• Problem solving: 92 percent of parents, 89 percent of teachers, and 95 percent of district administrators.
  • Critical thinking: 89 percent of parents, 88 percent of teachers, and 95 percent of district administrators.
  • Communication: 88 percent of parents, 77 percent of teachers, and 90 percent of district administrators.
  • Creativity: 76 percent of parents, 61 percent of teachers, and 73 percent of district administrators.
  • Innovation: 73 percent of parents, 58 percent of teachers, and 75 percent of district administrators.
  • Collaboration: 72 percent of parents, 63 percent of teachers, and 81 percent of district administrators.

When it comes to core subject areas, English/language arts, math, science, and history take top priority. Parents, teachers, and district administrators ranked the arts and world languages near the bottom in terms of measuring student progress to be “extremely or very important” in those areas—although most responses still hovered near or above 50 percent in those cases.

Respondents all seemed to believe that learning decisions should be made locally, with limited state and federal government power.

Forty percent of parents said classroom teachers should make decisions about what students learn, 23 percent said principals/school leaders should make those decisions, 17 percent said district leaders should decide, 11 percent said the decisions should be left to state governments, and 9 percent said the federal government should have decision-making powers.

Fifty percent of teachers said classroom teachers should make decisions about what students learn, 18 percent said principals/school leaders should make the call, 17 percent would leave such decisions to district leaders, 8 percent said state governments should make the decisions, and 6 percent said the federal government should make learning-related decisions.

Just 20 percent of district administrators said classroom teachers should make decisions about student learning, 25 percent said principals and school leaders should make such decisions, 34 percent said district leaders should make the decisions, 16 percent would leave the decisions up to state governments, and 7 percent indicated that the federal government should make decisions about what students should learn.

Are assessments worth the time?

More than half (58 percent) of teachers and district administrators say that teachers spend too much time “teaching to the test.” Thirty-five feel that teachers spend the right amount of time teaching to state assessments, and 7 percent feel that too little time is spent.

Fifty-nine percent of teachers and district administrators said that too much time is spent preparing for state assessments. Twenty-eight percent said just the right amount of time is devoted to state assessment prep, and 13 percent said that too little time is spent.

Many feel that more time should be devoted to other assessments.

One-quarter of teachers and half of district administrators feel that too little time is paid discussing interim assessments. Forty-one percent of teachers, and 68 percent of district administrators, feel too little time is spent discussing formative assessments.

Parents, teachers, and district administrators all reported feeling stressed during assessment time.