Public school teachers burn out because of poor working conditions, writes Greg Forster of the Friedman Foundation on Pajamas Media. He used federal data to compare public and private teachers.
Public school teachers have lower job satisfaction, less autonomy, less influence over school policy, less ability to keep order, less support from administrators and peers, and less safety.
“Public schools get nearly $11,000 per student and private schools charge an average tuition of only $6,600,” Forster writes. Yet public school teachers are less likely to say they have the instructional materials they need to be effective.
Administrators don’t provide as much support or leadership as in private schools, according to teachers. The sense of community is weaker.
Public school teachers are much less likely to strongly agree that there is a great deal of cooperation between staff members (41 percent v. 60 percent), that their colleagues share their values and understanding of the core mission of the school (38 percent v. 63 percent), and that their fellow teachers consistently enforce school rules (29 percent v. 42 percent).
Private schools can get away with paying less money to teachers because the working conditions are better.
In The Widget Effect: Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher Effectiveness, The New Teacher Project asks: If teachers are so important, why do we treat them like widgets? Good question.