Dr. Valarie Calderon, Gallup Student Poll (Remarkable Chatter #4)

We had the opportunity to interview Valerie Calderon, Ph.D., a consultant and director of the Gallup Student Poll in this week’s episode.  Valerie shared that the poll can be given to any student in grades 5-12 in the fall at no cost.

This poll measures hope, engagement, and wellbeing of students and provides schools and districts with easy-to-read reports that allows staff, administrators, board of educators, and community leaders to use the data to create learning environments aimed at the affective areas of learning.


  • Hope-the ideas and energy we have for the future.
  • Engagement -the involvement in and enthusiasm for school.
  • Wellbeing-how we think about and experience our lives.

If you are interested in participating in the Gallup Student Poll, go to the website and choose “Register Now.”  There are three poll dates and the last one this year begins Oct. 16, 2012 and goes through November 2, 2012.  Valerie did mention that schools have paid to have the poll given in the spring as well so this is an option that can be explored by contacting them on their website.

For over 40 years, the Gallup Education Practice has provided its expertise and tools to school districts across the United States, which drives student success. As a thought leader in education, Gallup research and insights inform discussions from local school boards to college classrooms to national debates. Gallup experts in K-12, higher education, and community engagement can work together to bring your organization the most effective answers to today’s most pressing issues.

Gallup is now adding the voice of America’s youth to the dialogue around how to ensure a positive future for all American students. The Gallup Student Poll is a landmark new measure that captures the youth voice, a critical but too often missing part of the national dialogue surrounding student performance and success. The Gallup Student Poll will track for 10 years the hope, engagement, and wellbeing of public school students in grades 5 through 12 across the United States. Public schools and districts may participate at no cost. Through a Web-based survey administered in the fall of each school year, the poll supplies teachers, administrators and community leaders with actionable and malleable data related to other key achievement measures. Hope, engagement, and wellbeing results fill the data void, helping schools, districts, and community leaders to build more effective, holistic strategies aimed at student success.

The Gallup Student Poll

Gallup has harnessed years of research and development, and distilled three key indicators of student success into a single metric. The Gallup Student Poll adds clarity to the discussion around the purpose and utility of non-cognitive measures and their relevance to student success. The poll measures student hope for the future, engagement with school, and wellbeing – factors that have been shown to drive students’ grades, achievement scores, retention, and future employment.

Hope – the ideas and energy we have for the future.

Hope drives attendance, credits earned, and GPA of high school students. Hope scores are more robust predictors of college success than are high school GPA, SAT, and ACT scores.

Engagement – the involvement in and enthusiasm for school.

Engagement distinguishes between high-performing and low-performing schools.

Wellbeing – how we think about and experience our lives.

Wellbeing tells us how our students are doing today and predicts their success in the future.

By measuring hope, engagement, and wellbeing, the Gallup Student Poll will help create a more hopeful story about American education in which students and teachers get to do what they do best every day, students’ wellbeing and success matter to the community, and their personal flourishing leads to school success.

The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. In addition to several demographic questions (age, grade, gender, etc.) and an occasional additional index, students are asked 20 core items about what they do, how they think, and how they feel about their home, school, and community life. Download the Fall 2011 Survey Items Flier.

All data collected by the Gallup Student Poll is stored, aggregated, and analyzed by Gallup. Data are reported by school and by district and are accessible via an online scorecard. Under no circumstances will Gallup reveal a student’s individual item responses to anyone.

Armed with this new and ongoing research, parents, school districts, communities, states, and the nation can pursue student success goals with proven and actionable data that can lead to significant improvements.

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