Educational Engagement

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Percent of Male All Races Combined All Grades Students Reporting Higher Levels of Educational Engagement, 1995 - 2019: by Region


About the Indicator:

For the first time in 2013, the Minnesota Student Survey (MSS) included modified items from Child Trends Flourishing Children Project. Educational engagement comprise MSS questions 18, 19, 20, 21A, 21B, and 21C:

  • How often do you care about doing well in school?

  • How often do you pay attention in class?

  • How often do you go to class unprepared?

  • If something interests me, I try to learn more about it.

  • I think the things I learn at school are useful.

  • Being a student is one of the most important parts of who I am.

Response options for each of the last three items above are: strongly agree (coded as 4), agree (coded as 3), disagree (coded as 2), and strongly disagree (coded as 1). Response options for the first three questions were: all of the time, most of the time, some of the time, and none of the time--these were coded as 1 through 4, with the most positive response scoring 4 and the least positive response scoring 1. An educational engagement score can be created by summing the values for each question, obtaining a range from 6 to 24. Higher levels of educational engagement are measured as students reporting an overall score of 18 or higher; this corresponds to an average score of 3 or higher per question.

In 2016, Minnesota 8th, 9th, and 11th graders with higher levels of educational engagement were 2.5 times less likely to report any past 30-day alcohol use compared to students with lower levels of educational engagement: 10% vs. 25%.

Further, compared to 8th, 9th, and 11th graders who reported greater educational engagement, less engaged students were 3.0 times more likely to report past-month tobacco use; 3.2 more likely to report past-month marijuana use; and 2.9 times more likely to report past-month prescription drug misuse.

See the 2014 Educational Engagement and Substance Use SUMN Fact Sheet.

Data Source: Minnesota Student Survey (MSS)

Description: The MSS is a confidential and anonymous self-administered survey given to students attending Minnesota public, charter and tribal schools. From 1995 to 2010, the survey was administered to students in 6th, 9th, and 12th grades. New in 2013, the survey was administered to students in 5th, 8th, 9th, and 11th grades. Trend data are now only available for 9th graders, and only for survey questions that did not change. Most schools elect to participate in the survey; in 2013, this included 84% of public schools in Minnesota.

Although the data are not presented here, the survey is also administered to area learning centers, juvenile correction facilities and private schools electing to participate.

Sponsored by: Minnesota Department of Education

Geographic Level: State, Region, and County

Aggregated data at the state and county level do not reveal disparities that may exist within a given geographic area.

Frequency: Data collected and reported every three years

Characteristics: The results of the MSS are also available at a county level. Data Privacy requirements mandate that data is presented in a manner such that no individual student can be identified through the presentation of the results. As part of the Data Privacy practices, the results are also presented in a manner that no individual school district could be identified through the results. Therefore, for counties that have only one school district, the results are not presented. Results are also withheld for counties in which the minimum number for student participation was not met.

The MSS is a “census” of schools, not a sample. The school districts get their own data. Fifth-graders were not asked all substance use questions. Some school districts do not participate, and student participation within the school district can vary widely. These data are self-reported.