Hopkins earns high approval ratings

October 22, 2008

And the survey says: Hopkins ranks in top 2 percent of districts

The outstanding quality of education rating for Hopkins Public Schools places the school district in the top two percent of school districts in the state, and one of the top five school districts in the metropolitan area. Those rankings were two of the many high-approval accolades revealed in a recent survey.

Survey background

In June 2008, Hopkins Public Schools hired Minneapolis-based Decision Resources, Ltd., to conduct a residential customer satisfaction survey. Decisions Resources contacted via phone 400 randomly selected households in the school district for the survey. The school district typically conducts a satisfaction survey every two years. The school district has long used Decision Resources, Ltd., to conduct those surveys, which means that increases and decreases in approval ratings can be tracked over time. This year's survey results were compared to results from the 2005 survey.

Overall survey results

Overall, the survey indicates that Hopkins's approval ratings have rebounded to previously high levels that were enjoyed before the district's financial difficulties.

"In general, Hopkins Public Schools did an impressive job in restoring residential confidence after the events of 2005 and 2006," said William Morris, Ph.D., owner of Decision Resources, Ltd., in his presentation of the survey results to the Hopkins School Board, Thursday, Aug. 21. "There are still perception challenges remaining, but trust among residents has virtually returned to its normally high levels," he said.

Below is just a sampling of some of the survey highlights.

Quality of Education

The quality of education provided by Hopkins Public Schools is viewed positively by residents:

  • 86 percent rate the quality of education as outstanding—excellent or good

That quality rating is 10 percent above the Twin Cities metropolitan area norm, placing Hopkins among the top five school districts in the metropolitan area, and top two percent of school districts statewide.

  • 80 percent think that the community receives a good value from its investment in local public schools

  • Hopkins ranks in the top five school districts in the metropolitan area for the percentage of residents who are proud of their schools, and who would recommend Hopkins Public Schools to others.

Fiscal Credibility

The fiscal credibility of the school district took a negative hit from the events of the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years. While positive perceptions are currently at about 50 percent, still short of the 2005 majority of approximately 60 percent, negative evaluations have dropped to 25 percent.

This means that Hopkins ranks in the top 10 percent of school districts in the metropolitan area in terms of its financial credibility with residents.

"This change during the course of two years is dramatic, and much faster than found in other school districts experiencing dire financial incidents," said Morris.

Morris said that he has never seen a school district rebound as quickly from a financial incident as fast as Hopkins. "Normally, it takes 5 to 10 years to rebuild trust, and restore confidence in the quality of education. Hopkins has done that in two years," he said.

Job Performance Ratings

Morris said that Hopkins Public Schools also has outstanding job performance ratings, including:

  • Hopkins School Board—41 percent

  • Superintendent and district administration—44 percent

  • Principals—47 percent

  • Teachers—75 percent

The school district's average customer service rating of 93 percent is the highest in the metropolitan area.

Communications

Hopkins also receives outstanding performance ratings for its communications, ranking it as one of the top two school districts in the metro area, said Morris.

  • 70 percent believe that the school district does a good job communicating important issues and decisions to residents
  • 90 percent are satisfied with the amount of information that they receive from the school district

Conclusions

The real story is how Hopkins Public Schools has come back, said Morris. "You regained the trust of the vast majority of residents. Your financial management is viewed positively. The quality of the education you provide is viewed as being excellent. Your communications are superb. You have restored a lot of the outstanding good will that you have long enjoyed with the community. The district is back, and back very strongly," he said.


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