The results of the 2015-16 NC teacher working conditions survey are in.
Of the 119,177 teachers in the state, 101,846 took the survey. This represents 85.46% of the teachers in the state. Of those taking the survey 88% were classroom teachers.
The other 12% were principals, assistant principals and other school staff such as counselors and school psychologists.
The majority of those responding had between 11 and 20+ years of teaching experience. Only 6 districts had a 100% response rate and they were smaller districts ranging from 71 teachers to 676. Cherokee Central schools were the worst, with only 36.84% responding.
The questions and the response percentages are compiled in a report which yielded some interesting results. The responses are broken down into categories such as use of time, facilities and resources, community support, teacher leadership, school leadership, professional development and student discipline.
One result was that only 61.9% said that class sizes were appropriate in order for the teacher to meet the needs of students.
Of note was the section on “Instructional practices and support”. Only 65.5% of the respondents said that “State assessment data are available in time to impact instructional practices”.
The most damning set of responses dealt with the assessments themselves. When asked if “State assessments accurately gauge students’ understanding of standards”, only 43% agreed. North Carolina’s assessments are aligned with the Common Core standards.
Comparing Results Between 2016 and 2014
The number of respondents in 2014 was higher, at 88.63% according to the comparison report.
One area where responses dropped in all the related questions was “Managing Student Conduct”. When asked about “Students at this school follow rules of conduct”, in 2014 71.9% agreed. That number dropped to 69.7% in 2016.
Most of the other areas all saw small increases, except for assessments. Under the question, “State assessments accurately gauge students’ understanding of standards”, in 2014, 44.5% agreed, and as previously mentioned, in 2016 only 43% agreed.
Around 75% of teachers said they access to appropriate teaching materials. 81% said they have access to “office equipment and supplies such as copy machines, paper, pens, etc.”. The survey did not appear to include classroom materials.
Closer Look At A Few Districts
I took a look at a few of the larger districts, Wake and Charlotte. I also included Durham since the NCAE’s social justice caucus, Organize 2020, seems to be largely based in that district.
Visit the reports by district here. Once at that link, one can click on the district name to see a list of individual school results.
Wake County (WCPSS)
WCPSS is the 16th largest district in the county and has the most educators in the state out of any district. In 2014, the response rate was 89.08%. In 2016, it dropped to 86.05%. Of the 11,633 educators, 10,010 responded which is 86.05%.
Wake county school’s results were a bit of a mixed bag. View the Wake county 2014 and 2016 comparison report.
The section on managing student conduct saw decreases across the board. These results may speak to the instances of crime, fighting and drug related activities I’ve previously questioned within Wake schools.
Charlotte Mecklenburg schools (CMS)
CMS results were arguably worse than Wake’s. Only 64.84% responded this year as opposed to 69.12% in 2014. Of the 10,632 teachers in CMS, only 6,894 responded, which is 64.84%.
Class size and use of time were issues in the CMS report. Only 67.6% felt that parents were “influential decision makers in this school”.
Managing student conduct numbers rose for CMS from 2014 to 2016, but even so, only 62.4% believe students follow the rules.
Under instructional practices and support, only 46.7% think that “State assessments accurately gauge students’ understanding of standards”. That is around a 3% increase from the prior year.
In the 2016 results, only 69.8% believe there is “an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect in this school.” That’s up from 63.7% 2014 under Morrison.
Durham public schools (DPS)
Of the 2,853 educators in DPS, 2,661 responded which is 93.27%.
DPS also panned the category on ‘time’, with responses rising slightly from the 2014 survey.The category on ‘use of time’ had the lowest percentages. Under the instructional practices and support category, the responses to assessments were similar to that previously mentioned, but had increases in agreement.
The report for DPS also noted that only 67.7% of respondents felt that “Parents/guardians are influential decision makers in this school”. This is a drop from 68.8% in 2014. Nearly every category under managing student conduct dropped between 2014 and 2016.
DPS respondents followed the same trend on the question, “State assessments accurately gauge students’ understanding of standards”. In 2014, 50.2% agreed, in 2016 that number dropped to 45.4%.