Principals Association Receives Grant from Lumina Foundation for Education to Poll Middle Level Students

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The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has been awarded $95,000 by the Lumina Foundation for Education to conduct a national survey of eighth grade students.

When it comes to education policy, we often hear from educators, politicians, and the business community. This poll is an excellent opportunity for us to inject the voice of the students into the debates over how and what they will be taught.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has been awarded $95,000 by the Lumina Foundation for Education to conduct a national survey of eighth grade students. The poll will invite students to reflect on their middle school experience and to share their aspirations and anxieties as they transition to and beyond high school.

The survey will be conducted through collaborative efforts with Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) and The Gallup Organization, partners in the annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. NASSP, which recently announced its National Center for Middle Level Leadership, expects that the findings from the poll will assist in the development of tools and services that NASSP can provide to middle level school leaders.

"Currently there is no opportunity for middle-level students to express their opinions on issues that affect them daily. While practitioners and policymakers debate the merits of middle-level school reform, few know firsthand what middle school students across the nation are thinking. Thanks to the Lumina Foundation grant, we will be able to elicit and to include the voices of the students themselves," said NASSP executive director Dr. Gerald N. Tirozzi.

The middle grades represent a fundamental, yet often overlooked phase in building a solid foundation for a successful post-secondary experience. The Middle Level poll will help inform the Lumina Foundation's upcoming national public service campaign on college access.

"The poll findings will increase principals' awareness around this issue and give NASSP a research-based rationale for developing specific tools and services to help school leaders overcome obstacles to achieving greater college readiness among students," said Martha D. Lamkin, Lumina Foundation president and CEO. "The poll is important because the findings can help these educational leaders see the strategic role they and their teachers can play in making college aspirations a reality."

"After 38 years of experience in polling the public about our nation's schools, we are excited to join with NASSP and The Gallup Organization in exploring what students think of the education they are receiving," said Dr. William J. Bushaw, executive director of PDK International, an association of education professionals. "When it comes to education policy, we often hear from educators, politicians, and the business community. This poll is an excellent opportunity for us to inject the voice of the students into the debates over how and what they will be taught."

A random sample of 2,000 students nationwide will be invited to participate in the poll. PDK and Gallup will plan, administer and report on the poll. Gallup's expertise will ensure the validity and reliability of the results. Findings will be tabulated by Gallup and analyzed by Gallup, PDK and the NASSP. The Lumina Foundation will be invited to participate in the analysis of the college readiness portion of the poll. Results will be released nationally upon completion.

Celebrating 90 years of excellence in school leadership, NASSP is the preeminent organization and the national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals and aspiring school leaders. NASSP provides its members with the professional resources to serve as visionary leaders. NASSP promotes the intellectual growth, academic achievement, character development, leadership development, and physical well being of youth through its programs and student leadership services. NASSP administers the National Honor Society™, National Junior Honor Society™, and National Association of Student Councils™. For more information, visit http://www.principals.org.

Contact:

Shana Kemp                                                                        

703.860.7344

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Shana Kemp
NASSP
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