It’s the Teacher Survey edition! Our Research team is going over some findings from our most recent teacher polling wave. We wanted to know about America’s teachers, and the results are in!
Mike McShane: Hello, and welcome back to another edition of EdChoice Chats. We have a special survey edition today. Many of you who listen to our monthly tracker podcast, where we sample a random sample of Americans and oversample parents, to understand what people think about education issues across this beautiful country of ours.
But, on occasion, we look at a different group of folks, and in this case, it was teachers. We put a survey in the field, from October 13th through 21st, 2022, and spoke to 1,000 American school teachers and asked them a whole battery of questions about education policy, about school choice, about their opinions, about their thoughts, about their feelings. And it is published up on our website now. You can go to edchoice.morningconsultintelligence.com. It will be the first poll that you look at. As always, we offer up all the Crosstabs. If you’re looking for individual demographic groups and how they might have responded to these questions, that’s available.
We also, in the spirit of full transparency, have the entire survey that we did, exactly how it was administered, all of that stuff is up there at edchoice.morningconsultintelligence.com.
So, it’s a huge survey. The PowerPoint presentation that our good friends at Morning Consult who we partnered with on this, put together with the results, it has 60 slides. Obviously, we’re not going to do all 60 of those slides.
But I am joined by my usual compatriots, Colyn Ritter and John Kristof. And we’re going to try and hit a couple highlights, hopefully get you interested in this, and head over to our website to check out the rest, which I will, for maybe one or two more times, but I will say here, edchoice.morningconsultintelligence.com.
So, for the first numbers that we’re looking for that stood out to us, I think we’re going to do the Cleopatra’s Pizza Hut most surprising number.
So, John, I think I’ll throw it to you first. What was the most surprising number that you saw in these results?
John Kristof: There’s a lot of good candidates this month, but one that jumped out to me the most that I’ll start off with is the question about, “How well do you think your students are progressing this school year?” And we ask about how teachers’ students are progressing academically, emotionally, and socially.
And this is a question that we’ve asked on and off to both teachers and parents for a while now. We’ve started picking it up more regularly for parents. This is the first time we’ve asked it to teachers for a while.
Now, I’ve been particularly interested in this question, especially following the most recent National Assessment for Educational Progress scores that have been released this Fall, that showed historic declines in reading and math skills among students.
And we’ve noted that it’s not really made any impact at all on parents’ assessments of how their own kids are doing in school. And, so, I was interested to see what teachers would think as well.
We’re not able to do the same kind of before-after, pre-post comparison that we were able to do for parents, since this is the first time we’ve asked this question for a little bit for teachers. But we are able to see that teachers are generally less optimistic about how well students are progressing than parents, which is interesting because, in many other respects, teachers are the most optimistic group about how well schools are doing.
We have another question, that’s very broad, for example, about, just “How do you feel about the direction of K-12 education?” Teachers are always the most optimistic, and then followed by parents, and then followed by the general public, which includes non-parents.
So, you might expect some optimism about how well kids are progressing in school, and that’s just not the case. On average, teachers think that students are progressing 23 points worse than school parents. And by that, I mean 23 points fewer teachers think that students are progressing very well academically, emotionally, socially, than the parents do.
Some interesting breakouts with depending on where teachers teach. So, traditional public district school teachers are definitely the most pessimistic, compared to charter school teachers. Private school teachers are way more optimistic than their counterparts, when it comes to academic learning, but less so when it comes to emotional development or social development.
So, I would’ve expected teachers to, if parents were positive, I was assuming teachers would be positive, but teachers certainly don’t share the same optimism about how students are developing, compared to parents. Unsure how much it has to do with NAEP scores or what they’re seeing as far as test scores go at all, or whether it’s just daily interactions with the students and overall impression. But a gap that significant, 23 percentage points, I think is definitely worth taking away from the survey.
Mike McShane: It could lead to some awkward parent-teacher conferences.
John Kristof: Yeah, for sure, for sure.
