Press Release

AFT on MetLife Survey of the American Teacher

For Release: 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Contact:

Janet Bass
202-879-4554
jbass@aft.org

AFT's Weingarten: "When teacher dissatisfaction is at a 25-year high, school leaders have to stop ignoring the red flags and start listening to and working with teachers to figure out what they and their students need to succeed."

WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the "MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership":

"When teacher dissatisfaction is at a 25-year high, school leaders have to stop ignoring the red flags and start listening to and working with teachers to figure out what they and their students need to succeed. There's a significant problem when we see a 23 percentage-point plunge in satisfaction from 2008 and a 5 percentage-point drop just since last year. How many more surveys and polls do we need before we give teachers the tools, resources and support to help their kids, especially with today's greater challenges and accountability?

"A huge problem is that teachers are not getting the information, help and guidance they need now to implement the Common Core State Standards into curriculum and for the 2014-15 school year, when assessments will reflect the Common Core standards. The new standards are a potential game-changer for students, but teachers need opportunities to work with the standards, understand them and align their teaching to the rigor of them. It is unfair to students to hold them responsible for the newer, deeper standards when teachers are not getting the support they need—which we hear constantly from teachers.

"The survey found less-satisfied teachers are more likely to work in schools that had reduced budgets, less professional development and less time for collaboration with other teachers—essentials for high- quality teaching and learning. Both teachers and principals expressed concern about the myriad challenges in high-poverty schools, which principals said are affecting the ability to attract and retain effective teachers, and to engage parents and the community. These survey results add to the calls for wraparound services to address children's unmet academic, healthcare and other needs that affect student achievement."

The full report can be found, after 12:01 a.m., Feb. 21, at: https://www.metlife.com/metlife-foundation/what-we-do/student-achievement/survey-american-teacher.html?WT.mc_id=vu1101.