Early Release Wednesday Should Be Abolished According To Recent Parents for Pinellas Students (P4PS) Survey
The Voice of Parents for Pinellas Students (P4PS) released the results of a survey today conducted in July 2012 by dewey & associates, a Tampa Bay management and strategy consulting practice. The survey canvassed parent and non-parent taxpayers in Pinellas County on key education issues.
P4PS, a collaboration between the Pinellas County Council of Parent Teacher Associations and the Pinellas Education Foundation, was created to give parents a voice in Pinellas County public education. One goal of the initiative is to survey parents periodically on education issues and present the findings to the community and school administration.
In the July survey, more than 1,600 responses were recorded online. The questions asked were based off of several parent focus groups held.
“It is important to note, these survey results and analysis do not necessarily represent the positions or viewpoints of the PCCPTA nor the Pinellas Education Foundation,” stated Dewey Caruthers, president of dewey & associates. “Very simply, these results represent the voice of parents and other taxpayers in Pinellas County.”
In summary, parents with children currently in Pinellas schools, parents with children formerly in Pinellas, and other taxpayers responded to the survey by saying they want to:
· Abolish early release Wednesday
· Decrease money spent on non-classroom operations and increase teacher salaries
· Do more to reward high-performing teachers and to remove under-performing teachers
· Have all parents who choose to send their children to elective schools outside their zoned areas pay for transportation
· Based on parents’ experiences with their child(ren)’s teachers, they do not believe nearly 99% of all teachers are performing ‘satisfactory or above’ (in 2010-2011, nearly 99% of all teachers in Pinellas County Schools received a ‘satisfactory or above’ performance rating)
· Parents and other taxpayers want to give school board a letter grade (A-F) on their performance
· Middle-school and high-school students should not ride the same bus.
“Thank you to the Pinellas County Council of PTAs and the Pinellas Education Foundation for their efforts on behalf of families,” said Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Dr. John Stewart. “They have presented us with a lot of valuable information that we certainly will review as we make plans going forward.”
President of the PCCPTA Mary Bartholf stated, “Giving parents a voice is vital for the success of our children and district. We hope that the school administration not only listens, but acts on what they learn from parents. For example, look at Early Release Wednesday, a policy created in 2009 that did not give consideration to the input from parents about the negative impact on their children, their employment, and their family unit. Parents and other taxpayers have now spoken twice. In April, they said they opposed it. Now, they are saying abolish it.”
The results of the survey will be presented to the school board and administration.
A full report is available at www.voiceofp4ps.org. Any Pinellas resident can sign up to receive more information and notification when surveys are open.
P4PS is a campaign that gives parents a voice in Pinellas County public education. P4PS is sponsored by the PCCPTA and the Pinellas Education Foundation. P4PS surveys parents and other taxpayers on topical education issues in Pinellas County. The results are shared with the community and the school district, including the superintendent and school board.The P4PS campaign was developed to engage parents as partners to improve public education, starting with giving them a voice. Major decisions made in Pinellas County public education should include the voices of parents and other taxpayers. P4PS believes that students need the voice of engaged parents and communities to ensure their education prepares them for a productive and satisfying future whether the choice is to attend college, enter the workforce or obtain technical training suited to their career interests.