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The National Education Association (NEA) and Parenting magazine conducted a survey about parent-teacher communication with 1,0001 elementary teachers and parents responding. A portion of the results were shared in a news release from the NEA in April:

 When parents were asked to “grade” their relationship with their child’s teachers, nearly half (45 percent) gave the teachers an “A.”

Parents–63 percent–reported they’d never had difficulty with teachers. Sixty-eight percent of teachers reported difficulty in dealing with parents.

More than one-quarter of parents stated their biggest challenge has been teachers’ perceived lack of understanding for their concerns,

One in three teachers cited parents’ lack of understanding of their child’s issues as their biggest challenge.

Seven percent of teachers believe parents aren’t given the opportunity to offer input into and participate in school events and activities, a higher percentage of parents–nearly one-quarter–say they feel shut out of the collaborative process.

Nearly two out of three parents say their child’s teachers offer a supportive response to concerns when they are expressed, and that teachers are willing to help resolve concerns; nearly 80 percent of teachers consider parents to be supportive.

Nearly 88 percent of parents consider their child’s teacher a partner in achieving success in school, but just over half of teachers, 54 percent, feel that parents do their part at home to ensure that kids get the most out of classroom learning.

The majority of parents, 8 out of 10, feel their child’s teachers are well equipped with the skills necessary to communicate with them.

Although 48 percent of parents feel that their opinion is always taken seriously by their child’s teachers, only 17 percent of teachers feel their opinion is taken seriously just as often by their students’ parents.

Although a significant number—71 percent—of teachers feel they hold enough conferences with parents (the majority hold them twice per school year), only 48 percent of parents agree that there are sufficient conferences.

Studer Education partners with five school districts across the United States to complete parent satisfaction surveys in their school district. These districts range in size from 5,950 to 43,000 students served and have between 11 and 80 schools district-wide.  Since 2010, parents having a child or children in K-12 schools in these districts have completed nearly 22,000 surveys (n=21,864). Select overall mean findings (from 5-point Likert scale responses) include:

Highest item mean is 4.53 for “My child’s learning is a high priority at this school.”

Lowest item mean is 3.78 for “The Superintendent of the School District makes decisions that are in the best interest of children and parents of the district.”

Low item means across all districts include “I regularly receive feedback from school staff on how well my child is learning,” “I receive positive phone calls or notes about my child from the school,” and “The Superintendent of the School District is an effective leader,” and “The Superintendent of the School District makes decisions that are in the best interest of children and parents of the district.”

The Studer Education Parent Satisfaction Survey is a 17-item questionnaire evaluating parental satisfaction with the school that their child or children attend. A Likert scale with five categories ranging from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” is provided to evaluate satisfaction. Responses are anonymous.



1 The first 500 “qualified” responses received for each group. “To qualify, Parenting respondents had to have at least 1 child in grades K-5 in a public school. Qualified NEA respondents had to be a public school teacher in grades K-5” (NEA).

National Education Association. April 30, 2012. Survey finds parent-teacher relationships strong—Teachers given grade of “A.” Available online at http://www.nea.org/home/51796.htm.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. To do this we teach teachers and leaders how to get the best student learning results and create results-oriented school cultures. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com to learn more about Studer Education Teacher Development Institutes (TDIs), Leader Development Institutes (LDIs), and Evidence-Based Leadership. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, the recipient of a 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.