Survey shows disconnect

Deloitte 2009 Education Survey shows a “disconnect” between what students and parents want from high school and what teachers believe is their responsibility.

Preparing students for college is the primary mission of high school, say 42 percent of low-income parents and 48 percent of low-income students. But teachers’ top priorities are different:

Help students master the subject you teach: 38%
Teach students basic life skills: 30%
Ensure students graduate high school: 10%
Prepare students for success in college: 9%
Ensure students pass required exams: 7%
Prepare students for the workforce: 6%

I’m not surprised that many teachers feel their job is to teach their subject, but look how many put “basic life skills” above preparation for college or graduation.

While 70 percent of students say they “definitely” will attend college, only 27 percent feel “very prepared” to handle college courses.  And that may be an overstatement.

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  1. Maybe because urban kids come in with so few life skills — and teachers there are more realistic than kids/parents about the chances of a kid who doesn’t do a lick of homework completing college.

    I have kids who are mentally retarded — IQ below 80 — who think they are going to college.

  2. I have kids who cannot tell time, will not turn in work so that they’ll pass, cannot add simple numbers without a calculator – but they say they will go to the top colleges in the state.

    There is no possibility that they will be accepted. Their GPA is less than a 2.0. They do not have the courses required to be accepted – but they are going to go there.

    It is a better use of my time and theirs to focus on the life skills they will need.

    If the parents would participate in their education, the outcome could be different now. But they want to abdicate it to the teachers – and we are not miracle workers.

  3. Wait…. Did you even bother to look at the difference of the question that was asked of the parent and what the teacher was asked?

    If you are really free thinking, you would have investigated the study in more depth, but then, maybe you don’t really care other than to bash teachers.

  4. Right with you, Carl. Started to comment here earlier, it turned into a bigger, angry blog post about this terrible, terrible survey.

  5. Of course parents and students say that the goal is to go on to higher education! That ‘seems’ logical. However, to survive and excel in higher ed the student does need life skills. It would be interesting to ask employers “What do you expect when you hire a graduate?” When I talk to employers they tell me that they want self-starters, team players, communicators, problem solvers, critical thinkers. Rather than ‘either/or’ maybe it is ‘and also’ …

  6. Wow, I can not believe that you attached your name to such misleading dreck.The questions do not even correlate across groups. The entire survey is actually meaningless

  7. At my school, a teacher actually sent out an email saying that teaching kids how important a blood drive is is more important than anything academic we teach here.

    School is for academics. Home is for morality.

  8. Maybe it’s mostly semantics, and the gap isn’t so big as this summary makes it sound.

    Students and parents want to be prepared for college, which would mean having skills to handle high-level work and problems that adults face. Teachers want students to have the skills to do high-level work and handle adult problems, which will enable college success. How different is that, really?

  9. Margo/Mom says:

    Regardless of the quality of the particular survey, this is not really new information. Related findings are that kids are less likely to receive information about colleges and how to apply or how to plan ahead in terms of coursework or anything else. I think a good bit of the problem is the lack of consideration of “education for what?” How does the classroom (and the larger school environment) prepare for what comes next? And what does come next? When teachers, parents and students are not discussing these things together in ways that can impact instruction, learning, counseling and experiences we end up with schools thinking their job is one thing and parents and students thinking it is something else.


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