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Survey: Most TN Teachers Feel Good about Their Jobs, Schools


Wednesday, May 4, 2011   

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Most teachers in Tennessee are giving the state a passing grade when it comes to their jobs and workplaces.

In the first-ever statewide survey of educators, more than eight out of 10 say their school is a good place to work and learn. Most feel they have the resources they need to effectively plan and teach, and nine out of 10 say they've been encouraged to try new things.

Gera Summerford, president of the Tennessee Education Association, thinks the state will gain valuable insight from the results when decision makers see parallels between the teacher survey and other measures of performance.

"If we see those kinds of correlations, then we can learn from the schools where everything looks very positive and good, and we can hopefully use that to help the schools that are needing more support."

About 77 percent of teachers and administrators - about 57,000 people - responded to the "TELL Tennessee" Survey. That's a better turnout than for similar surveys in other states, Summerford says.

Educators will be able to see the results by school, Summerford says, which should help individual schools and the state better understand what's working and fix what needs improvement.

"This is a very valuable tool, and the challenge now is to use it in appropriate ways, particularly when we have so many other issues going on for teachers in this reform movement."

The data will also be used to help create a system to assess teachers' professional development.

Survey results are online at telltennessee.org.

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