Monday, March 21, 2011

10,000 Teachers Share Views on the Teaching Profession


  • Primary Sources 2012: America’s Teachers on the Teaching Profession is a survey of more than 10,000 public school teachers from every state, urban and rural districts and who are representative of novice and experienced professionals at all grade levels and in all specialties.
  • The survey was conducted online in July 2011 by research firm Harrison Group Inc.
  • Primary Sources 2012 is the second report from Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to survey America’s teachers on their views and opinions. The first report, Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on America's Schools was released in 2009 and continues to be recognized as the largest-ever national survey of teachers.


  • Challenges facing students are significant and growing: 46% of veteran teachers say they are seeing fewer students prepared for challenging work than when they began teaching in their current schools. 56% are seeing more students living in poverty, and 49% are seeing more students coming to school hungry
  • Only 22% of teachers rate student academic achievement at their schools as "Excellent"
  • High-school teachers believe only 60% of students in current classes could leave high school prepared to succeed in a 2- or 4- year college
  • Teachers welcome and are eager for more frequent evaluation of their practice from principals, peers and even students. Plus, they welcome feedback from a variety of sources.
  • Teachers are open to tenure reform: Eighty percent of teachers agree that tenure should be regularly reevaluated, and on average, teachers say that tenure should be granted after 5.4 years of teaching.
  • Teachers work an average of 10 hours, 40 minutes per workday, three hours and 20 minutes longer than the average required teacher workday nationwide.
  • Standardized tests do not reflect student skill: Only 45% of teachers say their students’ take the test seriously and perform on them to the best of their ability
  • Family involvement is the highest ranked factor for improving student achievement with 98% of teachers in agreement that it has a strong or very strong impact on student academic success. At the same time, 47% of veteran teachers report lower parental participation in their schools.
  • The majority of teachers are satisfied in their jobs: Eighty nine percent of teachers are either very satisfied or satisfied in their jobs and only 16% of teachers plan on leaving teaching.
  • 23 is the average number of students in the American public school classroom. On average, teachers report that student achievement is negatively affected once class size reaches 27 students.