Friday, May 06, 2011

TELL Survey Produces Preliminary Data

High Response Rate suggests
Input is Valid and Representative

Kentucky teachers’ and principals’ participation in the TELL (Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning) Kentucky Survey set a record for first-time response rates on similar surveys.

According to the New Teacher Center (NTC), the non-profit organization that administers the survey, Mississippi previously held the highest record for first-time response rate, with 67 percent participation. Kentucky’s overall response rate was 80.27 percent. Of the total 52,353 educators eligible to participate, 42,025 completed the survey. Additionally, 91 percent of Kentucky schools met the minimum response rate threshold of 50 percent and will be able to use their own school results for annual school improvement planning.

“I am extremely pleased with the rate of response from Kentucky’s teachers and administrators,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “The value of this survey lies in participants’ honest evaluation of their teaching conditions. Because we expect every principal and teacher to create and sustain positive conditions for learning in every classroom, we must be able to measure those conditions.

“Addressing teaching conditions in our schools and districts will improve student learning results, reduce teacher turnover rates and make a long-term impact on the economy of Kentucky. All of the participants – along with our education partners – should be congratulated and commended for their work on this survey.”

See data related to the survey here.

The results will be used by school-based decision making councils, schools, districts, KDE, Kentucky Board of Education and numerous other organizations to improve the teaching and learning conditions in the state’s schools and districts. However, the results will not be used to form a score as part of an accountability model for schools and districts.

All schools and districts across the state were able to view their results April 25 using pass codes. NTC provided tools for assistance in using the data, such as a School Improvement Guide and a District Guide. All tools and results can be viewed here. As follow-up, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will provide webcasts and technical support on use of the data.

The Kentucky Board of Education will review the preliminary findings at its June meeting for potential state policy and budget impacts.

“The collaborative work of the education leaders in Kentucky, under the strong leadership of the Governor and the commissioner, should be commended,” said Eric Hirsch, chief of External Affairs for NTC. “Not only has Kentucky set a new record for overall response rate percentages for first-time administration of the survey, the large number of schools and districts obtaining the minimum threshold will provide valuable data as the TELL Kentucky Coalition of partners continues its work to help ensure that every school provides the supports necessary for all students to be successful.”

According to NTC, early analyses of the results indicate that, overall, educators are positive about their teaching conditions.

* 93 percent agree they work in a school environment that is safe.
* 94 percent agree the school leadership facilitates using data to improve student learning.
* 92 percent agree that teachers are encouraged to try new things to improve instruction.

However, there are areas of concern expressed by educators. For example, only 63 percent of educators agreed that there is sufficient time for instructional planning to meet the needs of all students.

The final report from NTC, which will include information related to student achievement as well as other key indicators such as years of experience of teachers and comparison to the results from the administrator portion of the survey, will be available in the fall...

From March 1 to March 28, the TELL survey was administered to all Kentucky certified educators employed in the state’s 174 school districts. All school-based certified public school teachers and principals were asked to submit their perceptions on a variety of issues related to student achievement and teacher retention, including the adequacy of facilities and resources; time; empowerment; school leadership; community support; student conduct; professional development; mentoring and induction services; and student learning.

The survey was administered by the New Teacher Center (NTC), a national organization dedicated to supporting the development of a high-quality teaching force. NTC has conducted similar surveys in other states and provides induction and professional development for teachers and principals across the country. Since 2008 NTC has administered the teaching conditions survey in eleven states, hearing from almost 500,000 educators.

TELL Kentucky was conducted under the leadership of the Kentucky Department of Education and supported by a coalition of education organizations...


* 42,025 (80 percent) educators responded to the TELL Kentucky Survey.
* Of nearly 1,400 schools, 1,245 met or exceeded the 50 percent response rate necessary for data to be available.
* Of 174 school districts, 128 had every school reach the minimum threshold for response rate.
* 1,800 administrators responded to the survey (1,057 principals, 743 assistant principals).

Major Trends

Overall, educators are positive about their teaching conditions:

* 93 percent agree they work in a school environment that is safe.
* 83 percent indicate they intend to continue teaching at their current schools.
* 80 percent agree the faculty and leadership have a shared vision.
* 94 percent agree the school leadership facilitates using data to improve student learning.
* 86 percent agree that the school council makes decisions that positively impact instruction (i.e. curriculum, instructional practices).
* 92 percent agree that teachers are encouraged to try new things to improve instruction.

Major Concerns

Early analyses indicate there are concerns across the state. For example, in the area of Time:

* Only 51 percent agree that efforts are made to minimize the amount of routine paperwork teachers are required to do.
* 63 percent agree that teachers have sufficient instructional time to meet the needs of all students.
* 68 percent agree that teachers are protected from duties that interfere with their essential role of educating students.

Survey Areas

Facilities and Resources
Community Support and Involvement
Managing Student Conduct
Teacher Leadership
School Leadership
Professional Development
Instructional Practices and Support
New Teacher Support

SOURCE: KDE Press release


Anonymous said...

I wonder what percentage of Kentucky educators gave more positive survey answers more because they felt that somehow any negative answers could have been traced back to them. I have spoken with far too many colleagues who feel thay cannot tell tell the truth on these surveys.

Richard Day said...

Surveys are imperfect for a number of reasons, but that does not mean they are invalid. And in this case, I'm not sure that specific fear was completely rational.

I hope lots of teachers spoke their minds. It's hard to blame KDE and the state board if they didn't.