KVUSA conducted research focusing on parents and teachers in the fall 2010. Graduate students from the University of Kansas created surveys and analyzed the responses. Below is a summary of both surveys (teacher and parent).
Kids Voting USA Parent Survey Responses
How did the parents of students involved in the KidsVoting USA program encounter and engage the program themselves?:
- Only 30% of respondents indicated that this was the first time their child(ren) participated in the KidsVoting program.
- The majority of respondents reporting having discussions related to the KidsVoting program.
- 84% reported discussing the elections with their children more than once while only 3% reported never discussing the elections with their children.
- 71% reported discussing KidsVoting activities with their children more than once while only 5% reported never discussing KidsVoting activities.
- While the majority of respondents reported either taking their children to the KidsVoting polls or having someone else take them, significantly fewer volunteered at the polls themselves.
- 71% reported ensuring their children went to KidsVoting polls.
- 11% reported volunteering as KidsVoting poll workers.
- Only 17% of respondents indicated that they had visited the KidsVoting website.
How do the parents of students involved in the KidsVoting USA program assess the program?:
- 86% of respondents indicated that their children’s enthusiasm for voting was increased through participation in the KidsVoting program.
- Only 5% of respondents indicated that their children’s participation in the program influenced their own decision to vote.
- 32% of respondents acknowledged being better educated voters as a result of their children’s participation in the program.
- 98% of respondents would recommend use of the KidsVoting program by their children’s schools in future elections.
Kids Voting USA Teacher Survey Responses
Regarding the frequency of use and time of use of the curriculum, the following results were noteworthy:
- 58.5% of teacher respondents used the Kids Voting curriculum for the 2010 election.
- Of those that used the curriculum, the times at which they used the curriculum (in relation to the election) varies:
- Nearly 20% used the curriculum within two weeks of the election.
- 12% used the curriculum within one week of the election.
- 9% used the curriculum within one month of the election.
- 6% used the curriculum within six weeks of the election.
- 1.5% used the curriculum from the beginning of the semester until the election.
- Of the 233 respondents regarding use of the curriculum in non-election years, 75 (32%) use the curriculum in non-election years while 160 (68%) do not.
- Of the 234 respondents regarding use of the curriculum immediately following the election, 26% use the curriculum while 74% do not.
Regarding how the curriculum was used:
- 43% of respondents assign homework that require students to discuss the election with family members, while 57% do not.
- Of those that assigned homework, nearly 91% report that students discuss those activities in the classroom.
- In regards to the use of Kids Voting activities other than the curriculum and mock elections, 70% report that students do not use other methods while 30% do.
Assessing the effectiveness of the program in various civic engagement/voting related issues, respondents reported the following:
- In regards to the effectiveness of Kids Voting in increasing students’ knowledge of the electoral process, nearly 84% rate the program positively.
- When asked if Kids Voting increased students’ enthusiasm for voting, 85% thought that the program was effective.
- Regarding the effectiveness of the Kids Voting curriculum in increasing students’ understanding of citizens’ rights/responsibilities, 84% of respondents thought that the program was effective.
- When asked if Kids Voting increased students’ interest/participation in volunteerism/community service projects, 31% thought the program was effective.
- Regarding the effectiveness of Kids Voting in increasing students’ abilities to be critical consumers of media and political messages, 46% thought the program was effective.
In assessing the curriculum’s age appropriateness, ease of use, and overall success, respondents noted the following:
- Nearly 90% of respondents rated the curriculum positively (good, very good, or excellent) regarding age appropriateness.
- 89% rated the curriculum positively regarding the ease of use.
- Nearly 93% rated the curriculum positively in its correlation to social studies standards.
- 95% will continue to use the program in the future.
- 92% would recommend the program to other teachers.
Regarding the implementation of curriculum or the Kids Voting organization (broadly), respondents had the following to say:
- Regarding the use of in-service training, 77% of respondents did not participate in a training program.
- 3% reported not using the program because of a lack of training.
- 12% of respondents reported not using the program because of a lack of time.