Snoopy’s Sleight Of Hand: How Metlife Plays Fast And Loose With Its Teacher Survey

Everyone took notice last week when a “23 point drop” in teacher job satisfaction hit the new courtesy of the annual Metlife Survey of the American Teacher.  It seemed too good too check.  And it turns out it was.

Metlife actually uses two different questions to get to that result – there is no five year trend line, contrary to their claims and marketing material. It’s an approach that leading pollsters say doesn’t hold water.  This morning at Real Clear Politics I look at the sleight of hand , what the data actually show (pretty good news all things considered), and the bigger issues the whole episode points up for the education field and its affection for grievance politics.

You can read the entire article here.

5 Replies to “Snoopy’s Sleight Of Hand: How Metlife Plays Fast And Loose With Its Teacher Survey”

  1. It’s a self-defeating strategy. We can’t hide from the problems, but we might consider spending a little more time talking about the good aspects of teaching if we want to make education a more attractive career option.
    What’s not attractive about it?

  2. 23 points would sound right to me, at least in my NJ area. What’s not attractive is:
    1. being blamed for social ills we have no control over (used as a political whipping boy for politicians who shirk their responsibility to fix those things that will improve ed outcomes.)
    2. Less pay, less benefits, increased costs and MANY increased hours
    3. no control over what can be taught so many things are now scripted yet we’re blamed when they don’t work.
    4. 12 hour+ days, loss of family time or any personal time – Summers and holidays do not make up for this.

    Honestly, teachers here are burning out left and right. Many leaving before 25 years, and age 55 (for full pension) because things have become so bad. New teachers coming in swiftly have their optimism stripped from them. The best and the brightest candidates will also swiftly choose another profession!

  3. As a result of the current “reform” movement, teachers and prospective teachers will follow the lead of Michelle Rhee and other “reformers” and leave the classroom for “greener pastures” (i.e. more money) as soon as possible. However, there will be a silver lining for teachers and students: When districts become desperate for well-qualified teachers, they will offer professional autonomy and better working conditions and salaries. Teachers will become true professionals and unions will morph into the professional organizations they were originally intended to be. Teachers will lead our schools in the future.

    “Reformers” have done the worst possible thing to American education: they have demeaned our teachers. But I believe there will a huge backlash (could be starting now) with teachers coming out on top, as they usually do. After all, they are the people who put students first by electing to be in the classrooms with the children.

  4. This all seems interesting, but I find it hard to take this reaction seriously when the first paragraph is so poorly written:
    I assume you meant “hit the news” and “too good”, but when online content looks like a careless text message you lose credibility. Even if someone else has to do it for you, careful proofreading is a part of careful thinking.

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