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International Teacher Survey Shows High Level of Job Satisfaction Despite Lack of Support for Collaboration


The results of the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) were just released and the data tell the story of a nation with highly motivated, confident teachers working under the intense pressures of high-stakes, test-based accountability and other punitive reforms that force teachers to compete with each other. 

American teachers responded to the survey showing a high level of satisfaction with their jobs. However, they feel that the public does not value the work they do for students and communities.  As each teacher is tasked with racing “to the top,” 
collaboration often falls to the wayside. We need to build that trust between educators that will allow them to tackle classroom issues together.

American teachers responded that they feel the public does not value their work.  However, American teachers work about seven hours more than their international counterparts in the survey. American teachers report high participation rates in professional development.  It’s clear that American educators are doing great work, but need support to work in partnership for the students they serve. 

The report also showed an increase in students living in poverty. IFT President Dan Montgomery wrote about the effects of poverty on the classroom with the release of PISA scores
 Poverty has a proven negative effect on learning.  This map below shows the drastic spike in children living in poverty in Illinois between 2000-2012. This increase contributes to this heartbreaking statistic -- one in four students nationwide are living in poverty. We need bold policies to fix this problem. 

Both the PISA report and the TALIS report together show that the issues facing students and teachers will not be solved by faddish reforms pushed by the so-called "reformers." Schools need to become cooperative learning communities that can adapt to the changing needs of students. We know that our teachers are up for the task; all we ask now is that policymakers follow their lead. 

Additional Resources:

Illinois Poverty Map 

TALIS poverty infographic 




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