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How do you stack up when it comes to school climate?

A common question I hear from clients is: “How do we stack up?”

While every school district is unique, being able to compare your performance to others inspires new approaches and highlights areas of critical need.

With this in mind, our research team recently conducted the first in a series of benchmarking studies aimed at helping districts understand how their performance compares to other school systems.

The first study, which focuses on the critical issue of school climate and quality, asked parents, students, and staff members to rate their district in five major categories: academic support, student support, school leadership, family involvement, and safety and behavior. The results give participating districts the chance to compare their stakeholders’ perceptions with those of other communities in school districts throughout the country.

Since releasing the School Quality Survey Benchmarking Study report earlier this summer, we’ve already heard from some of the leaders in participating school districts. They’ve told us that the data we shared has helped them set new priorities for the upcoming school year. The hope is that by releasing our results to the public, other school leaders will be able to note trends and insights from their own work.

For more on the results of this study, check out our school climate infographic at the bottom of this post.

We’re excited to unveil the other three studies in this initial series — employee engagement, student engagement, and special education satisfaction — in the coming months.

But what we’re most excited about is the future of our benchmarking work. As an admitted data geek, and a former school district director of research, I know how powerful comprehensive benchmarking studies can be in shaping priorities and inspiring innovation.

I also know that for benchmarking studies to have real impact, they need enthusiastic participants. That’s where you come in.

As we plan our next set of benchmarking studies, we’re looking for more school districts to help make our data richer and more comprehensive. This is an opportunity to be on the ground floor of a set of studies that we hope will inform the national dialogue on important issues like school climate, classroom performance and pedagogy, and school choice and market share.

It’s also an opportunity for you to compare your district with districts of similar size, demographics, and geographic locations. Don’t worry, including benchmarking data into your current survey work is easy — we’ll do all the heavy lifting.

As we embark on a new benchmarking series, we hope you’ll consider joining us.

How do you stack up? There’s only one way to find out.

If you’re a current K12 Insight client interested in joining our benchmarking study, please reach out to your Strategic Account Executive for more information. If you’re not currently a client, but want to know more about our work and our benchmark study, feel free to email me at stephan.knobloch@k12insight.com. I look forward to our conversation.

Download our School Quality Benchmark Study report here.

benchmark-infographic

About the Author

Stephan Knobloch
Dr. Stephan Knobloch was formerly director of research for Loudoun County Public Schools. He is currently chief learning officer at K12 Insight.

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