This appendix summarizes surveys of parents in Mt. Pleasant Independent School District during the review, including responses to open-ended questions. The survey results do not necessarily reflect the findings or opinions of the review team or the Comptroller.
During the week beginning October 12, 1998, surveys were mailed directly to the homes of sampled parents using address labels provided by the district.
Each of the surveys were self administered and all those surveyed were asked to return their surveys by October 22, 1998. The deadline was extended, and all surveys received are included in the results. All survey respondents were provided with a postage-paid reply envelope to provide maximum security and allow for candid, confidential responses.
Information requested from those surveyed included rankings of the various areas covered by chapters in this report. Additional space was provided for any other comments that each respondent cared to make. The data included in this appendix includes a portion of the comments and responses to the open- ended questions.
SUMMARY OF DATA
The total amount of responses received from parents surveyed was 68. Over 400 surveys were mailed to parents, and any survey returned due to delivery problems was replaced by another survey mailed to another home.
Of the parents responding, Exhibit C-1 shows the percentage by ethnicity. The percentages closely mirror the student population of the district.
Percentage of Parent Respondents by Ethnicity
Ethnicity Percentage of
Anglo 48% African American 18% Hispanic 30% Other 0 No response 4%
Exhibit C-2 shows the grade levels of the children of the parents responding.
Percentage of Parent Respondents by Grade Level of Their Children
Grades pre-K - K 22% Grades 1-5 38% Grades 6-8 24% Grades 9-12 16%
Some significant findings are as follows:
- Seventy-five percent of the parent respondents felt that learning and education are the main priorities of MPISD. Forty-eight percent felt that the emphasis on learning has increased in the past three years, and 52 percent are satisfied with the education students receive.
- Seventy-two percent felt that MPISD communicates regularly with parents.
- Forty-five percent felt the schools are safe from crime but 43 percent disagreed.
- Only 41 percent of respondents felt the schools handled student behavior and discipline problems effectively while 42 percent did not feel the schools did a good job.
- Respondents felt that parents were involved, with 70 percent agreeing or strongly agreeing with that idea, and 77 percent said that parents make an effort to assist their children with the learning process.
- Parents felt the needs of average, below average, non-college bound, and at-risk students are not being met.
The remainder of this appendix provides survey results by each question for parents.
Mount Pleasant Independent School District
Management and Performance Review
The Texas State Comptroller's office is conducting a management and performance review of the Mount Pleasant Independent School District (MPISD). The three main objectives of the performance review are to (1) enhance educational service delivery through better operating efficiency, (2) identify ways to improve management practices, and (3) identify opportunities for cost savings within district operations.
Input from parents is critical to the management review process; therefore, we would like you to complete the survey instrument and return it via the postage-paid envelope provided no later than October 22, 1998. You can also send the completed survey back to school with your child to put in a box in the front office of their school.
No names are requested on the survey instrument, so your responses will be treated with strict confidence. There are no right or wrong answers; however, your honest responses will ensure that the performance review team understands the opinions of parents in your district.
Please circle the answer that best describes how you feel about the survey question asked. Provide a brief response to questions that require a narrative answer.
- How many years have your children been students in MPISD?
Less than 1 1-3 4-5 5-10 10+ N/R 17% 24% 12% 32% 14% 2%
Anglo African American Hispanic Other N/R 52% 15% 27% 2% 5%
- How many of your children currently attend MPISD school(s) by grades?
Pre K to K 1st - 5th Grade 6th - 8th Grade 9th - 12th Grade 21% 35% 22% 22%
- Why did you select MPISD for your children? (Check all that apply)
Students are often given the grades A, B, C, D, or F to indicate the quality of their work. Please grade the various areas of MPISD shown using the same grading scale.
24% Caring teachers 5% Special Education programs 36% Schools are close to home 15% Extracurricular activities like sports and band 17% We had no choice 79% We live in the district 24% Good academics 0% N/R
- MPISD's school board
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 14% 30% 21% 8% 6% 20% 2%
- Superintendent of MPISD
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 18% 23% 17% 8% 12% 20% 3%
- Campus-level administrators in MPISD
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 18% 39% 14% 8% 3% 17% 2%
- Teachers in MPISD
Now, please indicate if you strongly agree, agree, have no opinion, disagree, or strongly disagree with the following statements.
