Teacher Survey Summary

How Teachers Really Feel About Educational Reforms

80% respond negatively

           Some teachers  in Arkansas, who sincerely believe that the educational reforms are and were destructive to education and to children, did  a survey in an effort to show legislators and the public what teachers really believe and feel about these reforms.  The State Department of Education asserts that  teachers were included in the development of  these reforms and support them.  These teachers' responses prove otherwise.

          Several experienced  teachers  designed the survey based on their knowledge of areas of teacher concern and in the hope someone would finance a statewide scientific survey. The survey was given to 711  teachers at four schools in 2000.  These surveys generated 30 or more typewritten pages of comments;  at least 90% or more were negative about the reforms.  Following are the results of  that survey.  After reading the survey, you will find a link to the survey in the same form that was mailed to teachers and a link to the comments made by teachers. 

Teacher Survey

Summary of  Results:

        80% of  all the 20 questions on the survey  were answered with a negative view toward educational reforms.  This was consistent with all four schools and with total of all schools combined.)

        The percentage number at the beginning tells what percentage of  the teachers marked that statement as true and the number at the end is the number of the question on the actual survey which you can read by clicking the link at the end of this summary.

94%  - In order to have the most effective educational system, teachers should choose the curriculum and methods in the classroom as opposed to principals, superintendent, school board members, state department of education, state government or federal government. (#20)

 94% - The new educational reforms have been a top down approach with educational bureaucrats and/or legislators making most or all of the significant decisions (as opposed to teacher input.)  (#7)

91% -  In recent years our schools are experiencing more government control (as opposed to local control.)  (#1)

92% -  Smart Start, the testing system in Arkansas, and other educational reforms are confusing, complex, and easily misinterpreted by educators, board members, and the public.  (#18)

90% - The State Department of Education is placing too much emphasis on test scores and coercing teachers to teach to the test.  (#5)

86% - The recent educational reforms have contributed to more job dissatisfaction or caused me to look for other employment (#11).

85% - COE staff development is of little value in improving student achievement and is an ineffective use of teachers' time.  (COE is the name of  the mandated state improvement plan that states have to design.) (#8)

85% - An accountability system that rewards individual teachers or schools for improved test scores will have more negative consequences than positive (such as placing too much emphasis on test items, causing more cheating, and demoralizing teachers.) (#15)

84% - Competition in the form of classroom activities,  grades, and scholarships increases academic achievement and improves the educational environment. (#12)

83% - Aligning school curriculum with state tests may make test scores look better but actually provide less education. (#4)

81% - Money spent on new and/or national certification will not increase the teacher's ability to improve the quality of education and will be an ineffective use of scarce funds. (#16)

80% - Traditional letter grades and percentages are still the most effective forms of reporting achievement. (as opposed to portfolios, rubrics, and checklists. (#13

79% - State and/or federally required teacher staff development programs and workshops are of little value and are a poor use of taxpayers' money. (#2)

78% - Teacher prepared curricula are superior to state standards and frameworks. (#10)

75% -  Academic distress laws that punish schools for low scores and allow the state to take over a school are unfair and will have more negative consequences than positive ones. (#19)

74% - I do not feel free to publicly express my opinions about educational reforms. (#9)

69% - In recent years the quality of education has steadily or rapidly declined.  (#6)

66% - The SAT-9 standardized tests that compare test scores to the rest of the nation are a better reflection of student achievement than the state's ACTAP testing system. (The ACTAP tests are performanced based tests.)  (#14)

64% - In recent years I have been encouraged and/or coerced to use curriculum, teaching techniques, or methods that are ineffective or even destructive to student achievement.(#3)

64% - Smart Start, ELLA, and McRat are top down approaches to education that add to the teacher's workload but will not improve the quality of education in Arkansas. )#17)

81% of answers were negative toward educational reforms in all 4 schools combined;  School 1, 71% negative;  School 2, 85% negative;  School 3, 82% negative;  School 4, 80% negative.

Surveys in these schools generated 30 or more typewritten pages of comments;  at least 90% or more were negative about the reforms. Put link here.

 Survey in its original form link here.

 Teacher Survey Comments

Comments by Teachers on the Survey

If anyone would like to use this survey for your school or for some other purpose e-mail: