The best way for public school officials to recruit new teachers are financial incentives for those who work in low-income and rural schools.
Access academic growth over time to evaluate teacher and student effectiveness, versus standardized test scores.
These are just two of the dozens of recommendations released Wednesday in a survey produced by Educators for Excellence, a nonprofit organization based in New York City that received responses from 1,000 full-time public schoolteachers nationwide.
The teachers who helped create the survey spoke about portions of the 115-page document at the National Press Club in northwest D.C.
“As teachers, we know the challenges affecting our students and our schools,” said Isaiah Sago, a high school teacher from Los Angeles. “We hope administrators and policy makers are listening to what we have to say and will [turn words] into action.”
The survey, conducted online from April 14 to May 6, delved into topics such as equity, teacher retention and school safety.
When a question touched on support for school choice by race, 51 percent of the 208 minority teachers who participated in the survey want to provide “completely free educational options for low-income families.” About 35 percent of their 792 white counterparts agreed.
The survey also noted teachers of color believe a greater sense of appreciation for their craft within their state and the nation as a whole.
However, 12 percent feel “not very valued” or “not valued at all” by their own colleagues, compared to 6 percent of White teachers. The percentage increase for teachers of color to 22 percent among their principals; 17 percent for Whites.
Tracy Michelle Netter, an elementary school teacher in Chicago, said the survey became one of the most unique projects in her career.
“I am really hoping this survey can be in every single school in Chicago just so that teachers can understand some of their same concerns have been heard nationally,” she said after the 90-minute discussion. “Just get that information out there for teachers, administrators, students and parents to show this is what’s going on.”
The full survey, “Voices in the Classroom,” which a margin of error of plus/minus 3.1 percentage points, can be read at https://e4e.org/sites/default/files/2018_voices_from_the_classroom_teacher_survey.pdf.