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 35% 33% 17% 3% 3% 8% 2%
- Learning and education are the main priorities in MPISD
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 12% 64% 3% 20% 2% 0%
- Central administrative operations are cost effective and efficient
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 11% 29% 41% 17% 3% 0%
- Central administration does a good job of supporting the MPISD educational process
Going back to the grading scale, A, B, C, D, or F, please tell us how you rate the effectiveness of the following MPISD programs:
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 9% 36% 32% 20% 3% 0%
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 33% 38% 12% 5% 3% 8% 2%
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 35% 41% 11% 0% 3% 9% 2%
- English or Language Arts
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 39% 36% 14% 2% 0% 8% 2%
- Computer Instruction
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 36% 24% 15% 6% 3% 14% 2%
- Social Studies (History, Geography, etc.)
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 38% 29% 14% 3% 2% 14% 2%
- Fine Arts
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 26% 32% 14% 6% 0% 21% 2%
- Physical Education
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 32% 36% 9% 5% 2% 15% 2%
- Business Education
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 17% 20% 11% 3% 0% 48% 2%
- Vocational (Career and Technology) Education
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 14% 20% 8% 2% 0% 56% 2%
- Foreign Languages
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 26% 23% 12% 2% 11% 26% 2%
- Library Services
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 47% 27% 8% 2% 2% 14% 2%
- Honors/Gifted and Talented
Please indicate if you strongly agree, agree, have no opinion, disagree, or strongly disagree with the following statements.
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 30% 12% 18% 5% 2% 32% 2%
- MPISD regularly communicates with parents
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 24% 45% 9% 17% 5% 0%
- An effective line of communication exists between parents, central administration, and schools
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 14% 38% 23% 20% 6% 0%
- Emphasis on learning has increased in the district in the past three years
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 12% 36% 26% 20% 6% 0%
- MPISD schools are safe from crime and provide a secure learning environment
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 9% 33% 14% 30% 14% 0%
- Schools effectively handle behavioral problems and provide proper discipline
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 8% 33% 15% 26% 18% 0%
- Teachers are knowledgeable in the subject areas they teach
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 11% 70% 9% 8% 2% 2%
- Teachers care about the educational needs of the students in MPISD
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 15% 61% 11% 9% 3% 2%
- Principals and assistant principals actively work to meet students' needs
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 15% 50% 17% 14% 5% 0%
- Parents are involved in school activities
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 9% 59% 12% 18% 2% 0%
- Parents make an effort to assist their children in the learning process
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 18% 55% 17% 9% 2% 0%
- Parents are satisfied with the education students receive in MPISD
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being least effective and 10 being most effective, please rate how the needs of the following are being met.
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree N/R 11% 42% 23% 15% 9% 0%
- Academically-advanced students
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 5% 8% 5% 5% 21 8% 11% 18% 6% 11% 5%
- Average students
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 6% 2% 6% 6% 26% 12% 14% 6% 6% 14% 3%
- Below average students
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 9% 8% 8% 8% 18% 11% 12% 6% 5% 11% 6%
- Non-college bound students
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 9% 0% 9% 12% 18% 8% 11% 8% 3% 8% 15%
- Students at risk of dropping out of school
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 17% 6% 12% 11% 8% 11% 11% 6% 5% 6% 9%
- Students with learning disabilities
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 11% 5% 3% 11% 15% 9% 9% 9% 9% 12% 8%
- Students with physical disabilities
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 11% 6% 3% 8% 14% 9% 9% 11% 8% 14% 9%
- In what ways could the MPISD operate more efficiently? Attach additional sheets if necessary.Again, using the grading system, please rate the combined efficiency and effectiveness of each of the following districtwide services:
- Instructional services
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 17% 29% 21% 3% 27% 3% 0%
- Maintenance services
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 17% 32% 15% 12% 21% 3% 0%
- Custodial services
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 21% 39% 17% 8% 15% 0% 0%
- Transportation services
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 29% 30% 12% 9% 18% 2% 0%
- Personnel services
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 21% 32% 17% 5% 24% 2% 0%
- Food services
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 21% 33% 18% 12% 11% 5% 0%
- Financial services
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 14% 29% 14% 5% 38% 2% 0%
- Staff development
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 15% 26% 20% 3% 33% 3% 0%
- Management Information/Computer Services
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 15% 35% 11% 8% 29% 3% 0%
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 14% 24% 11% 6% 44% 2% 0%
- Planning and Budgeting
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 9% 23% 17% 6% 41% 5% 0%
- Overall operations of MPISD
The next few questions relate to MPISD's school bus and transportation services. Using a scale of 1 to 10, please rate the efficiency of each aspect of the transportation functions with 1 being least efficient and 10 being the most efficient.
