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Appendix B
PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY RESULTS
Introduction/Survey Questions - Part 1
Survey Questions - Part 2
Survey Questions - Part 3
Survey Questions - Part 4
Survey Questions - Part 5

PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY RESULTS
Dallas Independent School District Management and Performance Review
Dallas Citizenry
(n=1,223)

INTRODUCTION

The public opinion telephone survey was designed to collect perceptions and opinions from a representative sample of residents living in the area served by the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), including parents and non-parents as well as all ethnic/racial groups. The survey measured community perceptions of:

  • The quality of education and related changes over time;
  • School district administrators, principals, teachers, and school board members;
  • The district's operational efficiency;
  • The major issues facing the district; and
  • Profile of community opinions of the school district.

The following comments convey the community's perception of Dallas Independent School District and do not reflect the findings or opinion of the Comptroller or review team. These are the actual comments received for each focus area.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY

The 2000-01 DISD public opinion telephone survey gathered information from a representative sample of residents of the DISD community on their views and opinions of DISD. NuStats of Austin, Texas designed the procedures and performed all research tasks on the study. Trained interviewers employed by the NuStats data collection center conducted all the interviews. A total of 1,223 residents of the DISD service area were interviewed between December 20, 2000 and January 14, 2001.

Sampling

NuStats generated a random sample of numbers from all active residential telephone exchanges in the DISD service area. The telephone numbers were expected to be in the specific zip codes covered by DISD. The distribution of the sample was proportional to the population in the service area. The zip codes were as follows:

75001, 75006, 75007, 75149, 75159, 75180, 75201, 75202, 75203, 75204, 75205,
75206, 75207, 75208, 75209, 75210, 75211, 75212, 75214, 75215, 75216, 75217,
75218, 75219, 75220, 75223, 75224, 75225, 75226, 75227, 75228, 75229, 75230,
75231, 75232, 75233, 75234, 75235, 75237, 75238, 75239, 75240, 75241, 75244,
75246, 75247, 75248, 75253.
A total of 1,223 interviews were completed from this sample. A sample of this size permits inferences to be made at a 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent. The following Exhibit B-1 presents the actual number of completed interviews and corresponding percentage by race/ethnic group and DISD parental status. DISD parents were defined as a respondent having a least one child in DISD, and Non DISD parents were defined as respondents living in DISD either without children or whose children were not enrolled in DISD.

Exhibit B-1
DISD Community Public Opinion Survey Respondents
(Completed Interviews by Race/Ethnicity and DISD Parental Status)
Race/Ethnic Group Number Percent
White/Anglo 506 41.4%
African American 271 22.2%
Hispanic 402 32.9%
Asian 9 0.7%
Other 20 1.6%
Don't Know/ Refused 15 1.2%
TOTAL 1,223 100%
Parental Status Number Percent
Parent of DISD student 370 30.3%
Not parent of DISD student 853 69.7%
TOTAL 1,223 100%

Questionnaire Design

The standardized Texas School Performance Review general population survey instrument provided by the Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts was tailored for the Dallas ISD questionnaire. A Spanish-language version was also available for Spanish-speaking respondents. A copy of the DISD questionnaire and tabulated results are provided later in this report.

Trained bilingual interviewers conducted the telephone interviews between December 20, 2000 and January 14, 2001 from the central telephone interviewing center of NuStats. Weekday interviewing hours were from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Each sampled telephone number received up to three callbacks to maximize the response rate and reduce non-response bias. The average interview length was 12 minutes.

NuStats staff edited, coded and entered all survey data into a computer readable format. A frequency distribution of all survey questions was used in the construction of the results in this report. Some results were examined by key variables such as race/ethnic group, and those findings are described in this report.

The survey focused on quality of education, perceptions of DISD administrators, perceptions of school safety and facilities, parental involvement, community involvement, educational needs of students and transportation concerns. Of the 1,223 respondents who completed the telephone interview, 367 had children enrolled in DISD schools, 64 in private schools and three in both private and DISD schools. A majority of these respondents (263) had children enrolled in elementary school; others had children in middle school (101) and high school (118). Some of these respondents had children enrolled in multiple schools including them in more than one of the aforementioned categories.

Eighty-two percent of those who participated in the survey have lived in the Dallas ISD community for three or more years. The educational level of the respondents varied, with a majority attending or graduating from college (Exhibit B-2). Six percent of these respondents are attending an academic institution either part-time or full-time.

