"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Update to the School Perceptions Update

Here's an up date to the survey participation rate question, hot off the presses. Chelsea Davis from School Perceptions sent me this email literally the minute I posted the first update. I will wait a few days to post this so new data isn't made obsolete in minutes.  

Hi again, Melissa.

There is one correction I need to make.  We are working on updating the report and noticed that the total percentage of surveys taken was based on an incorrect number of surveys mailed.  In addition to the 3,552 surveys mailed via Every Door Direct Mail, there were 471 additional surveys mailed to individuals who do not live on Evansville Post Office routes, but are considered District residents.  Therefore, the total number of surveys mailed was 4,023 and the overall response rate as of last Monday (1,148 surveys taken) was 28.5%.

We apologize for any inconvenience.  This percentage will be corrected in the updated version of the report that will be provided to the District.

A 28.5% (1148/4023) response rate is better that the 27.3% using the Gazette's reported 4200 surveys distributed and a heck of a lot better than the paltry 400 (9.9%) the committee, with the input of School Perceptions, had determined would give them sufficiently rigorous statistics to extrapolate the results to the entire district.

Then today, I got a call from Janesville Gazette's Gina Duwe to ask me for information regarding my board candidacy. In the course of that conversation, I was able to ascertain where the original "4200" came from. Gina follows my blog and wanted to clear up her source of the total number of surveys. She told me that her source of surveys being sent to "all 4200" district homes was Mr. Roth in a previous context, which she logically extrapolated to this situation and, honestly, is pretty close to the actual number of surveys sent. I told her that even the new estimate doesn't capture the total available surveys, so don't sweat it. With the additional surveys distributed from the office (and other sources?) as well as additional codes emailed to survey respondents who requested one for each voter in the house, it's likely that there were even more than 4200 surveys made available to folks. I also told her that I wasn't criticizing her report, it's just that my analytical brain went into spasms trying to do a calculation that wasn't computing.

The bottom line is this: since School Perceptions has been doing this for over a decade with many districts, it's likely they consistently calculate the percent response rate for their survey results. So no matter what value is used, the nearly 30% rate of return was calculated in a consistent manner and, compared to surveys in other districts, is very high. I am satisfied that the values of the ECSD have been recorded in this process and can guide the district in their future decisions. I hope the board will use this data to come up with a good Strategic Plan to help them all stay focused on the vision of Excellence in all aspects of Education.

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