Idaho students: Now you get to grade your teachers

File photo, 2013: Third-grade students at Gateway Elementary in Boise.
File photo, 2013: Third-grade students at Gateway Elementary in Boise. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

The tables are turning and students will begin passing out the grades in every Idaho school this year.

That’s because student feedback will become an important part of the state’s new school accountability system.

  • How often do your teachers seem excited to be teaching your class?
  • How often do you worry about violence at your school?

As part of the effort to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, state officials chose to create a student engagement survey to help measure school quality and climate.

All public school students attending third through 12th grade will take short, online surveys this spring using the same technology they use to take online tests, State Board of Education Vice President Debbie Critchfield.

And what students say will actually matter.

After the surveys are complete, state officials will publicly share the summarized and aggregated data —without identifying students — broken down to the district and school level.

Local school will have access to more detailed reports with all students’ responses.

“As policymakers and legislators (the survey data) will help inform decision on general education topics,” Critchfield said. “But the real value be in the (students’) local building, where the data can impact student achievement. There, (the data) are more than just number, they will be able to make adjustments.”

State officials are developing a similar parent survey that they plan to roll out the following year, in 2018-19.

The student survey questions will cover several different themes:

  • School safety.
  • Student-teacher relationships.
  • School climate, meaning a student’s perception of the overall social and learning climate of the school.

Additionally, students in grades 9-12 will receive another set of questions on the topic of “grit,” or the ability to persevere through setbacks to achieve important long-range goals.

Read more at Idaho Education News

Click here to read the questions that will be included in the Idaho Student Engagement Survey.