While most Metro Nashville teachers believe their schools have high academic expectations for students, more than half of them also believe it's difficult for students to get extra support when they need it.
Those are some of the results from the largest internal survey ever conducted by the district, which polled teachers, students and staff members at all 170 schools.
The goal of the survey is to gauge the climate at each school so the district can better understand where it needs to improve.
“Climate and academics go hand in hand,” says Tina Stenson, Director of Research at Metro Nashville Public Schools. “You can’t learn well when you’re not happy. You can’t learn when you’re not engaged or don’t have trust.”
Here are some of the findings highlighted in the report:
The most favorable responses from both teachers and other school staff pertained to the school climate.
Teachers had high favorability for educating all students – or readiness to address issues of diversity.
The least favorable responses among school staff were to questions pertaining to school resources.
MNPS teacher responses were comparable to the national average for all question responses with comparison data.
Student responses were most favorable for academic rigor.
School engagement reported by students was a little below the national average.
Stenson says Metro Schools has conducted similar surveys in the past, but due to financial constraints, those have focused only on what’s going on inside classrooms.
She says while they were a step forward, those results were not always helpful at identifying wider trends and understanding why some schools within the district are doing better than others. The expanded survey paints a more complete picture.
In the spring, they plan to poll the students’ parents. Coupled with data from the district’s social emotional learning initiatives, Metro Schools says conducting these surveys annually will serve as a guide for improvement and measuring progress.