Mike McShane: Can see how that could get some wires crossed there. My Cleopatra’s Pizza Hut most surprising number was built off some questions we just started asking recently in our parents poll around the politicization of schooling. And again, in the lead-up, we are recording this on the 16th of November. The sort of the final results of the midterms are trickling back in. And in the lead-up to the midterms, there’s a big discussion about how political schools have become or if schools have become political and, if so, in what direction have they come political, and who should you elect to either stop this or tilt it in your direction, whatever? There was a lot of people talking about this.
And one of the things that I think was a Cleopatra’s Pizza Hut most surprising number on earlier iterations of this podcast was the degree to which parents didn’t really think that their kids’ schools were all that political. So, I think in our most recent poll, only 33% of parents said that they thought their child’s school was political. 54% thought that it was not political.
Those numbers are different for teachers. What we found in this survey was 46% of teachers believe that their school is political. So, substantially more teachers think their school is political than parents do.
Now, sort of similarly to what we’ve seen in parents, the breakdown of which way it breaks of teachers, of the total population, 22% of teachers think that the school shares their political views. Only 10% think it’s too conservative, and 14% think that it’s too liberal.
So, there’s a sort of even spread, like we’ve seen in parents, we saw similar things, where about the same number of people think schools are political, think that it’s one way or the other.
But I just think that this is, you want to talk about some awkward parent-teacher conferences, if this is true, the teachers have a better kind of on-the-ground look of what’s actually going on in schools, and they think that schools are more political than parents do, are things happening in schools that parents aren’t seeing? Is that not being communicated to parents, either by teachers or by their own children? Do teachers see their jobs differently?
I mean, if this continues to bear out, and this is actually happening that perhaps parents are being shielded from or not being told, or I don’t want to ascribe intent and say that it’s malicious, but just if that’s happening, if things are happening in school that parents don’t know about of a political nature, that is a volatile situation.
It was something that surprised me. I assumed that the teachers and parents would be roughly aligned, but to see that big of a difference, not only did it surprise me, but that seems to have some broader implications that will continue to play out in school board meetings and local elections and all sorts of different ways.
Colyn, what was your most surprising number?
Colyn Ritter: So, first off, let me apologize to anyone listening. My voice is very raspy from tailgating and hanging out in the cold all weekend in Kansas City with Chiefs … to watch Chiefs, Jaguars, which was a great game. Shout-out.
Mike McShane: Go Chiefs.
Colyn Ritter: Yep, go Chiefs.
Mike McShane: Colyn, I want to let you know, as long as I host this podcast, you will never have to apologize for losing your voice for cheering and supporting the Kansas City Chiefs.
Colyn Ritter: They’re one of the most passionate fan bases in the NFL, and I’m glad that I live so close to them because it is a very fun time. And I encourage anyone out there to go see a Chief’s game at Arrowhead, or whatever they renamed it to that is less cool.
But my Cleopatra surprising number is having to do with learning pods, actually. And I know this is probably me beating a dead horse. I’m a big learning pod fan. Shout-out Shelby Doyle and Andrew Campanella from National School Choice Awareness Week. They talked about learning pods on Twitter recently, and I felt the need again to share the news about this in our teachers poll.
So, we polled teachers and asked if they had any interest in facilitating instruction in a learning pod. And for those who don’t know, learning pods are small groups of children organized by parents, gathering to learn together, basically just smaller class sizes, outside the traditional school or classroom, usually in someone’s home.
But we asked, “How interested are you in facilitating instruction for a learning pod?” And we got 55%. So, the majority of teachers saying they were either very or somewhat interested in facilitating interest.
That is a decrease, actually, from June. But I think, overall, having the majority of teachers being interested in the idea is very interesting and good for the future. And I mean, breaking that down further, almost three in four charter school teachers are interested. That received a bump since our last wave of teacher polling in June. Private school teachers, nearly two out of three are interested. Even district school teachers, typically the least interested of the group, half are interested in facilitating a learning pod.
We also ask teachers and parents how much they’d be willing to pay per child per month for a teacher to facilitate a learning pod. School parents, on average, were willing to spend around $420. Teachers are, on average, asking for around a little more than 500.
So, there is a decent gap there, but I think it’s manageable. And if you’re actually breaking it down by demographic, district school teachers are asking for around 475. Small town rural teachers are asking for around 420, which is right on the mark of parents. And also, younger teachers, teachers of less than four years experience, on average, would ask for around $410.