Exhibit B-2
Highest Level of Formal Education Completed by Respondents
Respondents' Highest Level of
Formal Education
Percent
Less than High School 23.5
High school graduate 23.5
One to three years college 22.6
College degree or higher 30.4

Over one-half (56 percent) reported they were employed full-time, with an additional seven percent employed part time. When asked about their spouse or partner's employment status, 67 percent reported that their spouse or partner was employed full-time and four percent were employed part-time. Forty-five percent of these respondents indicated they earned $35,000 or more in 1999 and over one-half (54 percent) owned their home. Forty-three percent reported that they rented.

Additionally, respondents were asked about their age, gender and race/ethnic group:

  • More than one-half of the respondents (54%) reported they were in the 25 to 49 age range.
  • Sixty-four percent of the respondents were female.
  • A majority of DISD respondent parents reported they were Hispanic (Exhibit B-3).

Exhibit B-3
DISD and Non-DISD Respondent Parents by Race/Ethnic Group
Race/Ethnic Group Percent of
DISD
Parents
Percent of
Non-DISD
Parents
Anglo 15.4 52.6
African American 22.7 21.9
Hispanic 59.7 21.2
Asian 0.3 0.9
Other 1.4 1.8
Don't Know/Refused 0.5 1.5

Quality of Education

A majority of respondent remarks were positive when questioned about the quality of education their child has received through DISD:

  • Over 68 percent at the elementary level, 66 percent at the middle school level and 63 percent at the high school level reported the quality of education their child received was "excellent to good."
  • Hispanics provided the highest rating at all levels with 75 percent at the elementary level, 70 percent at the middle school level and 71 percent at the high school level rating education as "excellent to good." The distribution of ratings by race/ethnic group for the elementary, middle school and high school level are presented in Exhibits B-4, B-5 and B-6.

Exhibit B-4
Ratings of Educational Quality in Dallas ISD Elementary School
by Race/Ethnic Group
Educational
Quality Rating
Percent
Anglo
Percent
African American
Percent
Hispanic
Excellent 12.1 18.2 22.8
Good 51.5 36.4 52.7
Fair 24.2 40.0 22.2
Poor 12.1 5.5 2.4
Survey Question: "How would you rate the quality of education your child receives through a Dallas ISD Elementary school?"
Note: Percent totals may not equal to 100 due to rounding.

Exhibit B-5
Ratings of Educational Quality in Dallas ISD Middle Schools
by Race/Ethnic Group
Educational
Quality Rating
Percent
Anglo
Percent
African American
Percent
Hispanic
Excellent 5.3 6.3 20.3
Good 68.4 37.5 50.0
Fair 21.1 43.8 25.0
Poor 5.3 12.0 4.7
Survey Question: "How would you rate the quality of education your child receives through a Dallas ISD middle school?"
Note: Percent totals may not equal to100 due to rounding.

Exhibit B-6
Ratings of Educational Quality in
Dallas ISD High Schools by Race/Ethnic Group
Educational
Quality Rating
Percent
Anglo
Percent
African American
Percent
Hispanic
Excellent 19.2 11.9 10.9
Good 61.5 26.2 63.0
Fair 0.0 45.2 19.6
Poor 19.2 16.7 6.5
Survey Question: "How would you rate the quality of education your child receives through a Dallas ISD High School?"
Note: Percent totals may not equal to 100 due to rounding.

The respondent group was divided in half with 49.7 percent reporting that they knew of programs and services offered by Dallas ISD either from their own experiences or the experiences of others, and the other half reporting that they knew nothing about the programs and services provided by DISD.

A second question was posed to those stating they knew nothing about the Dallas ISD programs and services. Respondents were then asked how much they knew about DISD from newspapers, television, neighbors and friends. Approximately 16 percent indicated that they knew "a lot" or "a little" about the DISD programs and services from these sources.

Exhibit B-7 gives the percentage of respondents by race/ethnic group in correlation to their amount of knowledge about the DISD programs and services. Hispanic respondents indicated they had the least amount of information compared to other race/ethnic groups.

Exhibit B-7
Respondent Knowledge of DISD Programs and Services
Through Direct Experience by Race/Ethnic Group
Respondent Knowledge of DISD Programs and Services Percent
Anglo
Percent
African American
Percent
Hispanic
A lot 18.3 19.1 5.2
A little 38.4 41.6 28.9
Nothing 43.3 39.3 65.8
Survey Question: "How much do you know about the programs and services provided by Dallas ISD from your own experience or the experience of others?"
Note: Percent totals may not equal 100 due to rounding.

