In survey, Shawnee Mission patrons express concern with administration’s use of taxpayer dollars, transparency

District patrons and teachers feel technology is being well integrated into learning.
District patrons and teachers feel technology is being well integrated into learning.

A majority of the Shawnee Mission School District patrons who participated in a survey from Ray and Associates as part of the search for a new superintendent say they are satisfied with the quality of education students receive — but they also identified a handful of significant issues where they want the district to make improvement, including responsible use of the taxpayer money it receives and setting a transparent vision for the district’s future.

Among the 15 items in the survey, which was answered by more than 1,650 patrons and teachers, a total of six received responses where more than 50 percent of participants were either neutral or disagreed with the statement.

They were:

  • The district communicates a transparent and compelling vision for the future. (29 percent neutral; 30 percent disagree; 14 percent strongly disagree)
  • The district makes informed decisions based upon research and data. (39 percent neutral; 24 percent disagree; 7 percent strongly disagree)
  • The diverse social and emotional needs of all students are being met. (28 percent neutral; 30 percent disagree; 10 percent strongly disagree)
  • Budget funds are spent responsibly. (33 percent neutral; 30 percent disagree; 15 percent strongly disagree)
  • Teachers are given the opportunity and support to personalize learning plans to best serve their students’ individual needs including both special education and gifted programs. (30 percent neutral; 23 percent disagree; 9 percent strongly disagree)
  • The needs of diverse racial, cultural and socio-economic groups are addressed by the district. (36 percent neutral; 24 percent disagree; 7 percent strongly disagree)

Of those, “budget funds are spent responsibly” and “the district communicates a transparent and compelling vision” had the highest rates of respondents either disagreeing or strongly disagreeing with the statement at 45 and 44 percents, respectively.

The final item in the survey asked participants if they were satisfied, dissatisfied or neutral with the overall quality of education in the district. Fifty-six percent of participants said they were satisfied, with 30 percent neutral and 14 percent dissatisfied.

Among the top performing items were “technology is integrated into student learning” and “facilities are well maintained.”

Slides summarizing responses to the survey, which was administered in September and October, are below:

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