So, there is good opportunity there to meet, if teachers are interested. On average, parents are asking for this amount. Teachers are asking for a slightly larger amount, and it’s not a crazy, big gap, so I think that could get done if teachers were looking for it.
Yeah, I’m just always spreading the good news about learning pods, and we got that from teachers as well this month.
Mike McShane: Absolutely. So, for our next category, when you have the Frankenstein’s Monster Against-the-Grain number. I’ll go ahead and lead this one off because one of the things that I have been interested to see and continue to see is the percentage of teachers who are interested in using some kind of hybrid schedule. Part of this is because, as I have taught my colleagues that are earlier in their career stages than I am, but ABC, Always Be Closing. You can head to Amazon or your other local online book retailer and find my book, Hybrid Homeschooling: A Guide to the Future of Education.
So, obviously, I have a vested interest in these questions, but I continue to be surprised and not really hearing as much conversation, as was perhaps happening a year ago, about experimenting with the school schedule, hybrid. We’ve consistently seen parents, kind of in the 40s, between 40, 45% of parents, saying they’d like some hybrid schedule, some days a week at school, some days a week learning from home.
And this is where we see teachers. I mean, it looks like we have about 49% of teachers saying that they would like some combination of one, two, or three days at school and the rest at home.
Interestingly, we don’t actually see big differences across sectors. A little bit more of charter school and private school teachers talk about teaching completely outside of school, which I think they would mean some homeschool facilitation or online learning or things like that. But these are charter school teachers. These are private school teachers. These are traditional district teachers. Everybody seems to be, or large numbers of people seem to be, interested in this.
So, I continue to think that this is an awesome opportunity for charter schools, for private schools, for district schools, across any sector that you’re in, because you have lots of teachers that were potentially interested in this. And we also know we have parents that are interested in it as well.
But Colyn, what’s your Against-the-Grain number here?
Colyn Ritter: My Against-the-Grain number is coming from a question that we started asking over the summer. We start asking, “How concerned are you about a violent intruder, like a mass shooter, entering your school?”
What I like about this question is that we’ve asked teachers, we’ve been able to ask teenagers, we’ve been able to ask school parents every month. So, we’re getting good perspective about such a horrible, unbelievable topic that we’re even having to ask about. That said, we get good perspective from each side.
This month, teachers, around four in 10 teachers, were extremely or very concerned about a potential violent intruder entering their school. Private school teachers a little bit more concerned than district school teachers, about 10% gap there.
What I found interesting about this was that school teachers were at 41%, so about four in 10.
When we polled teenagers last month, only about one-third of teenagers were very concerned.
So, we’re getting the two groups of people that are in the school. And then we ask school parents, and school parents are the most concerned. About 50% of school parents are extremely or very concerned about that potential violent intruder.
So, I think it’s interesting that teachers are somewhat in the middle between the teens and their parents. Obviously, we can’t poll elementary school students. But it’s interesting there.
If you had asked me before I had seen the data, I probably would’ve expected teachers to be the most concerned or teenagers to be the most concerned. But parents are, and teenagers are actually the least concerned, and teachers are somewhere in the middle. So, curious if you guys have any thoughts there. I’m curious to see where it’ll go in the future waves.
Mike McShane: Yeah, that was one that definitely stood out to me. And it just points to, you sort of wonder if any one of these groups will deviate from the general pattern of being really concerned about this. That doesn’t seem to be the case. Looks like kids are concerned about it. Their teachers are concerned about it. Their parents are concerned about. It’s obviously something that’s going to continue to play a big role.
But John, what’s your Against-the-Grain number?
John Kristof: So, it’s a little tricky to explain why I find this against the grain because a lot goes into it. So, I’m focusing on the question, where we ask teachers to identify, on a scale of one to 10, how likely would you be to promote the teaching profession? We kind of categorize them as, if you give a nine or a 10, we consider you a promoter. If you give a seven or eight, you’re passive. And then, if you give a zero to six, you’re not about it. You’re a detractor of the profession, as opposed to a promoter.
And district school teachers, this is not new, this is just something I want to focus on, this wave, district school teachers are overwhelmingly less likely to say that they would recommend the teaching profession to family or friends. 21% of district school teachers are promoters, and 50% are detractors. That’s what we would have as a net score of negative 29. So, not great.
