I N T R O D U C T I O N
Harris Interactive Inc. conducted The Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher,
2000: Are We Preparing Students For the 21st Century? on behalf of the Metropolitan Life
. This report is part of a series of surveys sponsored annually by
MetLife since 1984. This study investigates students' preparedness for the future in
terms of their education, careers, personal and community life. The current study
incorporates the perspectives of key stakeholders in this issue: public school students
in grades 7 through 12, public school teachers in grades 7 through 12 and parents of
public school students in grades 7 through 12. Since issues of preparedness are of
concern to parents of children of all ages, the survey also includes parents of public
school students in grades K - 6.
Topics in this survey include the quality of secondary school education, parental
involvement, issues of responsibility, educational plans and career plans, social inter-
actions and support, and confidence in the future.
A nationally representative sample of 3961 public school students in grades 7 through
12 were interviewed. A total of 1067 students were surveyed during an English class
using a self-administered questionnaire, and a total of 2894 students were interviewed
online using a self-administered questionnaire. School interviews averaged 25 min-
utes in length and online interviews averaged 20 minutes in length. Interviews were
conducted between March 16, 2000 and April 27, 2000.
A nationally representative sample of 2017 parents of public school students in
grades K through 12 were interviewed. A total of 256 parents were interviewed by
telephone, and a total of 1761 parents were interviewed online. Interviews averaged
15 minutes in length and were conducted between April 17, 2000 and April 30, 2000
Telephone interviews were conducted from Harris's facilities in Binghamton, NY.
A nationally representative sample of 1010 public school teachers in grades 7 -
12 were interviewed; 101 opted to participate online and 909 were interviewed by
telephone. Interviews of teachers averaged 15 minutes in length and were conducted
between April 12, 2000 and May 31, 2000. Telephone interviews were conducted
from Harris's facilities in Youngstown, Ohio.
Detailed methodologies of the student, parent and teacher surveys appear in
Appendix A. All three survey questionnaires, including the total responses to each
question, appear in Appendix B.
A Note on Reading the Exhibits and Figures
An asterisk (*) on an exhibit signals a value of less than one-half percent (0.5%). A
dash (-) represents a value of zero. Percentages may not always add up to 100%
because of computer rounding or the acceptance of multiple answers from respon-
dents. Calculations of responses discussed in the text are based on raw numbers and
not percentages, therefore these figures may differ slightly from calculations based
on percentages. The base for each question is the total number of respondents