Do you think schools are helping your children to become "enthusiastic" about learning? That’s one of the questions the Clark County School District asked parents, teachers and students in their annual "customer satisfaction" survey. Almost 79% of the parents said yes, while 61% of the teachers agreed. Only 35.5% of the kids thought their classmates were "enthusiastic". As you might expect, the district gave themselves a big pat on the back by averaging all that out to 61%, even though the students made up 4/5 of the respondents – and kids obviously define "enthusiasm" far differently than do their parents.
Our overly large school district conducts a similar survey every year and, while I’ve never seen a question about enthusiasm in the classroom, some are still pretty silly. But a "customer satisfaction" survey by a school system really isn’t that much different than one by a trade association, company or other government agency. It can be an honest attempt to find out how the community feels – or it can be just one more public relations tool to put a good face on the problems.