But private school teachers and charter school teachers are significantly more likely to be promoters than district school teachers, with net promoter scores of plus 22 for private school teachers and plus 11 for charter school teachers. So, they’re in the green, and district school teachers are in the red.
Now, I think this is a question where, no matter how it goes, someone might be like, “Oh yeah, that’s obvious,” and they can think of reasons why.
Here’s why I think that’s not necessarily obvious. One is, one of the major reasons we hear about teachers being undervalued, which may very well be true, but one of the factors that goes into that is teacher pay. And statistically, you are financially in a better position if you are teaching at a public district school than a private school or charter school. There are some exceptions, but by and large, that is the case. So, these private school teachers and charter school teachers who are more likely to recommend the teaching profession are, in all likelihood, getting paid less than district school teachers.
In the case of charter school teachers, charter schools have similar kinds of enrollment policies to district schools, in that, if you have the space, you have to take a student, regardless of any behavioral issues or IEPs that they bring in or anything like that. And in some cases, they are dealing with an especially disadvantaged population relative to district schools in their area. I live in Indianapolis. There are a number of charter schools that do that. And despite those challenges, charter school teachers are significantly more likely to promote the teaching profession than district school teachers.
What is going on here, in that I think districts and maybe district school teachers need to ask the question of, “Why am I feeling more discouraged about teaching, or why do I feel like I need to discourage other people from teaching more because of the teaching environment that I’m involved in? And what are these other teachers having or seeing that I don’t see?”
And I think, as choice grows, as alternatives become more available to more students, as school choice programs continue to advance throughout the country, I think districts are going to need to make better efforts to keep and recruit teachers to district schools. If this is going to be a continual pattern, where teachers are happier making less money and/or dealing with more traditionally challenging kids, just because of special needs and all that, it doesn’t seem like a sustainable system.
And I think that very much goes against the grain because I think there’s a lot of branding around district schools about being happily accepting of everyone, and we do it for the kids. And I think that is true for a lot of teachers. I think that’s true for most teachers.
And yet, there is something that makes teaching less appealing for district school teachers than these other teachers that face additional challenges. And I think teachers and districts should be asking why.
Mike McShane: We’re going to mix it up a little bit here. We have a new category, or category. I’m trying to think, we’ve done this on recent podcast, but we call this one Diving Into the Demographics.
So, as I mentioned earlier, if you go on our website, you can see that we share Crosstabs, which is a multi 100-page document with every one of these questions that we ask broken down across, I think it’s probably 30, 40 different demographic groups, economic, political, racial, and ethnic identity groups, union members, all sorts of stuff, that are in there.
And, so, I tasked Colyn and John, and I dug through myself, to comb through these Crosstabs to see, does something stand out for you on some of these questions, where the demographics yielded some interesting results?
Colyn, demographic results to dive into. What stood out to you?
Colyn Ritter: So, I feel as though I’m cheating it a little bit. I’m not diving into a very specific demographic, but I’m going to talk about the difference between tenure of teachers, so years of experience. We ask teachers, and we break them up, and they’re seen in the report. You don’t have to dive into the demographics. So, I would encourage you all to, like Mike said.
In our report, we show teachers with less than four years experience, teachers with four to nine years experience, 10 to 14, and then over 15 years of experience, 15 or more. And obviously, here at EdChoice, we care very much and want to know about school choice-related questions.
So, we have those in there. We’ve asked teachers how they feel about education savings accounts, vouchers, charter schools, open enrollment. You guys know what we’re talking about here. And what stuck out, and what we’ve seen in the past, is that teachers are very supportive of these ideas.
For ESAs and open enrollment, you’ll see that, with or without a description, the majority of teachers support those policies. Vouchers, it’s a little bit different. Without a description, you get about one-third of teachers supporting it. And then, with a description, that bumps up to around on average two-thirds, which is a serious jump, but it just shows that maybe vouchers need a little bit more description to drive really good conversation about it.
