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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Customer Satisfaction Survey

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
March 9, 2012

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In November 2011, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) hired the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts to conduct a reprise of a customer satisfaction survey originally conducted in 2009. The survey gauged perceptions about the agency's services from three of our key constituencies: superintendents, principals, and charter school leaders.

I am pleased to report that ESE has made substantial strides in improving customer satisfaction over the last two years. The attached reports provide an overall look at the results and details on responses from each of the three groups surveyed. Highlights are summarized below.

  • The majority of respondents somewhat or strongly agreed that ESE had articulated a clear vision for educational improvement in Massachusetts, and most felt that ESE's apparent level of commitment to its six major goals was moderate or high.

  • All three groups rated us as less compliance-oriented in 2011 than in 2009, though the rate of change varied by group.

    Percent rating us in the bottom three points on a nine-point scale from predominantly compliance to predominantly assistance.
     SuperintendentsPrincipalsCS leaders
     200920112009201120092011
    To what extent has ESE's contact with your district focused on ensuring compliance as opposed to providing assistance?77.9%64.2%57.8%52.0%78.6%72.2%

  • We achieved statistically significant improvements in ESE engagement with districts and overall perceptions of quality among superintendents and principals.

    Percent that somewhat or strongly agreed with the following statements.
     SuperintendentsPrincipals
     2009201120092011
    ESE provides effective support for educational improvement in my district (school)32.6%58.7%41.9%49.6%
    ESE focuses on enhancing my district's ability to support curriculum and instruction (enhancing the quality of C&I)24.7%58.9%64.6%77.4%
    ESE offers my district (school) a chance to provide input regarding policy and program development46.4%64.2%37.2%57.3%
    ESE is effective in its efforts to improve the overall quality of public K-12 education41.7%60.0%58.4%64.1%

  • We received high marks for customer service.

    • 94.7% of superintendents, 90.0% of principals, and 86.1% of charter school leaders somewhat or strongly agreed that "ESE responds to inquiries in a professional and courteous manner."
    • 82.5% of superintendents, 80.0% of principals, and 75.0% of charter school leaders somewhat or strongly agreed that "ESE communicated proactively when there are important policy or regulatory changes."

  • Most ESE services were rated fair on a scale of excellent / good / fair / poor, typically with about 40% to 50% of respondents choosing that option.

    • Services rated: curriculum, instruction, and assessment; educator effectiveness; support for district and school improvement; student support services.
    • Superintendents and principals noted significant improvements in the quality of services for curriculum and instruction and coordination of the accountability system, though levels of satisfaction were still lower than desirable.

  • Some perceptions differed across groups of respondents.

    • Principals were consistently more positive about ESE services than superintendents were, and they were also more likely to show statistically significant improvements in their ratings of our quality.
    • Respondents from Level 3 and 4 districts were more likely to say that ESE provides effective support for educational improvement, as compared to respondents from Level 1 and 2 districts. They also rated ESE more favorably on the compliance-assistance scale.
    • Charter school leaders showed almost no statistically significant changes over the prior survey and were generally a little less positive about ESE overall.

Survey response rates:

  • Superintendents: 189 responses, 71.3% response rate
  • Principals: 822 responses, 48.8% response rate
  • Charter school leaders: 40 responses, 59.7% response rate

Enclosures:

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Management Brief
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Superintendents ESE Satisfaction Survey
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Principals ESE Satisfaction Survey
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Charter School Leaders ESE Satisfaction Survey


Last Updated: May 29, 2012
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