As it turns out, the Detroit Public Schools Community District has plenty of detractors on the inside, too. A survey of 19,000 teachers, students, parents, and district employees underlined the challenges facing Superintendent Nikolai Vitti’s administration as it races to fill nearly 200 teaching positions and boost enrollment before the first day of school next fall.
Only a quarter of administrators are happy with the district’s hiring processes. Fully 63 percent of office staff are “not at all likely” to recommend the district.
“If our own employees are not favorable toward the organization, then how can we ever recruit new parents to schools or new employees to the district?” Vitti asked at a school board meeting this week.
Students reported their own concerns, especially about the climate and safety of their schools. Less than half of students in grades 3-8 felt safe, putting the district in the bottom 10 percent that asked the same question nationwide.
But one of the survey’s more promising results also came from students, 60 percent of whom said they felt a sense of “school belonging.” Among schools nationwide that asked the same question, more than two-thirds reported a lower score.
Nonetheless, as Vitti pointed out, the survey labels 40 percent of parents, 50 percent of instructional staff, and 63 percent of office staff as “detractors,” meaning they were not likely to recommend the district.
Response rates for the survey were: 97 percent of teachers, 55 percent of office staff, 29 percent of families, 85 percent of students. Most took the survey online.
Scroll down for results from the full survey.