Cynthia Leonor Garza
Today, MetLife, one of the most highly regarded, independent surveys of educators, released the first of a three-part report for its Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success.
WASHINGTON—The findings of this year’s “MetLife Survey of the American Teacher” reinforce what the American Federation of Teachers has been saying for the past year: Collaboration, not conflict, holds the key to successful education reform. Neither principals nor teachers can do it alone; they need to be part of a team that works together to improve teaching and learning. And they know it.
The findings in this year’s survey—that teachers and principals believe greater collaboration would have a direct impact on improved student achievement—are a clarion call that, if heeded, will help students succeed in school. The fact that 69 percent of teachers do not believe their voices have been adequately heard in the education debate means that this call, to date, has gone unheard.
It’s important that teachers not only be given the time to work with one another, but that they also have a strong partnership with school leaders. We are encouraged by the fact that more and more school districts are stepping up to the plate and creating better labor-management relationships. The AFT will continue to push for stronger partnerships and for making sure that teachers have the tools, time and trust they need to do their jobs well.