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SurveyWorks 2020 Results Released

Teachers, Students & Families Report Progress Mixed With Concern


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) released the results of its 2020 administration of SurveyWorks, its statewide school climate and culture survey. More than 120,200 students, family members, and educators participated in this year’s edition, which provides valuable insights into what is working and what can be improved in Rhode Island education.

This year’s results are even more useful because they come in the wake of the statewide shift to distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. In all, 83,707 students, 25,471 parents and family members, and 11,024 teachers participated.

“From my first day on the job, I made it clear that RIDE would be making data-driven decisions to improve our planning, and SurveyWorks is one of our most powerful tools to deliver on that promise,” Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green said. “I have also stressed the importance of community voice, and this survey allows students, educators, and families to share honest feedback about education in their school and in our state.”

The results of this year’s SurveyWorks reveal progress in key areas, while also detailing areas where the education community can focus in years to come. Key findings include:

  • Despite schools and districts having to transition to distance learning during the survey window, response rates remained steady and there was an increase in parent participation (up by 787 submitted surveys).
  • Fully 86 percent of students in grades 3-5 responded that their teachers encouraged them to do their best.
  • There is a 22 percentage point gap between grades 3-5 (69 percent favorable) and grades 6-12 (47 percent favorable) when it comes to students finding school "interesting, important and useful." Only 19 percent of students in grades 6-12 report being excited about their classes.
  • While 70 percent of parents and family members are satisfied with the school’s system for evaluating students, just 9 percent report that they regularly meet with their child’s teachers.
  • 74 percent of parents and families report that administrators create an environment that helps students learn.
  • While only 40 percent of educators responded that the professional development opportunities they receive are valuable, this is a 7 percent increase from last year.
  • Fewer than a quarter of educators (24 percent) reported that they have access to high-quality resources in their school.

“Overall, we are encouraged that our teachers and school administrators reported feeling more supported by RIDE and more valued within their schools,” said Commissioner Infante-Green. “But we have a lot of work to do, especially when it comes to engaging our older students. School culture has a considerable impact on student interest and achievement, so we must put this data into action to make a real difference in our middle and high schools.”

RIDE will use the SurveyWorks results during a series of public forums dedicated to analyzing, discussing, and strategizing how to use the results for positive change. The agency will also host a webinar for site coordinators to help them understand their survey results and share best practices to help schools and districts support students. RIDE is also creating a social media toolkit and other materials that schools and districts can use to participate with their school communities.

To learn more or to view your school's or district's full results, visit surveyworks.ride.ri.gov. Join the conversation and encourage your school community to participate using the hashtag, #SurveyWorks.