CEDAR FALLS — Educators are overwhelmingly satisfied with services provided by Central Rivers Area Education Agency, according to an independent survey.
Hanover Research, a global market research and analytics firm, recently released survey results of educators attitudes toward AEA services statewide. The data was collected in late fall 2018 through an invitation to general and special education teachers, superintendents, principals, and other professional staff working in more than 300 public schools and over 100 non-public schools.
It generated over 8,000 responses, including 1,229 from Central Rivers’ region. The agency, headquartered in Cedar Falls, serves schools in 18 central and northeast Iowa counties. Because of the number of respondents, the data is considered valid and reliable within a 2 percent margin of error.
“Key findings revealed that educators are extremely pleased with Central Rivers AEA services overall in the areas of special education; educational services; and instructional media, creative services, and technology,” Sam Miller, the agency’s chief administrator, said in a news release.
Many services received over 95 percent customer satisfaction rates, defined as meeting or exceeding expectations. Those included audiology and hearing, vision, due process-mediation, science, teacher-librarians, teacher leadership, math, literacy, licensure, early childhood, media, and creative services.
Two areas respondents were least satisfied with are behavior services at 80 percent and mental health support at 85 percent. The AEA system has been advocating for additional funding to provide greater support in response to these concerns.
“Schools are seeing more and more students with mental health needs,” said Central Rivers spokeswoman Beth Strike, and behavioral problems are showing up earlier than in the past. “We’ve certainly stepped up our efforts in those areas. (The survey) validated that is a concern and an area schools needs more help with.”