent.
    • Preparation of students for college, vocational training or the world of work: A, 46 percent; B, 40 percent; C, 6 percent; D, less than 1 percent; F, 0 percent; don't know, 8 percent.
    •Quality of the district's current Early Childhood Education services: A, 13 percent; B, 21 percent; C, 5 percent; D, 0 percent; F, 0 percent; don't know, 60 percent.
    •Quality of school facilities: A, 42 percent; B, 40 percent; C, 10 percent; D, 1 percent; 0 percent; don't know, 7 percent.
    •Upkeep and maintenance of school facilities: A, 35 percent; B, 45 percent; C, 6 percent; D, 2 percent; F, 0 percent; don't know, 11 percent.
    •Performance of the superintendent: A, 24 percent; B, 29 percent; C, 11 percent; D, 1 percent; F, 1 percent; don't know, 35 percent.
    •Performance of the board of education: A, 18 percent; B, 41 percent; C, 14 percent; D, 6 percent; F, 1 percent; don't know, 21 percent.
    •Involvement of parents in the life and activities of the school district: A, 20 percent; B, 42 percent; C, 11 percent; D, 3 percent; F, less than 1 percent; don't know, 24 percent.
    •Efforts of the district to involve citizens in decision-making: A, 12 percent; B, 37 percent; C, 22 percent; D, 3 percent; F, 1 percent; don't know, 25 percent. •The district's record on making and fulfilling promises: A: 10 percent; B, 27 percent; C, 27 percent; D, 4 percent; F, 1 percent; don't know, 31 percent. Another way of looking at the grades Rolla School District patrons were asked to give letter grades on 19 public school programs, factors, people and abilities (see related story) in the Patron Insight survey.
    Patron Insight took those grades and weighted them with numbers on a 5-point scale.
    “In this scale, each grade of “A” is worth 5 points, down to each grade of “F” being worth 1 point. Point values are totaled and then divided by the number of respondents willing to offer a grade (rather than saying “don’t know) to arrive at a single number between 1.00 and 5.00.”
    With this setup, an overall rating of A is impossible because it would require everyone togive an A.  So, Patron Insight says a B grade is the dividing line between factors where the district excels and where it falls short.
    “Technically, a 4.00 is a B. However, taking the margin of error into account, a score as low as 3.80 is —statistically speaking — still a B, the Patron Insight reports. “In this analysis, the Rolla Public Schools had 16 of 19 areas — plus the district’s overall performance — achieve a score of 3.80 or higher.”
    Patron Insight also looked at another figure to identify areas especially of interest to the voters.
    Page 3 of 3 - “Ten of the 19 factors qualified as Patron Hot Buttons, meaning that at least 81 percent of the respondents were willing to offer a grade, rather than saying, ‘don’t know,’ ” according to the survey’s summary. “Having 10 factors achieve this mark suggests an active and interested patron population.”
    Here’s the 5-point weighted scale rating, with asterisks denoting Patron Hot Button issues:
    • Quality of education in Rolla Public Schools: 4.49*
    • The district’s performance in keeping current, including technology for students, and utilizing the latest approaches to teaching and learning: 4.45
    • Safety of students, 4.45*
    • Preparation of students for college, vocational training for the world of work: 4.42*
    • Value of the programming available for students at the Rolla Technical Institute and Rolla Technical Center: 4.36
    • Quality of teachers: 4.36*
    • Quality of school facilities: 4.32*
    • Overall grade: 4.29
    • Upkeep and maintenance of school facilities: 4.28*
    • Quality of the district’s Early Childhood Education services: 4.20
    • Teaching of “the basics,” such as math, science, English and social studies: 4.16*
    • Performance of the superintendent: 4.11*
    • Involvement of parents in the life and activities of the school district: 4.03
    • Class sizes, meaning the number of students in each classroom: 4.03
    • Performance of the Rolla Board of Education: 3.87
    • Value for the tax dollars spent: 3.86*
    • Efforts of the district to involve citizens in decision making: 3.75
    • The balance of spending on academics, athletics and the arts: 3.73*
    • The district’s record on making and fulfilling promises: 3.62
    “Generally speaking, the data show a survey group that finds favor with the school district’s performance, and that believes the long-range planning ideas are good … ,” Patron Insight said. “It is also important to note that nine of the 10 Patron Hot Button factors received a grade of B or better. This means that — for the most part — the factors that typical patrons in the Rolla Public Schools pay the most attention to are also those they grade highly.”
      • calendar