Survey: Teachers Feel Vulnerable. (Update: Education News from Schools, Businesses, Research and Government Agencies)

By Pascopella, Angela | District Administration, July 2003 | Go to article overview

Survey: Teachers Feel Vulnerable. (Update: Education News from Schools, Businesses, Research and Government Agencies)


Pascopella, Angela, District Administration


Most teachers (76 percent) say they sense little support from administrators and parents. A majority (59 percent) feel they are unfairly held accountable for student achievement. And 53 percent of teachers say standardized tests are "seriously flawed" with almost 1 in 5 wanting to abandon standardized testing completely. On the positive side, most agree that schools need some kind of standardized assessment.

These are only a few results from a the Public Agenda survey, Stand By Me, of 1,345 K-12 public school teachers. "There is a sense [among many teachers] of quality not being rewarded," says Jean Johnson, senior vice president and co-author of the study. "I was struck and somewhat surprised by that level of vulnerability."

The teachers feel vulnerable to lawsuits from the public and cost-cutting that might ax their jobs. They also feel they are held accountable for raising student achievement when so much is beyond their control, Johnson adds.

As for merit pay, 70 percent support financial incentives for teachers in tough neighborhoods with low-performing schools. And 81 percent believe working conditions and salaries would be much worse without collective bargaining. …

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