New Report Links Teacher Satisfaction to Supportive Work Environments
In recent years, much attention has been paid to developing meaningful teacher evaluation systems as a strategy to improve public education, and rightly so. But while states and districts implement better ways to identify their strongest educators, too many are giving short shrift to the culture and work environments in schools, particularly in high-poverty and low-performing schools. In a new studyreleased today by The Education Trust, authors Sarah Almy, director of teacher quality, and Melissa Tooley, a teacher quality data and policy analyst, find the conditions for teaching and learning are critical to teacher satisfaction, especially in struggling schools.
"The Education Trust’s latest report validates what every teacher knows is necessary to strengthen public schools and the teaching profession,” says Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. “Building a culture of collaboration and shared responsibility among teachers, principals, and administrators; focusing on continuous professional development for teachers; and ensuring teachers have the time, tools, and trust they need to improve teaching and learning are essential ingredients to building strong public schools and a quality teaching force.”
In Building and Sustaining Talent: Creating Conditions in High-Poverty Schools That Support Effective Teaching and Learning, the authors report that when it comes to teacher satisfaction at high-poverty, low-performing schools, the conditions for teaching and learning supersede all other factors, including student and salary
The Education Trust released a new report on keeping good teachers in the classroom. The findings — that culture and work conditions matter a lot — remind me of an interview I did years ago with University of Pennsylvania professor Richard Ingersoll, a national expert on teacher turnover and retention.
According to Ingersoll, 40 percent of new teachers nationwide bolt the profession within five years because of the terrible working conditions. To keep teachers, Georgia has to improve the teaching experience, he said.
Ingersoll said teacher turnover was worst at schools with high numbers of student discipline problems and where teachers have no input into how the school is run. “Teachers feel they ar