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Anonymous survey reveals positives and negatives to working in Texas schools

A new survey finds just 52 percent of teachers in Texas feel like their schools and districts make efforts to reduce the amount of routine paperwork required.  The Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) Texas survey was commissioned by state lawmakers. According to the Texas Education Agency: 

The TELL Texas Survey is part of House Bill 2012 passed last year by the Texas Legislature, which requires TEA to develop an online teaching and learning conditions survey to be administered statewide biennially to teachers, principals, counselors and other school-based professional staff. The anonymous survey is aimed at providing valuable data for schools and districts to use in improvement planning.

During the course of the two-month survey period, 83,103 (or about 20 percent) of school-based licensed educators responded to the survey – including 75,400 teachers (91 percent of respondents), 1,431 principals, 1,416 assistant principals and 4,856 in the category of “other education professionals” (such as school counselors, school psychologists or social workers).

During the course of the anonymous survey, teachers were asked to respond to specific statements regarding instructional practices and support on their campuses over the past two years. Among the teacher response highlights:

 

  • 96 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: The curriculum taught in this school is aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills.
  • 92 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: Teachers believe what is taught will make a difference in students’ lives.
  • 92 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: Teachers require students to work hard.
  • 88 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: Teachers are encouraged to try new things to improve instruction.
  • 63 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: Teachers are allowed to focus on educating students with minimal interruptions.
  • 61 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: The non-instructional time provided for teachers in my school is sufficient.
  • 60 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: Teachers have sufficient instructional time to meet the needs of all students.
  • 52 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: Efforts are made to minimize the amount of routine paperwork teachers are required to do.

The survey was administered by the New Teacher Center (NTC), a national organization that has conducted similar surveys in other states. For more information about the 2014 TELL Texas Survey, please visit www.telltexas.org  

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