Dueling Surveys

New York City isn’t the only place where you see this sort of back and forth between school districts and teachers’ unions about different climate surveys…While I’m playing assignment editor for New York reporters, I’ll ask: Why doesn’t a newspaper pick up the mantle here and give us a survey that neither side is invested in? Seems like you’d sell a lot of newspapers the day it came out…In fact, seems like a good business opportunity for someone…go from place to place doing these with some solid methodology behind it…

Posted on Jun 27, 2008 @ 8:56am

One thought on “Dueling Surveys

  1. Eric Hirsch, Director of Special Projects, New Teacher Center

    Having a 3rd party conduct a more neutral survey to assess climate can be very helpful. But having the media ask would already skew the answers of educators as they know they would find their answers on the front page…and the media is not exactly known for its attention to research-based practices. More important than who does the survey is
    1. The survey here is not about climate, the questions are about an individual (Chancellor Klein) and the respondents would key all their answers based on the first part of the question. Questions should be about schools and conditions, not people.
    2. The questions should be research-based and be about things that not just relate to “climate” or “satisfaction” but positive teaching conditions necessary for student and educator success
    3. The results should be gathered at the school level (where many differences can be seen in the same district)and used for school improvement planning as well as to influence the district

    There are some great examples of this not only in our own surveys I do at the New Teacher Center, but in Chicago through the Consortium on Chicago School Research. And some good examples within unions as well as such as the NEA KEYS Survey If we’re going to ask 100,000 teachers about their thoughts and needs, let’s make sure we do it in such a way that empowers them and gives them data to improve their own environments.

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