The slump in the economy, coupled with the acrimonious discourse over how much weight test results and seniority should be given in determining a teacher’s worth, have conspired to bring morale among the nation’s teachers to its lowest point in more than 20 years, according to a survey of teachers, parents and students released on Wednesday.
More than half of teachers expressed at least some reservation about their jobs, their highest level of dissatisfaction since 1989, the survey found. Also, roughly one in three said they were likely to leave the profession in the next five years, citing concerns over job security, as well as the effects of increased class size and deep cuts to services and programs. Just three years ago, the rate was one in four.
More than 75 percent of the teachers surveyed said the schools where they teach had undergone budget cuts last year, and about as many of them said the cuts included layoffs — of teachers and others, like school aides and counselors. Roughly one in three teachers said their schools lost arts, music and foreign language programs. A similar proportion noted that technology and materials used in the schools had not been kept up to date to meet students’ needs.
In most places, teachers have to live in fear of losing their jobs every single year. That's a level of uncertainty that only the truly dedicated would endure. It's disheartening to read that one in five teachers surveyed are considering leaving the profession in the next few years.
Given the increased pressure to evaluate teachers, while budgets are being slashed, and class sizes are increasing - and add the anti-union/anti-public employee sentiment coming from some quarters, and the results of this survey can't come as any surprise.
Link to the survey.
cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org