Tell Us What You Really Think

March 27, 2007 1 min read

The mantra at most schools these days—and rightly so—is something along the lines of, “All of our students will succeed.” But is that what every teacher really thinks? When it comes to city schools, at least, the answer is no. A new survey, sponsored by the National School Boards Association, finds that of the 4,700 K-12 educators polled anonymously in a dozen urban districts, 25 percent said most kids wouldn’t succeed in a community college or university. And another 18 percent weren’t certain. Administrators, perhaps predictably, weren’t as pessimistic: While roughly 16 percent admitted their students “are not motivated to learn,” only 7 percent ruled out higher-ed success altogether. The survey’s author, a professor of education law and policy, says he’s suprised by the relatively high percentage of negative teacher comments. But John Mitchell, of the American Federation of Teachers, suggests that exactly when each educator filled out the survey may have something to do with the results. “You go through a lot in a day, and you have days when you feel optimistic and days when you don’t.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.