A B C D F Don't Know N/R 14% 26% 21% 9% 26% 5% 0%
- Timeliness of your child's driver
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 2% 0% 8% 3% 11% 3% 3% 9% 6% 21% 35%
- Courteousness of your child's driver
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 9% 2% 11% 2% 8% 3% 3% 2% 8% 18% 36%
- Bus cleanliness
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 5% 2% 5% 5% 9% 12% 3% 5% 8% 14% 35%
- Frequency of mechanical failure on your child's bus
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 8% 2% 0% 2% 2% 6% 8% 5% 11% 18% 41%
- Convenience of the bus stop to your house
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 8% 2% 2% 2% 8% 2% 3% 3% 8% 30% 35%
- Discipline on your child's school bus
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 N/R 6% 2% 3% 3% 8% 8% 3% 3% 5% 27% 33%
- The remainder of this page has been left blank for you to write down any additional comments, suggestions, or complaints about MPISD. Attach additional sheets if necessary.
This survey wasn't designed properly. You had positive answers on left-hand (page 1 - 4) then switched to right (page 5) back to left (page 6) and finally on right (page 7). I am working on Masters in Business and I nearly missed the switch on last page. This should have been more simple for majority of parents.
My child's bus driver drives way too fast. On cold, rainy days she doesn't even slow down if your child is not standing on the road. She's so bad that we've been sitting in the driveway in a pickup and she didn't think my child got out of the truck fast enough and drove off. My child has asthma and she can't be left in the cold.
My two daughters have told me many times that the bus driver always takes off before they have time to sit down, which sometimes makes them fall down. I think he could wait until every child is seated before the bus moves.
My son's bus driver always waits for him to be seated before she takes off.
There have been many times things happen on my daughter's bus that she reports and nothing is done about it!
We do not ride the bus we think the buses are unsafe.
Get a new superintendent, someone from the outside who won't play favorites.
Everything is fine, just more help on drugs, sex and how to stay away from this. They need people so they go in schools and talk about this.
I would like to congratulate everyone at MPISD because of the low rate of violence in the school system, but also would like to make a recommendation. Security at the high school should be improved! Nobody checks any identification and they release kids to people who are not listed as parents or relatives on their records. This should not be permitted.
Lack of money is a problem for most school districts. I understand this. But, the district needs more aides to help with classes, especially special classes. The younger students (3rd & 4th) get no break except for lunch each day. This isn't enough time for young children to play. The teachers have two conference periods, but the children have only 15 minutes each day. Does that make sense? I am not sure my children are challenged to their fullest because their teachers have to deal with the slow learners and discipline problems throughout the day.
Ideally, I would like to see the children grouped according to their ability. The huge influx of Hispanics has shocked many parents who question where MPISD is headed. We have lost Anglo students to Chapel Hill ISD or Harts Bluff because of this. I really want to keep my children in MPISD, but I need to be assured that they will be challenged and that adequate and effective curriculum will be in place for them at every grade level. I need to be assured that they will be safe too.
It is especially important for children to have at least one friend in class when they start school. It helps them emotionally and mentally. If a parent requests a teacher, then it should be honored.
