Texans believe the top two desired outcomes for public
schools are to teach communications, problem-solving, critical thinking and
other employability skills and to prepare students to be productive citizens,
according to results of a survey conducted on behalf of the State Board of
As part of the board’s effort to gather citizen input
as it prepares a new Long-Range Plan for Public Education, a survey was
conducted on five topics:
- Desired outcome of public education
- Educator preparation, recruitment, and
- Student empowerment and engagement
- Family empowerment and engagement
A total of 11,462 Texans responded to the survey
between Jan. 25 and March 2.
“The input we received from the survey and from
in-person meetings during community events held around the state will help our
Long-Range Plan for Public Education Steering Committee and the board craft
long-term goals for our schools,” said SBOE Chair Donna Bahorich. “These goals
will help the board focus on issues that are a priority to Texans.”
The board plans to set goals through the year 2030.
Survey results released Thursday show that when asked
about equitable access, about 66 percent of the respondents think there is good
or excellent access to advanced level coursework, such as dual credit or
Advanced Placement courses. Seventy-four percent believe there is good to
excellent access to extracurricular activities.
However, about 55 percent of the respondents rated
equitable access to school funding as poor.
The Texas Legislature created the Texas Commission on
Public School Funding to study the finance issue. The commission is to make recommendations
to the legislature when it reconvenes in January.
When asked to rate the job Texas schools do for
certain student groups, the survey found that 54 percent of the respondents
felt schools do a good to excellent job for students who are gifted/talented. But only about 37 percent felt schools were doing a good to excellent
job for students living in poverty.
Texans, in the survey responses or during community meetings suggested
mentoring programs, pay and benefit enhancements, the creation of new career
options for teachers who want to stay in the classroom, and staffing
flexibility as methods for retaining teachers.
To increase student support and empowerment, survey
respondents suggested creating career and postsecondary learning experiences
and allowing students to be more responsible for their own learning.
To increase parental engagement with the schools,
Texans suggested, providing classes about ways parents can help children at
home; providing transportation and childcare when parent meetings are held at
school; and increasing communications between parents and families through means
such as social media and newsletters.
The survey results are available at https://bit.ly/2GW60UV.
A new Long-Range Plan for Public Education is expected
to be approved by the board this fall.