Last year, the National Association of Independent Schools released a major report on teacher salaries, revealing that dissatisfaction with their compensation was leading many teachers at such schools to consider leaving the profession.
In an effort to keep the faculty-compensation issue on the minds of trustees, school heads, and parents, the nais has released a 25-minute videotape that examines the subject. The video, narrated by the ABC newsman Charles Gibson, was unveiled last month in Chicago at the group's annual conference.
The video features reflections from current and former independent-school teachers and comments from heads and trustees whose schools have been able to increase salaries.
It also summarizes findings from last year's report. For example, it notes that:
Among experienced independent-school teachers considering a job change, 50 percent said they were looking at working in a public school, 40 percent were mulling a career change, and 10 percent were thinking of switching to another independent school.
The most important retention factors to teachers were, in order, salaries, recognition of work, prestige, career advancement, and stimulation.
In contrast, trustees and school heads ranked working conditions as the prime factor in retaining teachers, followed by caliber of students, leadership, benefits, and salaries.
"Profession at Risk" is available for $27 for nais member schools, or $35 for nonmember schools, from the nais, 18 Tremont St., Boston, Mass. 02108.
Also available at the Chicago conference was a booklet designed to help educators avoid gender bias in dealing with students.
"The Difference It Makes: A Resource Book on Gender for Educators" discusses recent research on the educationally relevant differences between girls and boys and the related question of whether, or when, they should be educated differently. It also reviews actions schools can take in view of the research about gender.
The booklet was prepared by Anne Chapman, the academic dean at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio.
The author cites findings that teachers tend to call on boys more often, wait longer for boys to answer, and nod and gesture more in response to them, while giving "more patronizing and impatient responses to girls."
Other possible areas of bias, she says, are in school climate, classroom subject matter, textbooks, and athletics.
Copies of the booklet, which includes a long list of books and other resources on gender in education, can be ordered from the nais The cost is $15 for association members, or $20 for nonmember schools, plus postage and handling.--mw