Delaware DOE to Survey Teacher and Learning Conditions
The Department of Education recently closed the RFP submission deadline for the Teaching Conditions Survey, which will be administered by an outside vendor to gauge educators’ thoughts around various conditions that affect their everyday job environment.
The survey stems from our Race to the Top application, in which we agreed to “commission a statewide Teaching and Learning Conditions Survey, which will be analyzed to identify the most critical issues, and potential courses of redress, for improving school environments.” The surveys will be conducted either this spring or next fall with the goal of 55 percent of survey respondents citing improvements in their teaching and learning environments by the 2013-2014 school year. This survey differs from the Portrait of Delaware’s New Teachers report published annually by the University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration, which is used to measure new entrants opinions on the profession.
Around the country, as many reform efforts move forward, there is interest in looking at how these affect the day-to-day workings of those in the trenches – and what can be done to improve them. Issues of time, facilities, resources, community support, professional development, and managing student behavior (among many, many others) are no doubt felt by teachers. Their perceptions and attitudes of these efforts will identify areas in which we could all improve – which is something we eagerly look forward to hearing.
Results from other state surveys from around the country could parallel findings here. For example, going through the survey conducted in 2011 of Colorado educators, those in charter schools reported higher professional expectations (both individually and school-wide) in terms of time, student expectations, and accountability – leading to higher satisfaction rates across the board on autonomy, trust, and support. However, these teachers also expressed doubt on remaining in the profession long-term, which coincides with recent research around teacher attrition. Although one example, these types of data will no doubt provide us with a lot of information around the teaching profession within the First State.
We look forward to working with a range of stakeholders throughout the state to analyze the results and ascertain what is working, what isn’t, and continue coming together to craft a path forward that puts our students on a path for success.