This new report from Greg Forster and Christian D’Andrea analyzes responses to an annual survey run by the US Department of Education. Some of the findings are remarkable.
– “Private school teachers are much more likely to say they will continue teaching as long as they are able (62 percent v. 44 percent), while public school teachers are much more likely to say they’ll leave teaching as soon as they are eligible for retirement (33 percent v. 12 percent) and that they would immediately leave teaching if a higher paying job were available (20 percent v. 12 percent).”
This seems to indicate that, despite often lower salaries and fringe benefits, that private school teacher morale is much higher than that for their public school counterparts. That is further supported by this finding.
– “Although salaries are higher in public schools, private school teachers are more likely to be satisfied with their salaries (51 percent v. 46 percent).”
Another morale-related finding says this.
– “Public school teachers are twice as likely as private school teachers to agree that the stress and disappointments they experience at their schools are so great that teaching there isn’t really worth it (13 percent v. 6 percent).”
– “Public school teachers are much more likely to report that student misbehavior (37 percent v. 21 percent) or tardiness and class cutting (33 percent v. 17 percent) disrupt their classes, and are four times more likely to say student violence is a problem on at least a monthly basis (48 percent v. 12 percent).”
These issues obviously impact the learning experience for all students.
– “Private school teachers are much more likely to strongly agree that they have all the textbooks and supplies they need (67 percent v. 41 percent).”
Given the huge amount of money we spend on public schools, this is really unacceptable.
– “Private school teachers are more likely to agree that they get all the support they need to teach special needs students (72 percent v. 64 percent).”
The Bluegrass Institute has heard for some time that the idea that private schools don’t serve kids with disabilities is wrong. This seems to support that.
– “Seven out of ten private school teachers report that student racial tension never happens at their schools, compared to fewer than half of public school teachers (72 percent v. 43 percent).”
This undermines the belief of some that snobs at private schools act out against minorities.
There are a number of other findings, but I’ll let you read the report for those. Certainly, this report provides some surprises about what does, and does not go on in private versus public schools in the eyes of the teachers. It is interesting reading.