This year school districts across Massachusetts are required to use student feedback. Boston Public Schools (BPS), following the recommendation from the State, will garner feedback using student surveys. The student surveys will help to inform an educator’s self-assessment, shape their goal-setting, and/or to demonstrate changes in their practice over time. This represents an opportunity for teachers to gain valuable insight from their students but also poses some challenges; How can a school district set up systems where student surveys are collected both anonymously and accurately, and how can teachers be supported to interpret this data to positively impact their practice?
We, a group of Education Policy Teacher Fellows, have been working to answer these questions with a team that includes BPS district personnel, the Boston Teacher's Union, and Panorama, an organization experienced in design and implementation of student surveys. The outcomes and recommendations of the work at the Teach To Lead summit will be shared with the design and implementation team to help direct how student surveys can be used as a tool to help teachers’ growth.
We believe that looking at student surveys honestly and reflectively will be challenging but powerful for teachers, and we believe that a system can be collaboratively created to support this work that helps teachers and their evaluators to use this data well and improve learning for all students.