Ya think? Met Life Teacher survey reports principals are very dissatisfied

21 Feb

Moi wrote in Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness?

As more emphasis is placed on holding schools accountable, more scrutiny is directed toward school leadership, particularly school principals. It is generally agreed that strong leadership at the school building level is essential for an effective school, the question is whether shool principals have the authority to accomplish their task? David Miller Sadker, PhD,  Karen R. Zittleman, PhD in Teachers, Schools, and Society list the characteristics of a strong school:

Factor 1: Strong Leadership

Factor 2: A Clear School Mission

Factor 3: A Safe and Orderly Climate

Factor 4: Monitoring Student Progress

A variety of commentators say that strong leadership is key to an effective school.

Gary Hopkins of Education World surveyed 43 principals and reported upon his findings in the article, Principals Identify Top Ten Leadership Traits:

The result of that survey is this list of the top ten traits of school leaders, presented in order of importance.

1. Has a stated vision for the school and a plan to achieve that vision.

2. Clearly states goals and expectations for students, staff, and parents.

3. Is visible — gets out of the office; is seen all over the school.

4. Is trustworthy and straight with students and staff.

5. Helps develop leadership skills in others.

6. Develops strong teachers; cultivates good teaching practice.

7. Shows that he or she is not in charge alone; involves others.

8. Has a sense of humor.

9. Is a role model for students and staff.

10. Offers meaningful kindnesses and kudos to staff and students. http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin190.shtml

Again, there is an emphasis on leadership. https://drwilda.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

Liana Heiten reports in the Education Week article, Survey Finds Rising Job Frustration Among Principals:

The 29th annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher,Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader based on telephone interviews with 1,000 K-12 public school teachers and 500 principals, tells a story of enduring budget problems in schools and declining morale among both teachers and school leaders. (The MetLife Foundation provides funding to Education Week Teacher to support its capacity to engage teachers interactively in professional community.)

According to the survey, conducted for MetLife Inc. by Harris Interactive, the majority of principals say school leadership responsibilities have changed significantly over the last five years. Nearly half of principals surveyed indicated that they “feel under great stress several days a week.” And job satisfaction among principals has decreased notably, from 68 percent indicating they were “very satisfied” in 2008 to 59 percent saying so in this year’s survey.

While weighted to key demographic variables to reflect a national sample, the survey does not have an estimated sampling error.

When asked about the main obstacles they face, 83 percent of school leaders rate “addressing individual student needs” as “challenging” or “very challenging.” Seventy-eight percent rate managing the budget and resources as challenging or very challenging—an unsurprising figure given that more than half of principals also report their school’s budget decreased in the last year, and 35 percent say it remained flat.

I’ve always said the worst time to be a principal is during a tight budget time, and this survey holds that up,” Mel Riddile, associate director of high school services for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said during a MetLife-hosted webinar for reporters on Feb. 20.

Principals were also likely to point to parent engagement and implementing the Common Core State Standards as significant challenges. Evaluating teacher effectiveness ranked lower on the list, with 53 percent of principals indicating it is a challenge.

Lack of Control

The survey finds that many principals view key challenges facing their schools as being outside of their control. For example, only 22 percent of principals say they have “a great deal of control in making decisions about finances.”

Steven Tozer, coordinator of the urban education leadership program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in an interview that, given that “as much as 80 percent of a [district] budget is dedicated to personnel, there are precious little dollars known as discretionary. I’m actually surprised that figure is as high as it is.”

According the MetLife Survey, only 43 percent of principals say they have control when it comes to removing teachers, while 42 percent say they have control over curriculum and instruction. More than three-fourths of principals, however, do acknowledge having control over teacher hiring and schedules.

Even as they report a lack of control over key factors, principals report feeling a great sense of responsibility for day-to-day goings on in their buildings: Nine in 10 principals indicate that “the principal should be held accountable for everything that happens to the children in his or her school.”http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/02/21/22leaders.h32.html?tkn=OZOF%2FQlsgyUvU1qnrghHPbe7nzGWFJL%2FotmQ&cmp=clp-edweek

Citation:

MetLife Survey of the American Teacher Overview

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, conducted annually since 1984 by Harris Interactive, shares the voices of teachers and others close to the classroom with educators, policy makers and the public. The Survey findings also inform MetLife Foundation’s support for education.

New Survey

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership examines the views of teachers and principals on the responsibilities and challenges facing school leaders, including the changing roles of principals and teachers, budget and resources, professional satisfaction, and implementation of the Common Core State Standards for college and career readiness (2012).

Previous Surveys

The entire MetLife Survey of the American Teacher series is now available online at the ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) website: http://eric.ed.gov. ERIC document (ED)      https://www.metlife.com/metlife-foundation/what-we-do/student-achievement/survey-american-teacher.html?WT.mc_id=vu1101

Here are the major findings of the 2013 survey:

Major Findings

Principals take responsibility for leadership of their schools.

Nine in 10 (89%) principals say that ultimately a principal should be held accountable for everything that happens to the children in a school; 74% of teachers agree in 2012, compared with 60% in 1989.

The job of principal is becoming more complex and stressful.

Three-quarters (75%) of principals feel the job has become too complex.

Seven in 10 (69%) principals say the job responsibilities are not very similar to five years ago.

