Watson Chronicle

WATSON COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

Education Updates and Features

WCE Professors Conduct Teacher Survey

Friday, January 24, 2014

WCE professors Scott Imig and Robert Smith had heard anecdotally that North Carolina teachers were unhappy with many legislative changes enacted by the General Assembly in July. This fall they conducted a survey in an effort to quantify the misgivings.

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More than 600 practicing educators and administrators in 40 counties across the state responded to the online survey that ran for two weeks in November. Results confirmed a high level of frustration over recent changes which include elimination of teacher tenure and supplements for teachers with master’s pay and a freeze in wages, leaving pay for N.C. teachers $10,000 below the national average. An overwhelming majority of respondents expressed concern that the changes have had a negative impact on teacher morale and will have a negative impact on the quality of education; with 96 percent saying public education is headed in the wrong direction in the state.

Survey results were published in December.

Imig and Smith are planning to hold follow-up interviews and focus groups with survey respondents to learn more.  They also plan to assess parents’ awareness and attitudes on these issues. Imig and Smith say their goal is to help people better understand what’s happening in the state’s public schools.  The professors plan to share survey results with educators, college education departments and state lawmakers, and the study has already received attention from media at the local, state and national level.

View the full report, “Listening to Those on the Front Lines: North Carolina Teachers and Administrators Respond to State Legislative Changes."

View recent news articles:

Raleigh NewsObserver op-ed by Imig and Smith: "Urgent wake-up call from NC teachers"

StarNews article Jan. 2 - "N.C. teachers see legislative changes as harmful, survey finds"

Huffington Post article: "Teachers In North Carolina Are Extremely Depressed About The State Of Their Profession"