A strong curriculum is a top priority, said more than 40,000 public school teachers in pre-K through 12 who participated in Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on America’s Schools by Scholastic Inc. and the Gates Foundation. The report states:
“Nearly 9 in 10 teachers agree that a high-quality curriculum ensures academic success for their students (88%).”
Fewer than half of teachers (45%) say higher salaries are essential for retaining good teachers. More teachers say it is absolutely essential to have supportive leadership (68%), time to collaborate (54%), and quality curriculum (49%). More than 80 percent of teachers say district-required tests are at least a somewhat important measure of student performance (84%). Overall, teachers value multiple measures, including formative assessments, performance on class assignments and class participation along with standardized tests. Only 10 percent of teachers say that tenure is a very accurate measure of teacher performance while 42 percent say it is not at all accurate. Student engagement and year over year progress of students are by far viewed as the most accurate indicators of teacher performance measures (60% and 55%, respectively, rate as very accurate) but are not frequently used to evaluate teachers.
The report is a “useful snapshot” of teachers’ views, writes Common Core’s James Elias, though he hopes for questions in the next round on time management and the effect of testing on what gets taught.