Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Teachers to talk back about jobs

Gov. Mike Easley’s launch Monday of the 2008 Teacher Working Conditions Survey gives educators an opportunity to once again tell state leaders what’s hampering them in the classroom and what can help them help students succeed academically.

In announcing the survey, the governor said: “When teachers in North Carolina speak, we listen. Since 2002 when the first survey was administered, we have used their feedback to shape statewide education policies and improve schools across the state. With more than 20 other states now adopting this initiative, North Carolina is leading the nation in education innovation.”

True. But teacher working conditions remain a big problem in North Carolina. In survey results released last year, 40 percent or more said class size and school leadership were issues. In high-poverty, academically struggling schools even more teachers point to those and other concerns.

Educators can complete the survey at http://www.ncteachingconditions.org/ through April 21. Parents, teachers and community members can log on too, and track the response rates of schools across the state. Final survey results will be posted on the Web site after May 15.

So what do you think about teacher work conditions in North Carolina? How about in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools? Teachers, parents and others, tell us what you think.