Job satisfaction among principals has decreased nine percentage points in less than five years, to 59% very satisfied from 68% very satisfied in 2008.

Half (48%) of principals feel under great stress several days a week.

Only about four in 10 principals say they have a great deal of control over curriculum and instruction (42%), and making decisions about removing teachers (43%).

Teachers take leadership in schools and think principals are doing a good job.

Half (51%) of teachers have a leadership role in their school, such as department chair, instructional resource, teacher mentor, or leadership team member.

Half (51%) of teachers are at least somewhat interested in teaching in the classroom part-time combined with other roles or responsibilities in their school or district, including 23% who are extremely or very interested in this option.

Eighty-five percent of teachers rate the job their principal is doing as excellent or pretty good.

Nearly all principals (98%) rate the teachers in their school as doing an excellent or pretty good job.

Most teachers (69%) say they are not at all interested in becoming a principal.

The biggest challenges leaders face are beyond the capacity of schools alone to address.

More than half of principals (53%) and teachers (56%) report that their school’s budget has decreased in the past 12 months.

Half (50%) of teachers and 40% of principals say managing the school budget and resources to meet school needs is very challenging; overall, 86% of teachers and 78% of principals say this is challenging or very challenging for school leaders.

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership

More than seven in 10 educators identify addressing the individual needs of diverse learners (83% of principals; 78% of teachers) and engaging parents and the community in improving education for students (72% of principals; 73% of teachers) as challenging or very challenging for school leaders.

Principals and teachers have similar views on academic challenges, but diverge somewhat on their priorities for leadership.

A majority of educators say implementing the Common Core State Standards (67% of principals; 59% of teachers), creating and maintaining an academically rigorous environment (64% of principals; 62% of teachers), and evaluating teacher effectiveness (53% of principals; 56% of teachers) are challenging or very challenging.

Principals are most likely to say it is very important for principals to be able to use data about student performance to improve instruction (85%) and to lead development of strong teaching capacity across the school (84%) to be an effective school leader.

Teachers are most likely to say it is very important for a principal to have been a classroom teacher (79%) and give less importance to leading the development of strong teaching capacity across the school (69%) and using data about student performance to improve instruction (53%). 

Teacher satisfaction continues to decline.

Teacher satisfaction has declined 23 percentage points since 2008, from 62% to 39% very satisfied, including five percentage points since last year, to the lowest level in 25 years.

Half (51%) of teachers report feeling under great stress several days a week, an increase of 15 percentage points over 36% of teachers reporting that level in 1985.

Less satisfied teachers are more likely than very satisfied teachers to be in schools where budgets declined in the last 12 months (61% vs. 47%) and to identify maintaining an adequate supply of effective teachers (58% vs. 43%) and creating and maintaining an academically rigorous learning environment (66% vs. 56%) as challenging or very challenging for school leaders.

Less satisfied teachers are more likely to be located in schools that had declines in professional development (21% vs. 14%) and in time for collaboration with other teachers (29% vs. 16%) in the last 12 months.

Nearly all teachers (97%) give high ratings to other teachers in their schools. 

Challenges cited by educators are greater in high-needs schools.

More principals find it challenging to maintain an adequate supply of effective teachers in urban schools (60% vs. 43% in suburban schools and 44% in rural schools) and in schools with two-thirds or more low-income students (58% vs. 37% in schools with one-third or fewer).

Principals in schools with at least two-thirds low-income students are more likely than those with one-third or fewer to say that engaging parents and the community in improving the education of students (86% vs. 46%) is very challenging or challenging.

Principals who feel great stress several days a week are more likely to work in schools where no more than some students are performing at or above grade level in English language arts or math (57% vs. 43% of those in schools where most students perform at or above grade level).

In schools with at least two-thirds low-income students, 37% of principals and 27% of teachers say that most of their students are performing at or above grade level. In contrast, in schools with one third or fewer low-income students, 91% of principals and 83% of teachers say that most of their students are achieving at this level.

Teachers and principals in schools with more than two-thirds low-income students are less likely than those in schools with one-third or fewer low-income students to give their teachers an excellent rating (48% vs. 73% for teachers; and 51% vs. 75% for principals). 

Educators are confident about implementing the Common Core, less so about its potential for increasing student success.

Nine in 10 principals (93%) and teachers (92%) say they are knowledgeable about the Common Core.

Nine in 10 principals (90%) and teachers (93%) believe that teachers in their schools already have the academic skills and abilities to implement the Common Core in their classrooms.

Teachers and principals are more likely to be very confident that teachers have the ability to implement the Common Core (53% of teachers; 38% of principals) than they are very confident that the Common Core will improve the achievement of students (17% of teachers; 22% of principals) or better prepare students for college and the workforce (20% of teachers; 24% of principals).

A majority of teachers (62%) and a smaller proportion of principals (46%) say teachers in their schools are already using the Common Core a great deal in their teaching this year. https://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/foundation/MetLife-Teacher-Survey-2012.pdf

Strong leadership is essential for struggling schools. Strong leadership requires not only accountability, but authority.

Related:

New research: School principal effectiveness https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/new-research-school-principal-effectiveness/

Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness?                                                        https://drwilda.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

Study: There is lack of information about principal evaluation https://drwilda.com/2013/02/06/study-there-is-lack-of-information-about-principal-evaluation/

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