Survey of Akron teachers shows testing, student discipline top concerns

About half of Akron’s teachers say they work 16 hours more than they clock in for each week.

Nearly all say administrators should not tinker with a long-standing policy that automatically transfers problem students.

About four in five say high-stakes tests have hijacked their ability to teach.

And while a majority praise their building principals, even more say they have no voice in the direction of their school district.

These are among the key results of a survey the Akron Education Association culled from more than 2,000 members. About 900 responded to the survey before winter break. After tallying the responses, union leadership found the exercise to be both encouraging and concerning.

“When the majority of educators feel they do not have the freedom to organize their classroom and instruction as they think best, when 84.4 percent of educators feel they do not have a voice in the direction of the district and 72.7 percent do not feel valued as an educator ... well then, Houston, we have a problem,” the union said in a January newsletter to its members.

The survey underscores the frustrations teachers express toward central administrators but also the shared frustrations that stem from state-mandated student testing and laws dictating they be used to influence hiring decisions.

(Read more at the Akron Beacon Journal)