Teacher survey shows wide range of opinions on Hamilton Co. scho - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Teachers speak out about schools in statewide survey

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-  From near perfection to dismally low scores, Hamilton County teachers have some strong opinions on whether their schools offer a good environment for learning and teaching.  Their input is part of "Tell Tennessee," made up of data based on the anonymous responses of 77 percent  (57,391) of the state's K-12 teaching force on issues including working conditions, school leadership, instructional support and professional development.

In Hamilton County, scores were slightly lower than the state average in most categories.  In answer to the final question about overall school quality, 84.5 percent of the state's teachers gave their schools good marks, but Hamilton County's average score was 81 percent.  2442 of Hamilton County's teachers responded to the survey, or just under 75 percent.  Statewide, about 77 percent of teachers participated.  Their opinions were given anonymously.

Here's a school-by-school ranking of the percentage of teachers in agreement with this statement: "Overall, my school is a good place to work and learn."

100% Adult High School (Hamilton Co. High), Ivy Academy

97%  Daisy Elementary, Thrasher Elementary

96%  Loftis Middle

95%  East Brainerd Elem., Red Bank High

93%  Apison Elem., Lookout Mtn. Elem., Ooltewah Middle, Spring Creek Elem.

92%  Brown Middle, Donaldson Elem., North Hamilton Elem., Red Bank Elem., Soddy-Daisy High, Soddy-Daisy Middle, Smith Elem.

91%  Clifton Hills Elem., Lookout Valley Middle-High

90%  Ganns-Middle Valley Elem.

89%  CSAS Elem., Westview Elem.

88%  CSLA, Sequoyah High

87%  Battle Academy, Shepherd Elem., East Side Elem.

86%  Central High, Signal Mtn. Middle-High, Tyner Academy

84%  Lookout Valley Elem., Ooltewah High

83%  Falling Water Elem., Hixson Elem., Normal Park, Ooltewah Elem.

82%  Barger Academy, East Lake Elem.

81%  East Ridge Middle

80%  Nolan Elem.

79%  Birchwood Elem., Red Bank Middle

75%  Alpine Crest Elem., CGLA

72%  DuPont Elem., Tyner Middle

71%  East Lake Academy

69%  Orchard Knob Elem.

68%  Howard Middle-High, Allen Elem., Wolftever Creek Elem.

67%  East Ridge Elem., Hardy Elem.

65%  Rivermont Elem.

64%  Brown Academy

62%  Lakeside Academy, Woodmore Elem.

61%  Harrison Elem., Soddy Elem.

55%  Hillcrest Elem.

52%  Dalewood Middle

50%  Orchard Knob Middle

46%  Brainerd High

44%  East Ridge High

At least half of a school's faculty had to respond to be counted in the statewide survey.  In Hamilton County, the following schools did not have enough teacher responses to be included:  Big Ridge Elem., Center for Creative Arts, CSAS Upper, East Hamilton Middle-High, Hixson High, Hixson Middle, Hunter Middle, McConnell Elem., Sale Creek Middle-High and Snow Hill Elementary.

Interim Superintendent Rick Smith said he was familiar with the survey, and planned to speak to principals about "what's working and what's not" in their schools.  District 8 Board member David Testerman said, "It's certainly worth looking at.  You have to wonder why some schools are rated so highly by their teachers, but the school down the road gets low ratings from its teachers.  We need to figure out why there's such a difference of opinion, and fix the ones that aren't working."

Here is a press release from the Tennessee Department of Education, which includes a link to the scores from counties across the state:

The results are in, and more than 57,000 educators across the state completed the TELL Tennessee (Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning) Survey. Overall, 85 percent of Tennessee's educators agree that their school is a good place to work and learn. Survey data will be used to provide a foundation for assessing professional development, strategies for improvement, and policy development guidance.

"We continue to listen and have discussions with educators across the state to gain insight into the changes that need to happen in education," said Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. "It is critical that we remain engaged and connected to work jointly towards the improvement and success of our teachers, classrooms, and student achievement."

Tennessee's school districts set the standard for first time participation in the teaching and learning condition survey efforts as conducted by the New Teacher Center. A record 77 percent of educators and administrators responded to the survey, which exceeds previous results in other states such as North Carolina, Mississippi, Ohio, Maryland and Kansas. Questions provided insight into key day-to-day factors about time management for instructional planning, school and teacher leadership, facilities and resources, and professional development opportunities.

"We are excited to have this information to study and use as a valuable tool to inform our work to transform Tennessee's expectations of education and our schools," said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. "These results will help us to better understand the things that work, but also help to identify areas that need improvement such as minimizing paperwork or disruptions that take away from valuable instructional time and developing more individualized professional development opportunities."

The 2011 TELL Tennessee (Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning) Survey was the first statewide opportunity for teachers and licensed staff in Tennessee to provide input about their learning environment. The TELL Tennessee survey is supported by a Coalition of Partners that include Governor Haslam, Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Education Association, Tennessee Principals Study Council, Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education, Tennessee School Boards Association, Tennessee Association of School Superintendents, and Tennessee Charter Schools Association. 2011 survey results are now available online at www.telltennessee.org.

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