The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce recently delivered a report to the Springfield School District 186 board detailing the business community’s perceptions of Springfield schools.
The school system and the business community have a vested interest in one another’s success; schools benefit from partnerships and today's students become tomorrow's workforce.
Because of this relationship, District 186 Superintendent Jennifer Gill asked the chamber last year to survey the business community to gain understanding of its perception of the public school system. The chamber allocated funds from the Q5 initiative to hire a professional market research firm to conduct the survey, and a task force of local business leaders teamed up with an outside consultant to evaluate the data and stories behind the perceptions.
The report focused on four key areas: staff evaluation, student achievement, facilities and finances. For each area, the report details the perceptions of the business community, how the perceptions were evaluated and the conclusions drawn by the task force.
“We found this process to be incredibly informative, and we are eager to now share what we’ve learned with the community,” Chamber President and CEO Chris Hembrough said. “This report provides a solid foundation for community members to gain a better, more accurate understanding of the Springfield public education system.”
The report found that survey respondents had positive opinions about teachers but had concerns regarding the teacher evaluation process.
Respondents felt the schools have adequate core courses but had concerns regarding elective opportunities. They were unsure if students are prepared to graduate with workforce or college readiness.
Most respondents had concerns about school facilities but were unsure how this impacts student learning.
Survey respondents did not think the district is adequately funded, and slightly more than half were unsure if funds are spent wisely.