Revised AEA survey will help determine future strategies

In the fall of 2015, the AEA customer survey required by the State of Iowa was revised and revamped. Educators across the state were invited to evaluate the  services provided by AEAs during the 2014-15 school year. In the revision, only one question from the previous survey was repeated. It was the first question, which asks, “Generally, the AEA services that I received or participated in, met my professional needs.” While this question can be compared to previous AEA surveys, the remaining eight questions helped capture responses that were specific to AEA services.

An interesting result arose: Since the new questions were so specific, fewer respondents knew about these services. This resulted in a major shift to the “no opinion” response. In reporting our results, “no opinion” went as high as 43 percent of the respondents. Since this was the case, we reported the actual responses with “agree,” “disagree,” and “no opinion.” Since the “no opinion” was so high in responses, we also charted the percent of “agreed,” after the “no opinion” responses were removed. This is represented by a straight line across in the first graph below.

There are two graphs below that indicate the results of the survey for Northwest AEA. The first one shows only the results of Northwest AEA, including all “no opinion” responses. We also have the line graph with the percent agreed after “no opinion” was removed. The second graph indicates Northwest AEA compared to the average of the AEAs across the state. The results are shown with the “no opinion” included, in the bottom line comparison; and, the “no opinion” was removed for the red and black, or the top two lines, on the graph.  As you can see, these have been exaggerated and don’t show a full 100 percent axis. Ironically, they indicate that Northwest AEA’s results are very similar to the rest of the state.

Since the questions asked in the State of Iowa’s customer survey have changed considerably, this survey will be a baseline year for Northwest AEA. We are analyzing these results and will be responding with our services in the context of all of the statewide initiatives. Most of you know that we have been doing more with less, just as our K-12 schools have been doing. We will continue to explore how we can re-tool our services while receiving fewer resources to do the work. That’s our dilemma, as it is with many of our school districts, but we will continue to work toward meeting the needs of our schools and families in northwest Iowa.  

Thank you to all who took time to fill out the survey. We always appreciate the honest feedback. We review the results each year with our staff so that we can determine how to better meet the needs of our communities.

Questions used for the 2014-15 Customer Survey:

1. Generally, the AEA services that I have received or participated in met my professional needs.
2. The AEA helps me meet the needs of students in special education (students who have IEPs).
3. The AEA helps me meet the needs of students who are not in special education, but are struggling or have diverse learning needs.
4. The AEA helps me review and understand data for a variety of purposes (student, classroom, building, district).
5. The AEA helps me plan for and/or implement practices to ensure that all students have access to the Iowa Core.
6. The AEA helps me meet the literacy needs of students.
7. The AEA helps me meet the math needs of students.
8. The AEA helps me use technology to improve teaching and learning in my classroom.
9. The AEA helps me prepare my students to experience success as citizens, in post-secondary education, and in the workplace.

As always, be sure to check out our blogs, which we hope will inform, inspire and guide your daily work:

For a complete listing of all blogs, please go to the Northwest AEA website. You can also sign up for an RSS feed to automatically receive blog updates (instructions provided on the Northwest AEA website).

Educationally yours,

Dr. Tim Grieves
Chief Administrator