Teacher-Student Relationships

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Number of Total Hispanic/Latino All Grades Students Reporting That They Have Stronger Relationships with the Adults in Their Schools, 1995 - 2022: by Region


About the Indicator:

Students were asked a series of questions about their relationships with teachers and other adults at their schools. The students represented in this indicator reported whether they agreed with the following statements:

  • Overall, adults at my school treat students fairly

  • Adults at my school listen to the students

  • The school rules are fair

  • At my school, teachers care about students

  • Most teachers at my school are interested in me as a person

Response options for each of the five items are: strongly agree (coded as 4), agree (coded as 3), disagree (coded as 2), and strongly disagree (coded as 1). A teacher-student relationship score can be created by summing the values for each question, obtaining a range from 5 to 20.  Better teacher-student relationships are measured as students reporting an overall score of 15 or higher; this corresponds to an average of 3 or higher per question.

According to 2013 MSS data, compared to 8th, 9th, and 11th graders who reported better teacher-student relationships, those who reported worse teacher-student relationships were 2.4 times more likely to report alcohol use; 2.8 times more likely to report tobacco use; 2.9 times more likely to report marijuana use; and 3.3 times more likely to report prescription drug misuse.

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.