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News Release - More Educators Say their School is a Good Place to Work

May 6, 2015

More Educators Say their School is a Good Place to Work

Preliminary TELL Survey Results Show an Overall Positive Picture, with some shifts in positive perceptions of Assessments and Educator Evaluations

Educators who completed the 2015 Teaching, Empowering, Leading & Learning (TELL) Survey report an overall positive picture for teaching in Colorado schools, with about 85 percent of respondents saying their school is a good place to work and learn, up from 83 percent two years ago.

Offered every other year to all school-based educators in Colorado, the TELL Survey anonymously captures educators’ perceptions about teaching and learning conditions. State and local officials and educators use the survey results to make improvements in schools and classrooms, including creating professional development opportunities for staff and investing in targeted support for schools.

Approximately 32,000, or 51 percent, of educators in Colorado completed the survey earlier this year. Just over 990 schools, or 55 percent, in the state met or exceeded the 50 percent response-rate required to receive an individual school-level data report. View complete results, including school and district-level information and the preliminary report issued by the New Teacher Center.

Educators report positive and relatively stable perceptions of community support and involvement, with nearly three-fourths of respondents agreeing that parents, guardians and community members support teachers and contribute to their success with students. More than nine out of 10 respondents say teachers provide parents and guardians with useful information about student learning. More than four out of five educators indicate their school maintains clear, two-way communication with the community.

Six out of 10 educators, or 60 percent, agree that teachers have reasonable class sizes compared to 57 percent in 2013. Fewer educators agree that teachers are allowed to focus on educating students with minimal interruptions – 64 percent this year compared to 67 percent in 2013.

Perceptions Regarding Assessment Data

Colorado educators report using assessments to drive instruction, but the assessments they have access to may not be meeting their needs. The number of educators who say state assessment data is used to improve student learning declined by 17 percent, from 76 percent two years ago to 59 percent this year. Thirty-two percent of educators agree that state assessment data are available in time to impact instructional practices, compared to 44 percent in 2013. This may be reflective of the changes educators are experiencing in the state assessment system this year.

Perceptions on Educator Evaluations

Perceptions of teacher evaluations have shifted since 2013. This is the second full year of statewide implementation of the new educator evaluation system authorized by SB 10-191. There are, however, notable differences between novice and experienced teachers, teachers who plan to stay at their current school versus those who plan to transfer to another school, and teachers who report their school leadership is effective compared to those who do not.

Just over half of respondents, or 52 percent, report that the teacher evaluation process improves teachers’ instructional strategies, compared to 62 percent two years ago. Novice teachers, however, had a more positive view of the evaluation process, with 60 percent of them agreeing that the evaluation process improves teachers’ instructional strategies, compared to 48 percent of experienced teachers.

Effective school leadership also makes a difference in perceptions around evaluations, with nearly 60 percent of teachers who say their school leadership is effective agreeing that the teacher evaluation process improves teachers’ instructional strategies.

Educators report a 6 percent decline in perceptions that teacher evaluations are fair in their schools, from 80 percent in 2013 to 74 percent in 2015. Perceptions are higher for teachers who report that their school leadership is effective, (84 percent versus 43 percent), and teachers who intend to stay in their teaching position (78 percent versus 43 percent).

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