New Teacher Survey by Parent Engagement App ClassTag Shows Parent/Teacher Disconnect
Despite the fact that a plurality of teachers (40%) rated “a supportive family” as the top factor in student success, just a quarter of surveyed teachers report having taken “significant” steps to improve family engagement over last year.
JULY 18, 2016 – NEW YORK: Teacher survey results released today by ClassTag, the app that empowers teachers to turn parents into partners, show that even though teachers understand the premium value of strong family and home support for learning, teachers are discouraged by the lack of family support and engagement and few have taken significant steps to improve it.
According to the survey:
- A plurality, 40%, of surveyed teachers said “a supportive family” was the “number one factor in achieving student success.”
- “Supportive family” ranked higher than “teacher skill” (33%) and “school supplies/resources” (12%) as the leading success factors.
- Teachers estimated that more than half of their students’ parents (56%) were not fully engaged in classroom activities and progress.
- And a majority of teachers (53%) reported negative feelings such as “sad” or “frustrated” or “extremely discouraged” by the lack of parent engagement in their classrooms.
- 70% of responding teachers reported that the biggest factor in their expectations of parent support is “experience with parents over the years.”
- Nonetheless, fully 58% of teachers reported that they are either “very satisfied” or “quite satisfied” with the “level of parent engagement they currently achieve.”
- And just a quarter of teachers reported taking “significant steps” to improve family support and another quarter told ClassTag their, “parent engagement strategy has remained unchanged.”
“There’s clearly a big disconnect between what teachers say is most important to student success, how they feel about it and what they have done to improve it,” said ClassTag founder and CEO, Vlada Lotkina. “It’s pretty clear that, even though they know how important a supportive out-of-class environment is, teachers have been frustrated by past experience, lowered their expectations and aren’t doing a whole lot to make the situation better.”
One teacher summed up the frustration by responding, “It is difficult to move forward if a parent is not responding. I feel frustrated that their child’s progress is hindered by a lack of home-school connection. I am not sure what else I could do.”
Teachers are neither alone nor wrong in identifying parent support as essential to academic success. Ample, separate academic research shows that parent engagement in education is the most important predictor of a child’s academic success. Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family–School Partnerships published by SEDL in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education states:
“Over 50 years of research links the various roles that families play in a child’s education—as supporters of learning, encouragers of grit and determination, models of lifelong learning, and advocates of proper programming and placements for their child—with indicators of student achievement including student grades, achievement test scores, lower drop-out rates, students’ sense of personal competence and efficacy for learning, and students’ beliefs about the importance of education.”
ClassTag commissioned the survey in part to demonstrate a new approach and new tools for teachers and parents to stay connected with the classroom. The ClassTag approach was co-developed by teachers, families and parent engagement experts to specifically increase parent engagement based on research-based practices and is an opinionated platform that early results show helps teachers leap over parent engagement barriers and turn parents into partners.
Specifically, ClassTag helps teachers:
- Set and manage high and clear expectations with parents
- Move from transactional engagement to relationship-building activities
- Create simple and meaningful ways for parents to support learning
- Reduce amount of effort required with automation and consistent system
- Get visibility into the level and type of family engagement
Through this approach, ClassTag has a staggering 90% parent participation rate on the platform.
“ClassTag has shown that a holistic approach to parent engagement can yield results,” says Lotkina. “By providing a combination of tools, best practices and strong leadership, we have seen over 90% of parents participate on the platform. That could be a game changer for what teachers expect, how they adjust their strategies and, most importantly, an amplifier for student success.”
The research was conducted 03/29/16 – 6/13/16 via a web survey and included 196 responses of classroom teachers in grades K-8.
About ClassTag: ClassTag is a web and mobile platform helping teachers turn parents into partners by simplifying all communications and scheduling, motivating parents to get involved and guiding them to success. It was founded by Vlada Lotkina, a fortune 500 executive, and Jason Olim, serial entrepreneur and technologist, to help parents like themselves make their children more successful and better prepared for life. For more information, visit: ClassTag.com
North Carolina Increases Education Opportunity
WASHINGTON, DC — Legislative action in North Carolina will result in new and expanded opportunities for students, thanks to the creation of a new Achievement School District and expanded resources for teachers, students and families.
The state’s 2016-17 FY budget provides for an increase in the statewide opportunity scholarship program, expanding choices for children who need them most. Within a decade, more than 35,000 students will be able to access new scholarships.
The budget also provides for teacher pay increases and allows schools to reduce class size in the early grades.
Recognizing that failing schools can be turned around, State Representative Rob Bryan spearheaded an effort to create the Achievement School District (ASD). The ASD will allow newly constituted schools to take the place of failing neighborhood schools, serving families without the economic means to pick up and move to a school with a better track record.
“This is an encouraging step forward for innovation and opportunity in the Tar Heel state education system, acknowledging that a one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t work for all students,” said Jon Hage, CER Chairman and Founder and CEO Charter Schools USA.
About the Center for Education Reform
Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that the conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.
As a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to great opportunities for all children, students and families, The Center for Education Reform does not endorse candidates or take political positions, but we will always recognize and applaud when someone takes a step to advance sound education policies.