Awbrey’s survey focuses solely on discipline, asking for teachers to anonymously respond to questions described by Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper at the board’s May 1 meeting as “biased” and “leading,” namely because the questions are asked in a way that could be construed as an attempt to pit teachers against principals and the administration. Another problem raised by Cooper at the May 1 meeting centered on Awbrey’s instructions for teachers to submit their responses to him personally, either by email, or by mailing or dropping the questionnaires off at his residence. That, according to Cooper, would have opened the possibility for tampered results.
Going into Wednesday’s meeting, Awbrey was still listed as the sole recipient of the completed surveys.
|Photo by Robin May|
|Board members Mark Allen Babineaux and Greg Awbrey|
Before the board’s vote, however, Awbrey said the survey’s distribution and collection would instead be handled by the Lafayette Parish Retired Teachers Association. Yet according to the introduction of the new questionnaire — revised by the board during Wednesday's meeting — it appears teachers still have the option to drop their responses off at Awbrey’s home, though his address is no longer listed as it was on the original version. The board also increased the number of questions from seven to 10, and revised the wording of some.
Cooper spoke with The IND Thursday, saying he considers the survey a “worthwhile” endeavor, but maintains a third party like UL Lafayette’s Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning would be better equipped for creating a questionnaire free of bias.
“I feel like the information the board is trying to get is worthwhile, but I don’t think they’ll get as accurate information with the questions they’ve come up with themselves,” says Cooper. “A third party would have definitely gotten the bias out of it, making for a more effective survey."
Teacher responses are due by June 15, and the results are slated for a board discussion on July 3.
Click here for Awbrey's original survey. The revised survey approved by the board Wednesday is posted below: