Predicting Resident Satisfaction with Public Schools in Small Town Iowa


Estimates of resident satisfaction with public education have great utility in public administration, especially among decision makers in shrinking small communities. But such estimates are typically obtained via surveys, which are costly and often unreliable at high spatial resolutions given low response rates. Our study found that satisfaction with public schools among residents of small communities can be reasonably estimated at the community level using public data. Several models generalized adequately to unseen data – these models typically included the following covariates$:$ state student assessment scores, school reorganizations, net open enrollment, and the cost of educational outcomes relative to neighboring districts. Our findings thus amount to a cost-effective survey alternative for gauging satisfaction with public schools in small Iowa communities.

Stat (ISI journal)

Published in Section 1 (Innovative application of statistical techniques) of the Statistical Consulting and Collaboration special issue.

Ricardo Batista
Ricardo Batista
PhD Student and Research Assistant