Beset, bothered and beleaguered
Teachers feel like scapegoats for education problems they can’t control, according to Stand by Me, a new Public Agenda survey.
Feeling they have become “scapegoats for all the problems facing education” (76%) and sensing little support from administrators or parents, Americaís teachers see unions and tenure as necessary protectors against school system politics and unfounded accusations by parents and students. Even so, 78% say their school has at least a few teachers who are “simply going through the motions,” and just 14% say it is easy to remove incompetent teachers.
While “87% say students should pass a standardized test to be promoted,” only “18% say tests are meaningful and their district uses them well.”
To my surprise, two-thirds say they support higher pay for teachers who work in difficult schools and teachers “who consistently work harder, putting in more time and effort.” However, “less than half (42%) favor paying more to teachers with harder-to-find skills such as science or math expertise,” and even fewer want to tie teacher pay to students’ test scores.
There’s more on unions, tenure, alternate paths to certification and other issues.