But we asked two different questions or two, not our traditional school choice questions. So, I want to shout-out Patrick Graff, from American Federation for Children. He was the first one to introduce this idea to me. But he talked about a potential idea that we’ve polled teachers about, which is called Teacher Savings Accounts or Teacher Spending Accounts, which-are very similar to ESAs, which is basically a government funded account, that you can use to spend on classroom expenses, professional development, typical classroom expenditures.
And what I found was that, regardless of years of experience, teachers are very supportive of this idea. In private school, district school, all teachers, almost 90% of teachers, are very supportive of something called a Teacher Savings account, which is not … I don’t think it’s ever been put into practice or into law like education savings accounts are, but TSAs, Teacher Savings Accounts, are very popular. So, that is one idea that I think we should continue to explore and poll about, and I’m glad we do continue to poll about it.
But the demographic breakdown that I want to talk about is, we talk about the school funding, the student-based system of K-12 education funding versus the traditional education funding system.
And what I found was that, when we talk about having a student-based system of K-12 education funding, that is very popular amongst teachers with less tenure, so with less than 15 years experience, it’s around two-thirds support. Parents are also very supportive of this idea. Over 70% of parents support this idea.
But what I found interesting was that teachers with more than 15 years experience, when asked about a system of student-based education funding, where it distributes public funds to all families based on student background, household income, special needs, to use at the educational settings of their choice, only 47% of teachers with more than 15 years’ experience supported that idea, which is significant. That’s almost half of those teachers. That said, it’s very different than the teachers with less experience. Teachers with less than 15 years experience, like I said, supported around two-thirds, 67%.
So, I think it’s interesting, as we continue to move forward into the future, and teachers with more experience are retiring, and we get younger teachers into the system, I think we’re going to continue to see this support grow.
But I mean, playing devil’s advocate, also, teachers with more experience, that’s still 50% support the idea. So, I think there’s a very strong desire for funding system, based on students, compared to the traditional funding system. Yeah, I mean, that’s what stuck out to me.
Mike McShane: John, what was your demographic deep dive?
John Kristof: So, I looked into the question about school spending. One of our very regular questions, is a split-sample question, where we have two groups of respondents, so, in this case, it’s two groups of teachers, and we randomize which group people are in.
One group is just asked, “Do you think public school spending in your state is too low, too high, or about right?”
And then the other group sees the official number from the National Center for Education Statistics about how much money their public schools are spending per student in their state. And then we see what the answers are. We’re able to compare them.
So, as usual, the group that sees the actual number, which is loosely like $13,000 per student, now, on average, across the country, those who see that number are 15 percentage points less likely to say that public school spending is too low. It’s about consistent with what we’ve seen before. Parents is usually higher, at 20 or 25% points of a gap. But anyway, so normal stuff so far.
I decided to dive into the Crosstabs for this and found an interesting trend when you look at community types, so whether teachers teach in urban, suburban, or rural settings.
And I found that teachers who teach in urban settings, and I’m thinking specifically of the group that does learn how much money their state is spending, those who teach in urban settings are significantly less likely to say that school spending is too low, compared to their suburban and rural counterparts. So, again, this is the group that does learn how much money their state spends. 35% of urban teachers think spending’s too low, compared to 56% of suburban parents, compared to 69% for rural.
So, there is a 34 percentage-point gap between rural and urban teachers who think that public school spending is too low, that is.
And then, along a similar vein, again, we typically see the group that sees how much money public schools are spending in their state, are less likely to say spending is too low. That’s true for urban teachers. That’s true for suburban teachers. It was not true for rural teachers this month. As a matter-of-fact, it was within the margin of error. But rural teachers are actually slightly more likely to say that spending was too low, even the group that saw the actual number.
So, there is a definite difference of opinion about school spending, based on this survey. There is a definite difference in opinion about school spending between urban and rural teachers. And the gap doesn’t go the direction that maybe I would’ve expected. I don’t know if others more deep and intimate with the profession would’ve expected this, but I just found that a very interesting gap. And I’m not sure how it should shape conversation yet, but it sure seems that it must be relevant.
Mike McShane: So, my demographic deep dive is actually tied into my Cleopatra’s Pizza Hut most surprising number, looking at politics in schools. And I think you’re all probably getting a preview, well, depending if I can write it faster than this podcast can come out of a Forbes column, because I think this is so interesting looking at how different demographic groups answer this question, about whether they think their school, this is obviously from the teacher perspective, whether they think their school’s political and, if so, does it lean too far in one direction? I could spend a lot of time on this. I won’t.
