Teachers Love Their Lives, but Struggle in the Workplace

A new Gallup poll finds

Teachers have high personal wellbeing, as evidenced by their high life evaluations and emotional wellbeing scores, and this may prove beneficial to their students and the broader community. It is unclear whether the relatively higher scores of teachers on several measures of wellbeing are because working in that profession enhances one's wellbeing, or if people who have higher wellbeing in general seek out teaching professions. Prior research, however, has demonstrated the significant role that the workplace plays in wellbeing outcomes. Still, teacher's low workplace wellbeing, relative to other professional occupations, indicates school and community leaders have important issues to address in the school workplace in order for teachers and students to reach their full potential. It is absolutely critical to raise teachers' workplace engagement, because their engagement is the No. 1 predictor and driver of student engagement, which Gallup research shows impacts student wellbeing and academic success. The positive news is that these workplace struggles can be addressed. Teachers and school leaders need to work together to improve the work environment.

Despite these workplace challenges, teachers love their work and the life it produces

Many costs to attendance investigation

The farce that has become the investigation into the school attendance erasures gained a price tag yesterday

Ohio’s Auditor said on Monday that his staff has spent 7,000 hours and more than $140,000 on an investigating into whether Columbus City Schools officials manipulated attendance records.

That price tag is certain to climb as it became obvious that the investigation has barely begun

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost was hoping to wrap up his investigation into attendance rigging at schools statewide well before the November elections.

It looks like that won’t happen.

Many Ohioans will be asked to vote on school levies this fall, and schools worry that uncertainty surrounding accusations of falsified attendance data may hurt their chances at the polls. But state Auditor Yost says he may not complete his investigation until the new year.

You'll notice from the articles and TV pieces we have linked to here, words like "rigging" and "scandal" being thrown around, despite any widespread evidence to date that anything like that has happened. This is a problem when one considers the number of school that are a potential target of the Auditors investigation

Ohio officials looking into potential tampering with school attendance numbers are focusing on 100 schools around the state.

The state auditor’s office tells The Dayton Daily News that investigators are concentrating on schools that have raised concerns based on data that shows they had a high number of student withdrawals.

A great many of those schools are going to be found totally innocent of any kinds of untoward data manipulation, and as the Fordham Foundation points out, even the innocent are being harmed.

Less than one month ago...

Releasing Ohio’s school report cards this month simply wouldn’t be fair, the state’s education leaders have decided.

They'll vote on changing that decision today...

Releasing delayed state report cards on school progress won't hamper an investigation into potential tampering with school attendance numbers, Ohio's state auditor told education leaders Monday.

Time the knee-jerk decision making ended, and some calm contemplation began.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

There is so much rich depth and thought provoking information in this NCEE paper, it would be hard to digest it in a single sitting. EdWeek:

The NCEE report is the latest salvo in a flurry of national interest in what can be gleaned from education systems in top-performing or rapidly improving countries. It pushes further than other recent reports on the topic by laying out an ambitious agenda for the United States it says reflects the education practices in countries that are among the highest-performing on international assessments.

Among other measures, the report outlines a less-frequent system of standardized student testing; a statewide funding-equity model that prioritizes the neediest students, rather than local distribution of resources; and greater emphasis on the professionalization of teaching that would overhaul most elements of the current model of training, professional development, and compensation.

To whet your appetite, and encourage you to read it, here's some snippets. Nothing in the current reforms even hints that this is the direction we are going in. Indeed, it would be easy to argue we are going in the opposite direction with ill-thought out corporate reforms

Three things directly affect the quality of the pool from which a nation recruits its teachers: 1) the status of teaching in the eyes of the potential recruit, relative to the status of other occupations to which he or she aspires, 2) the compensation offered, relative to other possible choices, and 3) the conditions of work, meaning the degree to which the way the work is organized makes it look more like professional work than blue-collar work.

The results of these corporate reforms are becoming increasingly evident, as large numbers of prospective teachers instead choose alternative career paths

Furthermore, analysts are now noticing a large falloff in applications for admission to teachers colleges all over the country, a result of the financial crisis. Potential candidates, who used to view teaching as almost immune from the business cycle and therefore one of the most secure of all occupations, are noticing that teachers are being laid off in very large numbers and now see teaching as a very risky bet.

NCEE - Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

The "Jobs Budget" Calculator

OEA has been busy crunching the numbers and has created a cool online calculator tool you can use to see what the economic impact and job losses will be in your schoold district, your county, and even your house and senate districts (those officials might be interested in that, you would think).

Check it out.

For example, Franklin county stands to lose over 1,000 jobs because of this "jobs budget".

OEA has also compiled data on potential job losses and economic impact considering reductions in State funding that will take effect in the next fiscal year. Given the fact that districts cannot operate in a deficit for an extended period of time, cuts in staff are likely. Potential staff cuts are figured by looking at the average cost of salaries and benefits in each district.

Every dollar lost in school funding translates in to more than a dollar lost in the local economy. For example, a school employee losing a job also means a local restaurant or business also loses money because they lose a customer. This tool also allows see the compounded impact from those losses on the local economy. This tool enables you to look at potential job cuts and dollars lost in the local economy by the district, county, senate, and house district levels by using drop down menus.

Kasich Budget Proposal - Economic Impact

job loss calculator