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Frequently Asked Questions about the Parent Survey

  1. What is this survey about?
  2. Why is Wayne State University (WSU) doing this survey?
  3. Is there more than one version of this survey?
  4. Where did WSU get the data on students and contact information?
  5. How does WSU select the families who will take the survey?
  6. Are there other ways to complete the survey other than filling out a paper copy and mailing it in?
  7. What information do parents need to take the survey online?
  8. What if parents want to do the survey by phone?
  9. If I have a question, who can I contact?
  10. What if a survey is lost or thrown out?
  11. What is the timeline for this survey?
  12. How is the Response Rate calculated?
  13. What has WSU been doing to increase the response rate?
  14. I am a school official who would like to help increase the response rate in my LEA. What could I do?
1. What is this survey about?
This survey gathers parent feedback on their experiences with special education. WSU contacted parents whose children have received some form of special education services from their school.
2. Why is Wayne State University (WSU) doing this survey?
The Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education asked WSU to conduct this survey. Not only does feedback from parents provide valuable information to the State, it is required by the US Department of Education/ Office of Special Education Programs.
3. Is there more than one version of this survey?
There are two versions of the survey, the children survey for ages 3-5 version and the student survey for ages 6-26 version. The survey was sent to parents who have a child between the ages 3 and 5 (as of March 1 of the current survey year). The Students ages 6-26 years survey was sent to parents of a student between the ages of 6 and 26 (as of March 1 of the current survey year).
4. Where did WSU get the data on students and contact information?
All information was provided by the Michigan Department of Education. Aggregated information about Michigan education is available through the Michigan Student Data System (MSDS).
5. How does WSU select the families who will take the survey?
Surveys are administered once a year in the spring and summer. All parents of children ages 3-5 receiving special education throughout Michigan receive a survey every year, as do parents of students in approximately 1/3rd of the Local Education Agencies (LEAs), or local school districts. So, for some LEAs, only parents of children ages 3-5 were included in the survey during that year.
In households with more than one child receiving special education services, we randomly selected one child. Each household received one survey for a specific child receiving special education services. However, parents were given the option to complete the survey for other children, if they wished, by calling the WSU 800 number.
In some cases, the MSDS data had inaccurate or incomplete addresses. Without a correct address, we could not send out surveys. In these cases, parents may have received a phone call asking to complete survey.
6. Are there other ways to complete the survey other than filling out a paper copy and mailing it in?
Parents have 3 options for completing the survey. They can fill out the paper copy and mail it back using the business reply envelope we provide. Parents can also access the survey over the web (see #7 below) or take the survey over the phone (see #8 below).
7. What information do parents need to take the survey online?
Parents of students ages 6 and above, as of March 1 of the current survey year can access the web survey using the following address: www.cus.wayne.edu/WebSurvey/school.htm
Parents of children ages 3-5, as of March 1 of the current survey year can access the web survey using the following address: www.cus.wayne.edu/WebSurvey/preschool.htm
Parents will also need their child's code number. This can be found in the top right corner of the paper survey. Instructions to complete the online questionnaire are as follows:
The parent will need to type in a Login ID and Password. Enter ONLY the number from the survey code on the top right-hand corner of your questionnaire as your Login ID. Enter the entire survey code WITHOUT THE DASH into the Password field. Parent must enter the letter in the survey code as capitalized letters in the second field. For example, if the child code number is 51289-JW, THEN the parent would enter 51289 into the Login field and 51289JW into the Password field.
8. What if parents want to do the survey by phone?
Parents can call the WSU toll-free number (888-800-8865) and complete the survey over the phone.
9. If I have a question, who can I contact?
Parents can call the WSU toll-free number, (888-800-8865). A research staff member will be available to answer question(s). This includes questions from parents or school officials.
10. What if a survey is lost or thrown out?
If someone needs a new copy of the survey, he or she can call the WSU toll-free number (888-800-8865) and be sent a new survey or complete the survey by phone.
11. What is the timeline for this survey?
Surveys are mailed out each March but parents have until late August to return a paper survey or complete it over the phone or web.
12. How is the Response Rate calculated?
The basic equation for the response rate is:
Total # of Surveys Received divided by the Total # of Viable Respondents
formula
1Based on: Surveys that have been received by mail, surveys that have been completed over the phone, and surveys completed online.
2Based on: All surveys mailed out plus all attempted telephone contacts (for those parents for whom we do not have addresses).
Note:
Families with incomplete contact information (no address/phone) were not included in the response rate as they never received the survey.
Families of children who had passed away were not included in the response rate.
Here is an example of the calculation of the response rate for the 2015/2016 data collection year:
For the Ages 6 through 26 Sample, there were 15,453 surveys received. The total number of viable respondents was 62,477. Using the formula given above:
Response Rate = 15,453 / 62,477 = .2473
To make this a percentage multiply the result by 100:
.2473 x 100 = 24.73%
For the Ages 3 through 5 Sample there were 4,783 surveys received. The total number of viable respondents was 17,511 Therefore,
Response Rate = 4,783 / 17,511 = .2731
.2731 x 100 = 27.31%
The State response rate for the 2016 school age sample was 24.73% and the response rate for preschool sample was 27.31%.
13. What has WSU been doing to increase the response rate?
In addition to mailing out paper versions of the survey, there are WSU telephone interviewers calling all parents (where we have a phone number) who have not yet responded to the survey.
In LEAs where response rates are low, we are re-mailing surveys to provide those parents with another chance to respond to the survey.
14. I am a school official who would like to help increase the response rate in my LEA. What could I do?
School officials can help increase the response rate in several ways. Click here for guidelines that describe specific ways you can help. It is important to follow these guidelines.