April 30, 2013
Preliminary TELL Survey data indicate educators feel they are held to a high professional standard for delivering instruction
Educators that completed the 2013 Teaching, Empowering, Leading & Learning (TELL) Survey, report support and improvement related to both teacher and school leadership. Supporting new teachers remains an issue in Colorado.
These are a few of the findings in a preliminary report released today by the New Teacher Center, the organization that administers the survey, based on responses from more than 33,000 educators (55 percent) statewide.
This represents an eight-percentage point increase from the 47 percent responding in 2011 and a 19-percentage point increase from the first TELL Survey in 2009.
On average, 57 percent of elementary school educators responded in the survey, 61 percent of middle school educators responded, 48 percent of high school educators responded, and 35 percent of educators from other types of schools, such as alternative or vocational responded.
Sixty percent of schools in the state (1,083 of 1,810) met or exceeded the 50 percent response rate threshold required to receive an individual school-level data report and 112 of the state’s districts (61 percent) had sufficient response rates to attain district-level data. Among the findings:
Teacher Leadership and Expertise
• A majority of educators agree that school leadership acknowledges teacher expertise, hold teachers to high standards and provide opportunities for teachers to lead in their school assessments and curriculum to shape instruction.
• Four out of five educators agree that teachers in their school are recognized as educational experts (79 percent) and are trusted to make sound professional decisions about instruction (78 percent).
• More than three-quarters of educators also report that their school leadership consistently supports teachers (77 percent).
• Six out of 10 educators (60 percent) agree that teachers have time available to collaborate with colleagues compared to 56 percent in 2011.
• More than half of educators report that teachers have sufficient non-instructional time.
• Fifty-seven percent of educators report that teacher class sizes are sufficient to help them meet individual learner needs.
• Similar to 2011, it appears that the state’s newest teachers are not necessarily receiving strong mentoring support that will help them get better, faster. About one-quarter (23 percent) of the 3,853 teachers in their first three years were not assigned a mentor in 2013.
While Senate Bill 10-191 had passed prior to the last TELL Colorado Survey in 2011, the State Model Evaluation System had not yet been designed or piloted. The state views the 2013 data as baseline for the new evaluation system.
• Six out of 10 educators (62 percent) report that the teacher evaluation process improves teachers’ instructional strategies.
• Four out of five educators report teacher evaluations are fair in their school and six out of 10 educators agree that the teacher evaluation process accurately identifies effectiveness (62 percent).
• Of note, 27 districts piloting the State Model Evaluation System are more positive about evaluation than other educators across Colorado, including improving instructional strategies and accurately identifying effectiveness.
Additional resources will provide support and inform Colorado educators, stakeholders and policymakers around the results of the survey. Tools will help schools and districts facilitate a dialogue on their teaching and learning conditions and how to utilize them to inform school improvement planning. There will also be additional analyses and reports examining the connections of teaching and learning conditions with student achievement and teacher retention; validity and reliability of the survey instrument; and a variety of group comparisons (principals and teachers, etc.). All resources and reporting will be made available electronically at www.tellcolorado.org.