The Tucson Unified School District has released the results of a community survey used to find out how the community feels about the district.
Officials say most of the feedback from parents was positive, but other community members wrote negative comments--a fact that Cara Rene, a TUSD spokeswoman, says shows a disconnect between parents and the overall community.
Almost 2,000 people took the survey, which is a “good sample of the community,” Rene said, “but we would have liked to see more people take it.”
The survey asked 12 multiple-choice questions and three open-ended questions.
Ten percent of those who took the survey work at TUSD, according to district records. Almost 20 percent of survey takers are community members, 69 percent are parents and 11 percent are students at TUSD.
“At first we were getting quite a few negative surveys, but when parents started answering that’s when the positive results came up, which tells us there’s a disconnect with the community,” Rene said.
Many of the positive comments praised GATE programs and magnet schools, she said.
The survey was launched following the TUSD governing board's vote to shut down its Mexican American Studies classes after the Arizona Department of Education said they violated state law.
The controversy over Mexican American Studies classes has prompted multiple demonstrations and garnered national attention.
“In response to the ‘what is not working well at TUSD?’ we heard from a lot of people on both sides of the Mexican American Studies issue,” Rene said. "Some people felt negatively about what happened, others felt positively about the decision."
The results will be used to help TUSD reshape its focus, she said.