The majority of teachers don’t recommend the profession
Educators for Excellence releases its 6th annual “Voices from the Classroom” teacher survey report highlighting the many unmet needs of teachers and students.
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Education for Excellence (E4E), a teacher-led advocacy organization, released its 6th annual Voices from the Classroom teacher survey—marking its 40th anniversary of the publication of A Nation at Risk, the report that landmark the standards-based reform and accountability movement on the failings of the education system. Forty years later, it focuses on understanding the varied educational experiences across student populations and the educational inequities within the education system.
The survey asked 1,000 teachers from across the nation, plus an oversample of 300 teachers of color, their opinions on classroom issues, including curricula, assessments, teacher workloads, teacher salaries, and more.
The survey covered many issues: the need for educators to have professional autonomy to determine when and how to deliver culturally relevant content to their students; recognize the diverse academic needs of diverse students and meet their social and emotional needs; have sustainable workloads, increased salaried and differentiated compensation— with 80% of teachers responding they are committed to staying in the classroom, a contrast from only 14% who would recommend the profession.
To put this into perspective, only 140 of the 1,000 teachers from across the nation recommend students to become teachers and 88% of them report that the current teacher shortages are a serious problem.
“When it comes to the prioritization of our students and their education, our nation is still at risk,” said Sydney Morris, co-founder and co-CEO of E4E. “Compared to any other in-school factor, teachers have the greatest impact on students. Unfortunately, the survey shows us that teachers do not have the professional autonomy, support, or resources to effectively support their students, especially those who have been historically underserved, leaving many educators overwhelmed and disheartened.”
According to the survey, since 2021, more educators have received materials, guidance, or training to support diverse learners— only 36% of teachers reporting they have the curricular materials needed for effective instruction.
“If we do not work urgently to improve the conditions of the profession, in another forty years, there may be no one left to educate our nation’s children,” said Evan Stone, co-founder and co-CEO of E4E. “To no longer be a “nation at risk”, we need a more sustainable, more effective, and more equitable K-12 public education system, and that starts with understanding what teachers need to help students succeed.”
The teacher survey reports that 90% of teachers believe students should have a summative measure of their learning from the beginning to the end of the school year. However, only 56% of teachers believe that their state assessment accurately measures student mastery of content standards—a contrast from 66% of teachers under 30 and 76% of teachers of color who believe it does.
“If our nation is to ensure that every student has access to a great education, we must listen to and engage our teachers,” says Denise Forte, president, and CEO of The Education Trust. “Teachers are critical to ensuring that every student, especially Black and Latino students and students from low-income backgrounds, receive a high-quality education and our nation must do a better job supporting and rewarding the hard work that educators do each day.”