But just breaking down political identification, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, does the school share your politics? Is it too conservative? Is it too liberal? Democrats were most likely to say that it shared their politics. So, teachers who identified as Democrats, 29% of them said that it shared their politics. It was only 22% for Republicans, 11% for Independents.
Now, probably predictably, the people most likely to say that a school was too conservative were Democrats, but it was only 14%. So, 14% of those who identify as Democrats said it was too conservative. But I’m kind of interested, 6% of Republicans said that they were too conservative, so kind of interested what’s going on in those schools. 8% of Independents said so.
On the flip side, there are 9% of Democrats who said that their schools are too liberal. Now, this was the big … where there’s a big difference here, 20% of Republicans think that that’s the case, and 16% of Independents do.
But like I said, you could look at some of these other groups and dig into all of the different union households. Right? So, these are if teachers are in unions or if they aren’t, 15% of union teachers who say they’re part of a union, 15% of unionized teachers say that the school is too liberal, but 13% of non-unionized teachers do. There’s really not that big of a difference between the two.
There was a bit of a difference between whether the schools share their political views or don’t. But like I said, it’s something very interesting, for those who are interested, it is page 219 of the Crosstabs of the tracking poll, and it goes on to page 220. There’s all sorts of different groups of folks that these interesting differences show up in.
We’re coming towards the end of our podcast here, and I want to close with kind of a different category than we’ve done before. But what I want to ask my colleagues, and I will offer one myself, this is one number teachers should know. So, teachers that are listening to this, or if you have one minute, and you’re in an elevator with a teacher, or you’re, I don’t know, you’re on a bus, or you sit down next to them on an airplane or something, and you’ve got one minute to tell them, what is one number that you think teachers should take away from our survey? So, the quick hit, Colyn, what is your one number that teachers should know?
Colyn Ritter: I’ll try to be succinct with the elevator pitch, even though I feel like I’ve rambled already on here, but I think the one number that teachers need to know, we asked teachers, “To what extent have you considered leaving the teaching profession for another career?” That’s for teachers under 55. And for teachers over 55, we asked, “To what extent have you considered retiring from the teaching profession?”
And the short story is that, over half, the majority of teachers, whether it’s under 55 or over 55 years old, have considered leaving the profession. And to teachers, what I would say is that, if you are considering leaving the profession, if you feel undervalued, if you feel stressed out, if you feel the politics of your school have gone too far, it is more than okay. You are not alone. Burnout is absolutely real. I think COVID did a lot of things for people’s careers, and it’s not just teachers, but it’s more than okay to feel this way.
A couple numbers I want to dive into, while I have my minute, is that teachers and parents, we asked teachers and parents what they want, what teachers want out of their students’ parents, and what parents want out of their teachers, and the needs generally overlap.
So, while you may feel there is a disconnect, our numbers show that teachers and parents overlap, in terms of what they need from each other. We asked parents and the general public how they feel teachers are, whether they’re undervalued or overvalued. The general public definitely feels teachers are undervalued. So, you’re not alone there. It’s not crazy to feel that way.
And also, presumably you’re very passionate about the teaching profession if you are a teacher. There are ways to continue to impact and help kids grow and learn. And you can do that through learning pods. You can do that through tutoring outside of school hours. There are many different ways to continue teaching and be fulfilled teaching. And it’s also okay to feel very undervalued or feel like you might want to leave the job. It’s not crazy. You are not alone.
Mike McShane: So, I’m glad you brought that one up because mine is actually related to yours. To me, the one number that teachers should take away is, the Net Promoter Score questions we asked.
So, for those of you that are familiar with a Net Promoter Score, we asked this question, “How likely is it that you would recommend teaching to a friend or family member?”
This is something from market research, where companies do this. “How likely are you to recommend this hotel chain or Home Depot?” or whatever it is. And basically, what you do is you take all the people that scored out of that 10, nine to 10, which are your promoters, and you subtract your detractors, and those are the people who give it a zero to six. And what you end up is getting this net score.