Respondents who said that they knew about DISD programs and services gave a mixed review of the overall quality of education in DISD:

  • Approximately one-third (35 percent) rated the quality of public education as excellent to good, more than one-third (38 percent) rated the quality as fair and over one-quarter (27 percent) rated the quality as poor.
  • Twenty-five percent reported the quality had improved over the past three years, while 45 percent said that it remained the same.

Perceptions of Administration

Respondents who had heard of DISD programs and services evaluated board members' knowledge of education needs and provided an overall evaluation of the performance of the school board. In addition, the interviewers specifically asked about the performance of top administrators. The ratings are provided for each of the questions in Exhibit B-8. Exhibits B-9 through B-14 provide the ratings for each of the survey questions by race/ethnic groups and DISD/Non-DISD parent groups. DISD parents were defined as a respondent having a least one child in DISD, and Non-DISD parents were defined as respondents living in DISD either without children or whose children were not enrolled in DISD.

Exhibit B-8
Respondent Ratings of DISD School Board and Top Administrators
Survey Question Rating DISD
School Board Knowledge
Percent
Grade A
Percent
Grade B
Percent
Grade
C
Percent
Grade D
Percent
Grade F
In general, what grade would you give the Dallas ISD school board members' knowledge of the educational needs of students within Dallas ISD? Would you give the school board a... 8.4 20.0 27.0 21.6 23.0
Overall, would you rate the performance of the current board as: 6.7 18.7 27.5 20.2 26.9
What about the overall performance of top administrators below the superintendent? Would you give them a ... 9.0 22.0 31.9 21.0 16.1

Exhibit B-9
Ratings of Dallas ISD School Board Members' Knowledge of
the Educational Needs by DISD/Non-DISD Respondent Parents
Rating Scale Percent
DISD Parents
Percent
Non-DISD Parents
Grade A 17.4 1.8
Grade B 28.8 8.8
Grade C 26.3 33.3
Grade D 12.3 26.3
Grade F 15.3 29.8
Survey Question: "In general, what grade would you give the Dallas ISD school board members' knowledge of the educational needs of students within Dallas ISD?"
Note: Percent may not total to 100 due to rounding.

Exhibit B-10
Ratings of Dallas ISD School Board Members' Knowledge of
the Educational Needs by Race/Ethnic Group
Grade Assigned
DISD School Board Members'
Knowledge of Student Educational Needs
Percent
Anglo
Percent
African American
Percent
Hispanic
Grade A 2.8 9.9 19.9
Grade B 12.6 22.7 34.0
Grade C 25.2 34.3 22.0
Grade D 29.5 17.1 7.1
Grade F 29.8 16.0 17.0
Survey Question: "In general, what grade would you give the Dallas ISD school board members' knowledge of the educational needs of students within Dallas ISD?"
Note: Percent may not total to 100 due to rounding.

Exhibit B-11
Overall Performance Ratings
of the Current Board by
DISD/Non-DISD Parents
Rating Scale Percent
DISD Parents
Percent
Non DISD Parents
Grade A 15.0 0.0
Grade B 26.6 9.1
Grade C 30.9 21.8
Grade D 12.0 29.1
Grade F 15.5 40.0
Survey Question: "Overall, would you rate the performance of the current board as..."

Exhibit B-12
Overall Performance Ratings
of the Current Board by
Race/Ethnic Group
Rating Scale Percent
Anglo
Percent
African American
Percent
Hispanic
Grade A 0.6 6.2 21.3
Grade B 11.5 22.6 31.9
Grade C 24.9 36.2 24.1
Grade D 25.9 18.1 7.8
Grade F 37.1 16.9 14.9
Survey Question: "Overall, would you rate the performance of the current board as..."

Exhibit B-13
Overall Performance Ratings of Top Administrators by DISD/Non-DISD Parents
Rating Scale Percent
DISD Parents
Percent
Non DISD Parents
Grade A 19.6 0.0
Grade B 26.1 14.8
Grade C 27.8 33.3
Grade D 15.7 24.1
Grade F 10.9 27.8

Survey Question: "What about the overall performance of top administrators below the superintendent?"