Every year, New York City public schools conduct an in-depth survey of their parents, students and teachers. According to the Department of Education, the survey, one of the largest of any kind in the nation, “helps school leaders understand what key members of the school community say about the learning environment at each school.”
People’s perceptions are inherently difficult to quantify, but the survey covers topics including Academic Expectations (e.g. asking if teachers “expect students to work hard”) and Safety and Respect (e.g. asking if students feel “safe in the hallways, bathrooms, locker rooms and cafeteria”).
So are people’s perceptions related to other more common measures of academic success, such as test scores? With the help of New York City’s Open Data platform, I was able to have a look for myself.
Below are the correlations between test results and survey scores:
One might expect that Academic Expectation scores would be the most closely correlated to test scores. But what I found was rather surprising: Safety and Respect scores are actually more highly correlated with test scores than Academic Expectations scores are. In other words, the more safe and respectful a school feels in New York City, the higher its test scores will be on average.
For the complete analysis, check out my guest post over at the wonderful Data Science for Social Good blog.
Data Sources Used: