Need More Ways to Communicate With Teachers, Survey Says
EPIC-MRA Survey for Your Child, May 3, 2004
For more articles like this
LANSING, Mich.--Michigan parents
are very involved in their child’s school (95%), but time and
work constraints are limiting their contact with teachers and
their participation in the classroom—the frontline of education.
Only 34 percent are able to
regularly communicate with their child’s teacher and most often
it is done by phone (30%) or at the parent-teacher conference
According to the survey of 1,000
parents and primary caregivers, nearly two-thirds do not
communicate regularly with their child’s teacher and only about
one in five (22%) communicate in person. The survey was done by
EPIC-MRA for a new group called Your Child, a coalition of
family and education organizations.
“Parents want to be effective
communicators with their child’s teacher,” said Donna Oser,
Michigan PTSA administrative director and member of Your Child.
“But with busy schedules and limited access to teachers it is
difficult. We need to find a way to work together.”
The data show, however, that the
foundation for better communication is strong:
Parents believe they should be a
part of the classroom education (90%). They also believe more
communication is the best way to encourage more parental
Parents believe they should
participate in planning the curriculum and policy for the
Schools must work to expand their
communication because most of parent time is on homework help
(41%), attending sports (18%) and other activities (11%) and
Although, behavior is the top
reason parents talk to teachers (27%). Parents see the biggest
issue facing the schools is funding (25%). They also believe
schools need smaller class sizes to improve the learning
environment for students (19%).
Parents seek out information on
parenting (67%) but aren’t getting it from their schools or
teachers (only 16%).
Parents believe teachers should
discipline students and teach them right from wrong (80%).
The survey was conducted by EPIC-MRA
April 5-22 for a new group called Your Child. It has a margin of
error of plus or minus 3.1-percent.
The data is the second of three releases planned this month and
next by the newly formed group called Your Child. The group
consists of the The Michigan Federation of Teachers & School
Related Personnel (MFT&SRP), the Michigan PTSA, the Michigan
Education Association (MEA) the Middle Cities Education
Association, the Michigan Association of Secondary School
Principals, the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals
Association, the Michigan Association of School Administrators,
Michigan’s Children, the Department of Human Services, the
Wisconsin Education Association Council, and Cyberstate.
Next week Your Child will release the views of both
teachers and parents on parenting and social issues that impact
student learning and school success.
Who is most involved and
When asked how often are you communicating with your child’s
teacher 35% of all parents said they communicated at least once
Single parents 47%
HH Income under $45,000 44%
Parents 40 and younger 46%
Detroit City 46%
African Americans 48%
Private/Parochial schools 54%
Charter Schools 56%
claims most involved in children’s education?
All parents very involved 76%
Public School 75%
Detroit City 81%
Northern Michigan 87%
Under age 40 85%
Single Parents 81%
College educated 84%
Click here to view the data
Click here to
view the questionnaire (PDF; size=302k).
Contact: Ed Sarpolus, EPIC-MRA
517-331-3313; Beth Thoreson, MFT-SRP,
313-393-2200; Donna Oser, MPTSA,
517-485-4345 or cell 517-420-7637;
Margaret Trimer-Hartley, MEA 517-337-5508
back to the top ~
back to Breaking News
~ back to