Teachers Give ACPS Overwhelming Positive Endorsement of Working Conditions
Alexandria City Public Schools has received an overwhelmingly positive endorsement by its teachers and principals in a survey of educators and principals conducted every two years.
The data show a clear positive upswing in the working conditions in schools that support effective teaching since the last time the survey was conducted in 2014. All eight areas measured in the survey linked to teacher retention and student achievement saw increases—some as much as 14 percentage points.
Overall the number of teachers who felt that their school is a good place to work and learn was 81 percent at the elementary level, 83 percent at the middle school level and 72 percent at the high school level. A total of 86 percent of teachers said that this was the reason they chose to stay at their current school.
Teachers and principals who took the Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) survey reported that their use of time, community support and engagement, teacher and school leadership, opportunities for professional development, the management of student conduct, and instructional practices and support had all improved by between 14 percentage points and five percentage points since 2014.
The only area that did not see significant improvement was facilities and resources which remained flat with only a one percentage point improvement.
“This is a very positive result for ACPS. It shows that we are doing more and more to support and retain our teachers. We want to ensure they are happy working in our schools so that we can attract and retain an exemplary staff and maintain a focus on high-performance at all levels of the school division,” said Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley.
Attracting and retaining an exemplary staff is one of the goals of the ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan. ACPS aims to recruit, develop, support, and retain a staff that meets the needs of every student and ensure they feel empowered to be truly excellent educational leaders.
School leadership came out as the most important ingredient in the teaching conditions that most affect the willingness of teachers to keep teaching at the same school. Community support and involvement was rated the most positive out of all the eight areas assessed. The quality of leadership by fellow teachers improved 10 percentage points compared to 2014.
The survey is administered by an organization specializing in conducting this survey in school systems throughout the nation. It was completed in collaboration with the New Teacher Center (NTC). Since 2008, the NTC has conducted more than 1.5 million surveys in 20 states. The TELL survey is a statistically reliable instrument to assess whether educators have working conditions in their school that support effective teaching. It does not provide information as to why teachers perceive conditions as they do.
Read a full summary of the TELL survey results (PDF).