The Kentucky Board of Education will meet on June 8, 2016, and their online agenda already includes a discussion item for the final report of the 2015 Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) survey of teachers.
According to the TELL Web site for Kentucky, the survey provides educators with data, tools and direct support to facilitate school improvement. The web site says stakeholder groups representing teachers, superintendents, community and business (known as the TELL Kentucky Partners) collaboratively work with the New Teacher Center (NTSC) to conduct the TELL survey.
Participation rates in the past two TELL Surveys (for 2013 and 2015) have been very high, so there is essentially no sampling error in the responses.
That could make TELL a great place to find out what teachers really think about the Common Core State Standards, which were renamed several years ago – without any changes being made to the actual standards – as Kentucky Core Academic Standards.
However, TELL never has asked Kentucky teachers important questions such as “what do you like/dislike about Common Core” and “do you have changes to recommend.” As such, while TELL remains useful, it also fails to survey some of the most important teacher opinions of all – namely, are these the best standards for Kentucky or do they need work?
Surprisingly, while TELL fails to ask the key questions mentioned above, it is not entirely silent about Common Core. In both 2013 and 2015, there were a few questions regarding the standards, and the teachers’ responses are interesting.