Surveys Find Generation Gap on Contested Teacher Policies
Newer teachers are more likely than their veteran counterparts to support such controversial education policy changes as using student academic growth in teacher evaluations, differentiating pay based on performance, and decreasing tenure protections, the findings from two recent national surveys show.
The Boston-based teacher-policy organization Teach Plus released a report last month highlighting differences in attitudes between what it calls "new majority" teachers—defined as those with 10 or fewer years of experience, who now make up more than 50 percent of the teaching force—and "veterans," with 11 or more years of experience. Similarly, in July, the Washington-based research group Education Sector released a report that includes a comparison of the attitudes of teaching "newcomers," which it defines as those with fewer than five years of teaching experience, and "veterans," those with more than 20 years of experience.
Both reports explore teachers' perspectives on the rapidly changing and ever-contentious area of teacher evaluation. According to the Teach Plus report, "Great Expectations: Teachers' Views on Elevating the Teaching Profession," which was based on an online survey of some 1,015 self-selected teachers, 71 percent of the so-called new-majority teachers responded that student growth should be part of their evaluations, compared with 41 percent of veterans. Asked whether student growth should be 20 percent or more of teacher evaluations, 51 percent of new-majority teachers were in support, compared with...
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