Gallup student poll

For more than 40 years, Gallup Education has provided its expertise, products, and services to school districts across the United States, helping to accelerate student success. Now Gallup has added the voice of America’s youth to the dialogue around how to ensure a positive future for America’s students. The Gallup Student Poll measures student hope for the future, engagement with school, and well-being – factors that have been shown to drive students’ grades, achievement scores, retention, and future employment.”

In case you didn’t think your child was probed enough for information, Gallup has now joined the party with an on-line student  survey about their feelings about the future. They plan to measure 5-12th grade student responses to 20 questions for 10 years. Luckily there is no cost for school districts to participate, and they can get reports of aggregate student responses by grade, school, and district. Yippee.

Gallup pollNote the poll currently has no validity measure (column 4).

The poll is co-sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators and America’s Promise Alliance. APA is an effort born out of the President’s Summit in 1997 which focused on the needs of America’s youth. The President’s Declaration, signed at the summit by Presidents Bush, Carter, Ford, Clinton and Nancy Reagan (additional signatures by GW Bush and Obama have since been added), states:

“Two centuries ago, America was founded on the proposition that just as all people are endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights, citizenship entails undeniable responsibilities. As each of us has the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, each of us has an obligation to give something back to county and community ~ a duty to take responsibility not just for ourselves and our families, but for one another. We owe a debt of service to fulfill the God-given promise of America, and our children.

In this time of opportunity ~ at the dawn of a new century and a new Millennium ~ the need for shared responsibility is self-evident.

The challenges of today, especially those that confront our children, require a special commitment of us all. People of all ages and from all walks of life must claim society’s problems as their own, pulling together, leading by example, and lifting American lives.

Our obligation, distinct and unmistakable, is to assure that all young Americans have

  • Caring adults in their lives, as parents, mentors, tutors, coaches
  • Safe places with structured activities in which to learn and grow
  • A healthy start and healthy future
  • An effective education that equips them with marketable skills
  • An opportunity to give back to their communities through their own service.”

APA now has 380 partners  including ACT, Achieve Inc, CCSSO, NGA, Lumina, KIPP, GSLEN, Foundation for Excellence in Education, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, WestEd, and University of Missouri High School.

The Gallup poll focuses on the five promises of APA this way,

“Hope – the ideas and energy we have for the future

  • Hope drives attendance, credits earned, and GPA of high school students. Hope scores are more robust predictors of college success than are high school GPA, SAT, and ACT scores.

Engagement – the involvement in and enthusiasm for school

  • Engagement distinguishes between high-performing and low-performing schools.

Well-being – how we think about and experience our lives

  • Well-being tells us how our students are doing today and predicts their success in the future.

A list of the 20 questions can be found in their 2014 report.

Gallup 2014

The Survey dates for fall 2015 September 29 – October 30.

In the previous chart, column 7 notes that consent issues still need to be addressed. Your school should be notifying you at the beginning of the school year if they intend to participate in this poll and seeking your consent as the parent for your child to answer the questions.

The usefulness of this survey is questionable at this point given its newness, lack of validity, the fact that it relies on kids self reporting, and kids who know its coming may decide to provide really wacky answers (wink). I certainly hope no district out there would be including any of this data in a teacher’s evaluation or a district climate report at this time.

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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