Teachers, a penny (or more) for their thoughts—It is worth it

Posted on: February 4th, 2013 by dhm-research

On Monday, DHM Research Founder and Principal Adam Davis continued the conversation on the Chalkboard Project’s blog site. An excellent article, and even more we’re proud to partner with our friends at the CP, adding to the conversation and working to make our education system the ideal model it should and can be. Read Adam’s snippet below, and then read the full post here:

My last two postings presented some issues education reform advocates in Oregon should consider as they work to improve public K-12 education in Oregon and do battle, often with teacher unions, in Salem and in their local districts. Another tool to have in your advocacy tool box are survey findings showing how teachers (as opposed to teacher union leadership) feel about the issues, including an understanding of the motivations that underlie those feelings, if attitudes cut across the full teacher population or if there are certain subgroups of teachers (e.g., newer teachers) that may feel differently than other subgroups, and how these feelings compare to voter attitudes.

Your advocacy needs to anticipate questions from policymakers about teacher attitudes. These questions can be very general (Besides more money, what do teachers consider to be the most important thing to do to improve student academic growth?) or about a specific issue. (How do teachers feel about the changes you’re proposing for teacher and principal evaluations?) Showing that teachers support a reform proposal, or that their concerns were identified and considered in the development of a proposal and either incorporated into it or dismissed for good reason, has been helpful to education reform advocates in both Washington and Connecticut where we’ve done independent surveys of teachers. Also helpful is having information to push back on the unions who may be making claims about teachers’ attitudes that are not in line with their full membership or a significant proportion of teachers, or with the attitudes of voters...READ MORE

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