Putting Education Reform To The Test

Five Ways Teachers Are Changing

The National Center for Education Information released its most recent national teacher survey this morning and it shows some changes among the country’s 3.2 million educators.

  • Teachers are “slightly more satisfied” with their working conditions and community status than they were in 2005, 1996, 1990 and 1986 surveys.
  • About 40 percent of teachers hired since 2005 were trained in alternative programs rather than traditional education schools.
  • Those teachers trained in alternative programs were also more likely to favor pay-for-performance, eliminating tenure and other education reforms now mandated by Florida law and considered in other states.
  • Teachers are skewing younger, with 22 percent under the age of 30. That’s up from 11 percent of teachers under the age of 30 in 2005.
  • Younger teachers are also less experienced. More than one-quarter of teachers surveyed in 2011 had five or fewer years of experience, up from 18 percent in 2005.

What does the survey mean? State-by-state results were not available. Author RiShawn Biddle has argued that merit pay will only grow more common because younger teachers are more likely to support it. But Florida’s teachers have been voting with their feet since lawmakers mandated merit pay and ended tenure during the last legislative session. Florida teachers have also taken a 3 percent pay cut to fund their pensions and are dealing with changes to state standardized tests that determine their job performance.

Read Education Week‘s take on the survey here.


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