At the 3rd and 4th grade campus, a child can have anywhere from five to eight different teachers. They are too young to have that many instructors - one each for: Language Arts/Reading; Math/Social Studies; Music; PE; Art; GT; Library; Spanish; Enrichment
Don't understand why there is such an overwhelming need for so many substitute teachers. Why aren't the teachers staying in the classroom with their students? There are always teachers out for some kind of workshop, training, convention, etc. Why are they not left alone for a year or so to stay in the classroom? Maybe a workshop every six months or so? This is very disruptive for students also.
The teachers have been told not to tell the Texas Education agency (TEA) anything negative when they talk to them. This type of instruction is not a new thing in the administration system of intimidation of the teachers. They did the same thing under the last superintendent. All of this is just "business as usual."
It has never been an option for my child to ride a bus. We live close to a school but the bus stop is not close. Transportation from school and to school in the after school hours is non-negotiable according to our bus system.
Field trips for our children are few to none because the school or teachers are required to "pay" for the buses.
Stop serving our children cold food!
I feel that there is a need in MPISD for a more effective leadership in the Superintendent's position. It seems that the current administration takes "knee-jerk" reactions to problems rather than doing what is best for students in the long run. Once quality administrators are put in place, the school board and community need to support decisions made for the district's overall wellness.
There are programs for the Gifted/Talented (G/T) child, there are programs for the lower child, the average to high child is being left out and forgotten.
Special Education needs a life skills class on the age appropriate junior high campus.
The high school Special Education class needs to be re-evaluated - too many levels in one class.
They need to have the right to punish the student by spanking or whatever is needed in order to get control of the student or problem with them. Even in Head Start. Maybe they could even have a condition set in place with the parent. An understanding on the type of punishment that fits their problem.
A general lack of discipline at the high school makes for a very stressful and unproductive learning environment, especially for the above-average student, who really wishes to excel. Some teachers seem to have absolutely zero control over their students, some teachers don't seem to care.
Overall, I believe MPISD is a good district. A few problems exist that need more attention. The teachers in this district are caring and giving and they have the most contact with my children and therefore a good influence.
MPISD concentrates too many resources toward Texas Assessment Academic Skills (TAAS) objectives. This is a minimal skills test. I would like to see our district raise its expectations of our students beyond the attainment of minimal skills. We should not settle for having our kids labeled mediocre at best.
The school board is not representing the majority of the district. They are yes men for a superintendent who should have never been hired. It's time to give the job to another candidate who cares about children, parents and teachers. He's not afraid to get things done. There are some excellent teachers in our district and my children have been fortunate to have some of them. Unfortunately, some good teachers can't effectively do their jobs because of lack of discipline and too many different levels of students in their classrooms.
My child drives to school.
The school counselor is rude!
Teachers have always worked with me to help my children.
MPISD needs stronger discipline in certain areas.
Bus drivers drive too fast.
Teachers do not have the control they need.
The questionnaire will be skewed to a WASP upper economic viewpoint by the nature of its request. Also, the easiest response to areas of concern is to blame the leadership without factoring in the inherent deficiencies in any system of public education. The biggest concern of mine is that one subject, the most important subject, is not being taught at all; discipline, both self and imposed.
If you are in the junior high and if you are not on the A Team you are [not treated equally]. So, you ride the worst bus, stay out in the cold waiting on the A Team to finish, miss your Homecoming to hurry up and get out of cold in Mt. Pleasant, but sit in cold if you play Paris. B Team leaves straight from school - A Team doesn't - B Team sits in cold while A Team sits on the bus. Kids are not stupid. Things get stolen, which is stupid.
My son is in the Head Start program and I do work at the school when I can. But I've seen some of the teachers not be as patient and caring as they should be. And that concerns me as a mother. My mother has also noticed this. Teachers should want to teach and not just do it because it's a job. My child's wellbeing is most important to me.
Thank you for your participation. If you have additional comments, and would like to provide more input directly to the Comptroller's office, you may call 1-800-531-5441, extension 5-3676.