PRESS RELEASE - September 19, 2003
New Mexico State Department
of Education

300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

Quality of Education Survey Shows Growing Parent
Satisfaction with School Safety, Academic Expectations

(Santa Fe, NM)--According to the New Mexico State Department of Education's (SDE) 2002-2003 Quality of Education survey, more parents this year than last believe their children are safe in school and that their children's school holds high expectations for academic success. "While the Quality of Education survey is most valid at the local school level, it is gratifying to know that a growing majority of New Mexico's elementary, middle and high school parents believes our public schools are safe for children and that teachers are highly committed to each child's academic success," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.

Eighty-eight percent of elementary school parents, 81 percent of middle school parents and 79 percent of high school parents responding believe their children are safe in school. This compares to 86 percent of elementary school parents and 77 percent of middle and high school parents responding last year. And 87 percent of elementary, 81 percent of middle and 75 percent of high school parents responding believe their children’s school holds high expectations for academic achievement, compared to 86 percent of elementary, 80 percent of middle and 74 percent of high school parents last year.

In addition, 92 percent of elementary parents feel teachers provide sufficient and appropriate information regarding their children’s progress and 89 percent feel encouraged by school personnel to participate in their children’s education. In addition, 86 percent of middle school parents and 86 percent of high school parents believe their children take responsibility for their learning.

The greatest area of concern for elementary school parents was that their children have an adequate choice of school-sponsored extracurricular activities and for middle school and high school parents was feeling encouraged to participate in their children’s education. “Too often, parents don’t know how to be involved in their children’s education. We must continue to strive for increased parent and community support and involvement in our schools,” said State Superintendent Davis.

Forty-three percent of the surveys sent to parents by 88 local school districts in 2003 were returned (compared to 44 percent last year in 89 districts), with greater response from elementary school parents. Schools and districts must include survey results in their annual accountability reports. Results reflect the opinions of only those parents who chose to respond. The first 10 questions on the survey were developed by the SDE, the next five by local boards of education and the final five by individual school sites.