Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Reform Ideas More Appealing to Teachers

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Reform Ideas More Appealing to Teachers

Article excerpt

American teachers are warming up to some reform ideas, according to a national survey of public school teachers.

Education Sector, a Washington, D.C., think tank on education, recently surveyed a nationally representative random sample of more than 1,000 K-12 public school teachers and learned that:

* Teachers say evaluations are improving. In 2011, 78% said their most recent evaluation was done carefully and taken seriously by their school administration. Teachers in low-income schools (75% or more free/reduced lunch, compared to those in schools with less than 25% free/reduced lunch) are more likely to have positive feelings about their recent evaluation. By a 13-point difference (66% to 53%), these teachers are more likely to report that the feedback was meaningful and helped improve teaching.

* Three out of four teachers (76%) said the criteria used in their evaluations were fair.

* Teachers are warming to the idea that assessing student knowledge growth may be a good way to measure teacher effectiveness, with 54% of teachers in 2011 agreeing, up from 49% in 2007.

* Teachers still oppose including student test scores as a component of differentiated pay, with just 35% supporting that idea.

* Teachers support differentiated pay for those working in tough neighborhoods with low-performing schools (83% support). …

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