Survey Points To.The Importance of Teacher Morale in Combating Teacher Shortage
Corwin, Judy, Baylor Business Review
Associate Professor of Economics John Pisciotta recently completed a study entitled Teacher Attitudes in Texas Public and Private High Schools. The study was released last December by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Pisciotta surveyed Texas high school teachers in the spring of 1999. He contacted school coordinators in mathematics, English, social science, and science. The respondents were highly experienced educators. The public school teachers had an average of 21.8 years of teaching experience, compared to 14.7 years for private school teachers.
The survey probed a wide range of issues relating to teacher job satisfaction and morale. These included school discipline policies, academic support and performance, parental involvement, teacher discretion and control over class content, verbal and physical conflicts among students, and the impact of standardized testing such as TAAS (Texas Assessment of Academic Skills).
An important finding comes from the question, "What is the trend of teacher morale in your school?" Private school teachers reported no pronounced change in teacher morale. A third of the private school teachers saw little change. Another third said teacher morale was getting better, while the remaining third found morale getting worse. The public school teachers, on balance, reported a pronounced decline in teacher morale at their schools. Twenty-two percent of the public school teachers found little change. Just 17% were seeing an improvement in teacher morale, while an overwhelming 61% indicated their schools were in the midst of a decline in teacher morale.
Teachers were also asked what was the main reason for morale problems in their schools. While 30% of private school teachers pointed to financial compensation, only 14. …