Just right in line with what Colyn said, the net promoter score for all of the teachers in our survey was minus 17. That is, that there was 17% more detractors, or 17 percentage points more detractors, than promoters. So, I think that drives a lot of what Colyn was talking about, people wanting to leave the profession, people being burned out, et cetera.
The number that I want people to take away, though, is that we dig into, where are those teachers that are the detractors and that are the promoters? We break down private school teachers, charter school teachers, and district school teachers.
It turns out private school teachers and charter school teachers have positive net promoter scores. So, while teachers in general are at a minus 17, private school teachers are plus 22. Those promoters, people who would give a nine or 10 into recommending teacher, 46% of private school teachers said that. 39% of charter school teachers said that. So, they’re a plus 11.
It turns out that almost all of this is being driven by district school teachers. Only 21% of district school teachers give that nine or a 10, while 50% of them are detractors, giving a zero to six. So, they have a net promoter score of minus 29.
So, to me, that decomposition, I think it is important for teachers to know that, yes, there are lots of teachers out there that are deeply dissatisfied, but there are places where teachers are satisfied and where they would recommend other teachers to teach. They’re called private schools, and they’re called charter schools.
John, I will give you the last word on this one. What was your one number teacher should know?
John Kristof: Again, I don’t know if this is answering the question in the way it was intended, but what I would talk to a teacher about for sure, is a question about dealing with safety issues in school. “How well does your school deal with safety issues, mental health issues, guns, bullying, violent behaviors?”
Since the Uvalde incident, we’ve asked this for parents. We’ve asked this for teachers. And parents have been kind of stable, where about half of parents think that their schools are doing pretty good, handling these things. And teachers are less optimistic.
But what I’m interested in is growth. And here’s what I want to talk to teachers about. There is a negligible improvement between the last time we put out this survey, last quarter, versus now. There is a negligible growth in teachers who think that their school’s doing a good job handling mental health issues.
However, there is a substantial growth in teachers who think that their schools are doing well handling guns, bullying and violent behaviors. And I want to know, is that true? Or are we further removed from a significant national news tragedy, and, so, we’re less critical of our schools in these areas? Because, again, parents have not really changed a ton in this area since the summer. Or have there have been some schools throughout the country that have improved their handling of a threat of guns or dealing with bullying or dealing with violent behaviors? Are there new policies that a number of schools aren’t handling?
Because if our numbers are correct, one in 10 schools have changed something, as far as dealing with guns. And about one in, I think, 13, would’ve changed something about their bullying policies, and one in 11 would’ve changed something in how they’re dealing with violent behaviors in school.
That’s a big deal. I want to know if that’s happening or if we are just kind of less critical of it? Either way, why is our treatment of mental health issues in school not improving? Because I feel like that’s the thing that gets the most attention in a lot of discussions from kind of all sides of the aisle. And that’s the one of these four areas where teachers are not really indicating significant improvement, which is something that we should definitely be asking.
So, if you’re a teacher listening to this, hit us up. Tell us, has your school changed anything or talked about anything in these four areas? Are you noticing a difference or yeah, or is this just kind of a fluke? I’m very curious to know.
Colyn Ritter: Yeah, please. If any teacher’s listening, feel free to let any of us know on Twitter. We’re very active, sadly, on Twitter. Yeah. And one more thing before we go. I talked about teacher savings accounts, teacher spending accounts. I would wager a decent amount of money that, if that were to ever become practice in reality, that I think our teacher’s Net Promoter Score would go up in every way.
Mike McShane: I don’t disagree with that at all.
Well, gentlemen, Colyn, John, a pleasure, as always. Those of you listening, I will say one last time, edchoice.morningconsultintelligence.com is where you can find the results of this. Both Colyn and John also brought up hitting us up on Twitter, emailing us, if you have ideas for questions, if you have thoughts, reactions. Our communications team works with people. If you are a teacher, if you’re someone out there that has thoughts, we host people on our blog. We have lots of platforms for people to talk about stuff. So, if you have thoughts and opinions, please do share them with us.
And as always, I love to thank our great producer, Jacob Vinson, who does such a great job of putting this together. And I look forward to chatting with all of you again on another edition of EdChoice Chats.