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Easley Unveils Results Of Teacher Working Conditions Survey

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Mike Easley released findings of the

2004 North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey

Wednesday. The report, commissioned by the governor's office, is the second of its kind.

The governor says the findings are proof that his education initiatives are working.

"If you want to know what teacher needs, you ask them. Then you listen to what they tell you. Third, and most importantly, you act on it correctly," Easley said. "So we hope that we're doing that. We're going to keep doing this by meeting teacher needs and better meeting student needs."

Easley says he is doing what he can to attract and retain quality teachers.

The survey on teacher working conditions found about half the teacher in the state felt they had manageable class sizes and about half say they have adequate time to prepare.

The report also found:

  • Teacher empowerment, involving teachers in the school decision-making process, is the second most significant aspect of teacher working conditions for promoting student achievement.
  • Teachers say professional development is best determined based on their needs.
  • Significant improvements have been made in the area of time and facilities when compared to data from the 2002 N.C. Teacher Working Conditions Survey. Of these, respondents report the most satisfaction with school facilities, specifically safety and cleanliness.
  • More than 84 percent of teachers say their schools are safe.
  • Of the 2004 survey's 70 questions, 15 questions were designed specifically to assist schools, districts and the state in understanding the needs of teachers to best address professional development offerings.

    Questions were tailored to assess current offerings in professional development, as well as the training's usefulness to teachers and the time provided to complete it.

    More than 34,000 teachers and administrators responded to the 2004 survey, which was conducted online this spring. Respondents represent 38 percent of all educators in the state, 90 percent of schools and 100 percent of school districts.

    Easley says the numbers are better than they were in 2002 when results of the first report were released.

    He credits his priority of reducing class sizes with helping matters, but says he still has concerns about a school calendar bill which sits on his desk waiting to be signed into law.

    Easley says since half of the state's teachers say they do not have enough time as it is, he is concerned that reducing the number of teacher workdays by five days will only make matters worse.


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