What The Annual MetLife Survey Of The American Teacher Says About Parent Engagement

The annual MetLife Survey of The American Teacher just came out. Here are a few findings related to parent engagement:

More than seven in 10 educators identify addressing the individual needs of diverse learners (83% of principals; 78% of teachers) and engaging parents and the community in improving education for students (72% of principals; 73% of teachers) as challenging or very challenging for school leaders.

Principals in schools with at least two-thirds low-income students are more likely than those with one-third or fewer to say that engaging parents and the community in improving the education of students (86% vs. 46%) is very challenging or challenging.

Engaging parents and the community in improving students’ education and maintaining an adequate supply of effective teachers are greater in secondary and high-needs schools. Principals are more likely to say that it is very challenging or challenging for a school’s leaders to engage parents and the community in improving the education of students when they are from secondary schools (82% vs. 68% of elementary school principals); urban schools (82% vs. 63% from suburban schools and 71% from rural schools); schools with two-thirds or more low-income students (86% vs. 46% from schools with one third or fewer low-income students); schools with two-thirds or more minority students (86% vs. 63% from schools with one-third or fewer minority students); and schools where most students are not performing at or above grade level in English language arts and math (83% vs. 66% from schools with all or most students performing at or above grade level).

Here’s a section they call “From The Survey Archives”:

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher has examined several aspects of the challenge of engaging parents and the community over the years. The 2011 survey noted that “parent and community engagement has increased but remains a challenge for many schools,” and ratings of parent engagement were highest for elementary school and generally were lower at each subsequent school level, from middle to high school. Nine in 10 teachers and eight in 10 parents agreed that their/their child’s school helps all parents understand what they can do at home to support a student’s success in school. Many teachers and
parents believed that lack of parent engagement is widespread:

 One-third of teachers and nearly half of parents said that most or many parents take too little interest in their children’s education.

 One-third of teachers and four in 10 parents said that most or many parents fail to motivate their children to learn in school.

 Four in 10 teachers and parents said that most or many parents leave their children alone too much after school.

The 2011 survey also noted that schools with high parent engagement perform better on a range of measures. For example, parents and teachers in schools with high parent engagement were more optimistic than those in schools with low engagement that student achievement will be better in five years. In addition, teachers in schools with high parent engagement were more than twice as likely as those in schools with low parent engagement to say they are very satisfied in their job.

In 2008, lack of parental support topped the list of problems that teachers said may interfere with learning for a quarter or more of their students. Half of teachers overall and nearly two-thirds of teachers in urban schools reported that lack of parental support is a problem for at least a quarter of their students.

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