Fordham Institute releases study examining student engagement: “What Students Want from Their Schools

Last week, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute released a new survey, “What Teens Want from their Schools: A National Survey of High School Engagement,” which reinforces the growing belief that our nation’s one-size-fits-all education system does not work for every student in the classroom. The American Federation for Children Growth Fund proudly supported the research and development of this compelling report— the first study, to our knowledge, that groups students according to how they are most engaged in school.

“AFC Growth Fund is proud to partner with Fordham for this research illustrating the importance of customization and choice in education,” said Tommy Schultz, National Communications Director of the American Federation for Children. “As school choice advocates, we know engagement in the classroom and a tailored learning environment can make all the difference for a student. This research confirms that students learn and approach education in a number of different ways and that engagement in the classroom ultimately impacts their success. It’s easy to see from this report that a blanket approach to education shouldn’t be the operating mindset going forward, and, furthermore, that a full range of educational options and personalized learning should be available to maximize student success and satisfaction.”

The Fordham Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 students in grades 10-12 to measure student engagement, identify student segments and explore the characteristics these students have in common.

More results:

  • Public district school students are the least satisfied with their school overall (35 percent), and private religious school students are most satisfied with their school (69 percent).
  • 28 percent of students report that they have considered dropping out, and 42 percent report that they don’t see value in the schoolwork they are asked to do.
  • 83 percent of students report they are intrinsically motivated to learn and apply themselves in school.
  • Students also report their teachers greatly influence their engagement and connectedness to school, they value connecting and having time with peers, and they enjoy using technology in the classroom.
  • Private school students were more likely to choose to attend their current school when given a choice to attend any nearby school.

Click here to read the full report.