Do FCPS Parents Have Trust in the School System?

fcps logoFairfax County says the majority of parents surveyed have confidence in Fairfax County Public Schools.

FCPS Superintendent Karen K. Garza recently released the results of the third annual trust and confidence survey of FCPS parents and taxpayers. The survey measured opinions from 10,700 parents and residents about a number of issues related to the school district.

Survey participants were asked whether they agreed with a number of statements about FCPS. Some key findings:

  • 84 percent of parent respondents strongly agreed or agreed that FCPS is a trustworthy public institution.
  • 65 percent of non-parents strongly agreed or agreed with that statement.

These numbers are up slightly from 2012 respondents, says FCPS. Approximately 25 percent of non-parents say they don’t have enough information to make that assessment, a two-point decrease from last year.

Every question had an increase in the agree-strongly agree responses, and some had significant increases of four or more points. Each question also saw an improvement in the “don’t have enough information to make an assessment” response, and some had significant decreases of five or more points, an indicator of improvement, showing that fewer people feel they don’t have enough information to respond.

A significant increase in the agree-strongly agree response: “School system leaders make decisions that reflect the community’s values,” (increase from 63 percent to 70 percent among parents, and from 41 to 47 percent among non-parents).

Positive responses for the following items increased over the 2012 survey:

  • 90 percent of parents and 65 percent of non-parents agree that FCPS respects the cultural diversity of students and families.
  • 83 percent of parents and 56 percent of non-parents agree that FCPS teachers are effective in preparing students for the future.
  • 83 percent of parent respondents agreed FCPS is providing students with the right education for the 21st century, along with 56 percent of non-parent respondents.
  • 89 percent of parents and 57 percent of non-parents indicated they receive the information they want or need about the school system (an increase of two and three percentage points, respectively).
  • 79 percent of parents and 36 percent of non-parents feel they are informed in a timely manner of major decisions made by FCPS (an increase of 2 percentage points by each group).

Respondents indicated an increase in awareness in several areas. In the item stating, “The district has made progress in students’ gaining essential life skills,” one of the Fairfax County School Board’s student achievement goals, an 8 percentage point drop was posted by parents in the “don’t have enough information to make an assessment” response, along with a 7 percentage point drop for non-parents. For the same essential life skills item, an increase of 12 percentage points was seen among parents who agreed with the statement, and an increase of 6 percentage points was seen among non-parents who agreed.

Consistent with last year’s findings, parents trust these top three sources for factual information about FCPS: FCPS official communications, 78 percent; the local school, 73 percent; and FCPS employees, 16 percent. FCPS official communications include the school district’s website, news releases, and three FCPS newsletters.

For complete results, visit

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