Public Opinion of HISD Remains Positive, But State Budget Cuts Cause Concern
Survey of HISD Community and Parents Shows Satisfaction with Schools
The percentage of Houston ISD residents who are “very satisfied” with HISD schools, principals, teachers, the Board of Education, Central Office administration, and the superintendent increased from 2009 to 2011, according to an independent survey conducted this spring.
The HISD Community Survey, conducted every two years since 2007, is based on 1,317 telephone interviews with 1,012 HISD residents and 305 parents of current HISD students. Click here to read the complete survey results.
Those stating they are “very satisfied” with the following aspects of HISD increased from 2009 to 2011:
· School buildings, facilities, and grounds (Parents, +14 percentage points; General Population, +8 percentage points)
· Principals (Parents, +19; General Population, +2)
· Teachers (Parents, +9; General Population, +11)
· Board of Education (Parents, +7; General Population, +7)
· Central Office Administration (Parents, +13; General Population, +5)
· Superintendent (Parents, +2; General Population, +5)
Budget cuts caused by the Texas Legislature’s decision to decrease funding to public schools were the primary reason cited among those who said they have an unfavorable opinion of HISD. The percentage of parents (18 percent) and the general population (23 percent) who believe HISD is heading on the wrong track is higher than in 2009. Both groups cited teaching staff reductions as the primary reason for this opinion. At the time of the survey, HISD was in the process of laying off 724 teachers. Since then, at least 312 of those teachers have been rehired into new positions. Other frequently given reasons for the opinion included:
* Cutting budget in wrong area
* Need to improve curriculum
* Lack of safety (bullying, violence, drugs)
Despite the budget cuts, most survey respondents said HISD is demonstrating a commitment to adhering to the core values identified in the district’s Strategic Direction, adopted last year by the Board of Education after gathering significant community input. Click here to read the latest update on HISD’s progress toward meeting the goals established under Strategic Direction. Around 60 percent of the general population and 75 percent of parents said they agree with the following statements about HISD:
· HISD strives to attract and retain the best teachers, principals, and staff members who can positively impact student achievement.
· HISD strives to create a culture of trust by being open and transparent.
· HISD strives to use data to inform its decision making and hold itself accountable.
· HISD strives to provide all students with a rigorous instructional program to ensure they are ready for college and career.
Parents expressed very favorable opinions of the schools their children attend. Among parents, the percentage stating they have a favorable opinion of their children’s schools was 86 percent for elementary schools, 81 percent for middle schools and 72 percent for high schools.
At least 71 percent of all HISD parents also said they agree that their schools:
* Uses good instructional practices
* Use sound business practices
* Is safe and secure
* Provides adequate equipment and up-to-date technology
* Sets high standards for academic performance
* Provides quality education
* Provides a safe learning environment
Fewer parents, however, said they believe their children’s schools have enough computers to meet students’ needs.
The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States with 298 schools and more than 200,000 students. The 301-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area with nearly 30,000 employees.
For more information, visit the HISD Web site at www.houstonisd.org.