Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Most Pupils' Parents Approve City Schools

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Most Pupils' Parents Approve City Schools

Article excerpt

About two-thirds of Pittsburgh Public Schools parents surveyed would recommend their child's school, according to the district's 2012 parent survey.

Parents of more than 4,000 students responded to the mailed survey, which puts the response rate at about 15 percent, a few points higher than in recent years.

Of those who answered, 56.7 percent are white and 31.3 percent black. The student body in the district is about 35 percent white and 55 percent black.

At a board meeting Monday night, some board members considered the response rate too low and the demographics unrepresentative. Jean-Anne Matter, a volunteer who helped to analyze the results, said, however, that there were more similarities than differences between white and black parents.

While past surveys focused on questions about the district, this one asked questions about the individual schools. Schools then will review the results, looking for ways to improve parent participation and respond to the survey results.

On the question of whether they would recommend their child's school, 35 percent strongly agreed and 34 percent agreed.

Parents were more likely to recommend the early childhood centers and K-5 schools, with 85 percent and 74 percent agreeing or strongly agreeing, respectively. Those who would recommend the school and those who wouldn't answered 10 questions dealing with perceptions of teaching and communications with the school significantly differently. For example, of those who would recommend the school, 67 percent thought the quality of teaching is improving. For those who wouldn't, only 16 percent agreed or strongly agreed with that.

Some of the other teaching questions that separated the two groups included whether the child is challenged to do his best, discipline strategies for disruptive students are effective and teachers believe all students can learn at high levels. …

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