Poll Shows Parents Value, Trust, and Rely on Education Data

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Poll Shows Parents Value, Trust, and Rely on Education Data

National poll results reveal parents’ attitudes toward education data collection and use

WASHINGTON (August 31, 2017) – According to a new national poll, parents of school children value, trust, and rely on publicly reported education data and individual data about their child to make important decisions to help their child succeed.

The poll was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the Data Quality Campaign, a national nonprofit organization, about parent attitudes toward data collection and data use in schools. This is the second year of the poll, which was first conducted in November 2015.

Nearly all parents polled (94 percent) support teachers’ use of data to make sure that students are getting all the support and enrichment they need, up from 90 percent in 2015. Also, 88 percent of parents trust that their child’s school is keeping their child’s data private and secure, an improvement from 81 percent in 2015.

“Parents are hungry for information and want teachers and schools to use a variety of education data to make sure that their children are getting the support and enrichment they need to be successful,” said Aimee Rogstad Guidera, president and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign. “Parents trust and find value in education data, but they still do not have all of the data they need. States should seize the opportunity the Every Student Succeeds Act provides to put actionable data in the hands of parents.”

Key findings from the poll include:

  • Parents value data to support their child’s learning.
    • Nearly everyone polled (91 percent) said they personally rely on tangible data about their child (test scores, grades) to get a full picture of how they are performing so they can support him or her as much as possible at home.
    • Over 9 in 10 of parents welcome information about their child’s social emotional learning.
  • Parents trust educators to use their child’s data appropriately.
    • Ninety-four percent of parents trust teachers to use their academic information to appropriately support their children.
    • The vast majority of parents (95 percent) want their child’s teacher to use data related to their child’s progress in school, such as grades, attendance, and test scores, to help personalize his or her learning experience.
  • Parents rely on public data to make important decisions.
    • Nearly all parents (89 percent) think that a school’s overall performance rating, like a A-F letter grade, helps them make decisions about their child’s education.
    • Parents said they use a variety of public data to assess the quality of a school. The types of data that they use most are teacher and principal qualifications, school safety, availability of options and services, and how well the school prepares students for the future.

The online survey was conducted within the United States between April 7-20, 2017 among 1,212 parents of child(ren) ages 5–17, among which 1,135 are parents with child(ren) ages 5–17 who attend school. The 2015 survey referenced was conducted from November 6-16, 2015 among 1,093 parents of child(ren) ages 5–17.

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Contact: Brittany Mason, bmason@dataqualitycampaign.org, 202-393-4372

About the Data Quality Campaign:
The Data Quality Campaign is a nonprofit policy and advocacy organization leading the effort to bring every part of the education community together to empower educators, families, and policymakers with quality information to make decisions that ensure that students excel. For more information, go to www.dataqualitycampaign.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@EdDataCampaign).