N.H. Ed Department Surveys On Remote Learning, But Critics Say Results May Not Tell Whole Story | New Hampshire Public Radio

N.H. Ed Department Surveys On Remote Learning, But Critics Say Results May Not Tell Whole Story

May 29, 2020

An elementary school classroom Londonderry, seen after students and teachers moved to remote learning earlier this spring.
Credit Kristy Cardin

The New Hampshire Department of Education is wrapping up a survey it says will help the state plan for re-opening and redesigning schools next fall.

The survey, which has been completed by over 50,000 parents, teachers, and administrators, asks participants to rate how remote learning has gone, and whether families and educators want to head back to school. The goal is to get input to share with a state task force on school reopening and redesign (STRRT).

But many educators say the survey went out too fast, without a proper review. Carl Ladd, director of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association and a member of the STRRT task force, said there have been concerns about anonymity and glitches preventing people from completing the survey.

“At a certain point, you have to say, ‘Is the data that we're going to get, is that going to be valid and reliable?’ ” Ladd said. “I don't know.”

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The Department of Education is defending the survey, and says it's received enough responses to get good information. Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said state education officials fixed some of the survey problems and will still be able to use the data.

“We have plenty of statistically significant results, pre- and post- change, to do good analytics and get good valuable information back,” Edelblut said.