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Survey Shows Teacher Satisfaction Plummeting

Survey Shows Teacher Satisfaction Plummeting

The recently-released annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, which measures teachers’ level of satisfaction with their jobs, shows that only 44 percent of teachers are “very satisfied” with their jobs, compared to 59% in 2009. According to Education Week, the last time teacher satisfaction was this low was in 1989.

The survey only measures the satisfaction of public school teachers, whose job satisfaction may have a closer relationship to the struggling economy and widespread education funding cuts than teachers working in private or parochial schools. Teachers also expressed concerns about retaining their jobs, which is a legitimate concern in a profession that has seen many staffing cuts over the past few year — and  29% “say they are likely to leave the teaching profession within the next five years — up from 17% in 2009″ (EW)

School librarians are also on edge as their positions are re-evaluated to determine whether or not they are necessary for educating students. Some schools have eliminated librarians altogether, replacing them with lower-paid and less qualified library aides, despite studies linking full-time school librarians to higher student reading scores.

Additionally, only 35% of teachers feel that they are paid adequately for the work that they do. The average public school teacher makes about $40,000 per year — the starting salary for many professions, and a poor repayment for the long hours, stress and need for creativity and dedication that teaching requires.

The MetLife survey provides the general public (and policy makers) with a window into the heart of public education. Budget cuts, low salaries, increased standardized testing, and stringent teacher performance requirements have made it more and more difficult for teachers to do their job, and to enjoy doing it. And it seems obvious that if teachers aren’t happy, kids won’t get the education they deserve.

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86 comments

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11:28PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

My God, Ad Du, I still don't that there's actually a relevant point to your comments, but you certainly are indefatigable. I'll give you that. I am unlinking to this thread, however, because I can no longer stand the excitement,.

9:32PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Cont'd:

3. a. Solve the equation

sin^3 x (1 + cotan x) + cos^3 x (1 + tan x) = cos (2x)

b. In triangle ABC, AD is altitude and AE is median (with D between B and E). Determine all sides and angles of triangle ABC, knowing AD = a SQRT(3), and angles Bad and EAC each have 30 degrees.

4. Let AB be a segment in a plane P, and M be an arbitrary point on the circle of diameter AB. Let S be a point on the line through A which is perpendicular to the plane P. Determine the position of the center O of the sphere circumscribed to the tetrahedron SABM.

5. Let V_a, V_b, V_c be the volumes determined by rotating a given triangle ABC about the side a, b, c, respectively. Show that, if

(1/V_a)^2 = (1/V_b)^2 + (1/V_c)^2,

then ABC is a right triangle.

This was a 3-hour exam, for access into 11th grade, in 1976. I don't know if those people would have stared in disbelief or laughed their hearts out, if thhey were showed those Florida exams.

See if you can come to believe that such (Florida) exams are so weak, they don't even convince that a successful candidate is worthy of university (let alone if he/she could eventually go to a strong university, let alone becoming a university professor. Ask around.

9:08PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Yes, Ms. Kimberly J., thank you! I viewed two of them, 10th grade for the years 2005 and 2006. I don't know if these exams mean to establish successful graduation from 10th grade, or what, but here is - for comparison, an exam from 1976, for accessing 11th grade - so the candidates were 10th grade graduates:

1. Consider the function

f(x) = (m - 2) x^2 - 2mx + 2m - 3, where x takes any real value, and m is a real parameter.

a) Find m such that the two roots x_1 and x_2 of f(x) = 0 satisfy

(1/x_1)^2 + (1/x_2)^2 = 2.

b) Find m, such that the minimum of f(x) be -3.

c) For which values of m does the inequality f(x) > 0 have no solution ?

d) For m = 1, graph the function

f(x)/|x + 1|, for x less than -1
g(x) =
f(x), for x greater than or equal to -1

2. Determine the value of the polynomial P(x) = x^3 - 6x - 8, for x = cubic-root(4 - 2 square-root(2))) + cubic-root(4 + 2 square-root(2))).

ToBeCont.

4:58PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

@ Ad D, here is the link to some of the Florida exams that have been released. http://fcat.fldoe.org/fcatrelease.asp

1:55PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Mr. Myron S.,

Cont'd:

Have you never noticed the ridiculous nature of problems in American textbooks, of the sort: "knowing one leg and the hypotenuse of a right triangle, find the other leg" ? Do you tell readers here that other countries had Calculus I and II in high school, mandatory ? With serious problems to solve, not jokes ?

Does anybody know why problems in textbooks are such jokes ? Because Teacher's Education programs have the nerve to say that exercises have to be "freshly" concocted for every class, with "real life relevance" (for mathematics too!!), and even ... by ... a pair of one teacher and ... one assessment expert, in order to ... gauge the effectiveness of that exercise ?!

Does anybody here ever wonder why "higher ed." is divorced from "lower ed.", in the sense that they do not cooperate ? I hope you won't tell me that higher ed. is involved, and point to Education experts, to back it up.

I hope you won't say again that I have no point to make, or anything of the sort.

1:43PM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Mr. Myron S.,

I am not trying to get on your - or anybody's - nerves. I wasn't clear enough ? I'll make amends. I was disrupting anybody's discussion ? Really, sir ?

"A lot of us are worried about low US educational achievement."

Sir, you (and essentially anybody I've seen here) worry about *achievements* and say nothing about *standards* ? Do you say anything or worry at all that a student in a public (high) school has to say "good-bye" to Ivy League, (at least as far as math is concerned), and have no clue about it, until it's too late ?

Do people on this site know any foreign languages ? Do they use them to know what exists or existed in this world, in terms of education ? Do they realize that US isn't the world standard in everything (particularly in public education) ? Do they have the competence to understand that having the "Ivy League" doesn't take them there in the least, because the public system is abysmal ?

My showing you high school entrance exams (grade 8 graduates take those!) from Bulgaria, USSR etc., gets called "trivia" by you ? Or should you try to compare them to high school exams of whichever state you prefer and see the point ? Achievements can't go much farther than standards do.

Have you never noticed the ridiculous nature of problems in American textbooks, of the sort: "knowing one leg and the hypotenuse of a right triangle, find the other leg" ? Do you tell readers here that other countries had Calculus I and II in hig

10:53AM PDT on Mar 11, 2012

Really?

6:00PM PST on Mar 10, 2012

Sorry: ...you cannot seems to fathom that.

5:58PM PST on Mar 10, 2012

Ad Du: A lot of us are worried about low US educational achievement. That's the point of our comments. But cannot seem to fathom that. Instead you rant and ramble on about trivia without every stating - at least that I can see - your ultimate point. Do you have a relevant point, and if so, what is it?

Or do you just like to disrupt the dialogue?

2:17PM PST on Mar 10, 2012

I HAVE TAUGHT in schools K-12 The admin was putrid. The management was terrible. The majority of teachers were well devoted to their students and did a good job. The system sucked, poor organization and stupid petty rules that took away focus from the real goal of promoting a top education for the kids. I loved my job, and the kids loved me. Because of my creative teaching style, I was reprimanded in my first year. The second year, same thing, by getting the students to pursue their work in earnest, I received another caution for not "following the school agenda" I will not teach intelligent design" I believe in the scientific theory of evolution. I will not teach "abstinence" , I believe in birth control under medical supervision. The third year there was more pressure on me to "tow the line" the stress of the program ideology became too much forcing me to resign in my 4th year. I hold a Masters Degree in Education from an Ivy league University.

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