While most teachers believe in the importance of holding high expectations for students, many appear to fall short of doing so in practice, according to a new nationwide survey of educators.
The survey, released this month by MetLife Inc., found that nearly nine in 10 teachers and principals—86 percent and 89 percent, respectively—believe that setting high expectations for students can have a major impact on student achievement. Eighty-four percent of teachers also said they have confidence in their ability to help all of their students succeed academically.
Yet only 36 percent of teachers and 51 percent of principals responded that they believe all their students have the ability to succeed academically. Only about half of the students surveyed, in turn, strongly agreed that all the teachers in their school want them to succeed.
On average, teachers also said they believed only about half their students would attend a two- or four-year college after high school. Students’ expectations for higher education are much greater, with an average of nearly eight in 10 saying they plan to attend college,
The survey is the second in a three-part series on “Collaborating for Student Success” that MetLife is publishing this year. The first part, released last month, looked at the role of educator teamwork within schools. The final part, examining teachers’ career paths and development, was released last week.
A version of this article appeared in the March 31, 2010 edition of Education Week as Teacher Expectations