Impact Kentucky 2020 survey needs a closer look
Early this year (January 13 through February 21), Panorama Education conducted a survey of Kentucky’s educators for the Kentucky Department of Education. Results of that Impact Kentucky 2020 survey were released on June 1, 2020.
Impact Kentucky replaces the TELL Kentucky Working Conditions Survey, which was administered through the New Teacher Center in earlier years. That TELL series was starting to report some pretty impressive teacher feedback that just seemed a little too optimistic to me. Now, with the new format Impact Kentucky series, I see a mix of teacher impressions, with some rather positive responses like:
- 83% of the teachers report that school leaders are friendly towards them and
- 80% feel that school leaders have the best interests of the school in mind.
But, there are some real dark clouds in this survey, and they hit on some important areas:
One really sad point:
- Only 50% of teachers think kids are enthusiastic about being in school.
In a concern closely related to student enthusiasm:
- Only 33% indicated student misconduct only “once in a while,” if ever, interrupts the learning environment. A stunning 30% says this problem is frequent in their schools. This somehow doesn’t mesh with answers to another question where 76% say they are either quite effective or extremely effective at managing disruptive classes.
Teachers seem troubled by their colleagues, too:
• Only 55% think their colleagues have positive attitudes.
Closely related to that:
- Only 41% seem comfortable about the emotional well-being of their colleagues based on their work.
There isn’t a lot of support for teacher Professional Development, either:
- Only 50% say Professional Development is valuable.
- Only 49% think Professional Development helps them explore new ideas (So, why bother to even have it if it doesn’t do this?).
- Only 50% say Professional Development is relevant to the content teachers are covering.
While lots of teachers say school leaders are friendly towards them:
- Only 52% think teachers have input on important decisions (Which begs the question, then where is School Based Decision Making in nearly half of our schools?).
Another disturbing response:
- Only 48% think highly of the teacher evaluation process at their school (Which somewhat seems in conflict with those high response rates for things like school leaders have the best interests of the school in mind).
An incredible percentage of teachers report spending their own money on their classrooms:
- 85% say they spend at least “some” money, with 17% saying they spend a “tremendous” amount. Again, how can this be if teachers have the majority vote on the School Councils, which are supposed to have control over all spending in the school?
We hear a lot of complaints from the teachers’ unions and others about testing. So, this next response was interesting:
- 87% of teachers use assessment data to inform their instruction at least “frequently.” How is it possible that some would deny this huge percentage of teachers data that they use so often?
Tech note: for space the questions have not been shown verbatim above. Readers are encouraged to go to the interactive survey web site where each question can be expanded to show details of responses along with other interesting demographics for each question. To access the questions, log into the web site by clicking here.
On the home page that opens, click on the “Explore the 2020 Results Here” button.
In the next web page, click on the Kentucky map.
This opens up a summary page, which I think provides too optimistic an overview of the results. But, scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the “View all Questions” button.
This opens up a much more revealing page listing all the questions in the survey. If you click on a question in this listing, it opens up an expanded discussion of the question which can be quite revealing.
If you find your own favorite question in this listing, please share with a comment to this blog.