National Teacher Survey Demonstrates Support for Education & Labor Reform

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Today the Association of American Educators (AAE), the largest national non-union educators’ organization, released its 2016 National Membership Survey covering the nation’s most pressing education issues. Survey results show forward thinking on education reforms, particularly with regard to school choice, virtual education and technology, teacher preparation, testing and assessments, and workforce policy.

"We’re proud to support dedicated teachers eager to embrace professionalism," stated AAE Chairman and President Gary Beckner. "This survey represents the real voices of classroom teachers without the spin from defenders of the status quo."

Today the Association of American Educators (AAE), the largest national non-union educators’ organization, released its 2016 National Membership Survey covering the nation’s most pressing education issues. Survey results show forward thinking on education reforms, particularly with regard to school choice, virtual education and technology, teacher preparation, testing and assessments, and workforce policy.

A driving force for restoring professionalism to education, AAE is a growing movement of talented and esteemed educators ready to tackle the tough issues facing America’s teachers and students. As policymakers consider new and innovative education reforms, it is imperative that the true voices of teachers are taken into account.

"We’re proud to support dedicated teachers eager to embrace professionalism," stated AAE Chairman and President Gary Beckner. "This survey represents the real voices of classroom teachers without the spin from defenders of the status quo."

AAE has been a vocal supporter of educators in all academic settings, and AAE members have embraced policies that increase options for students and teachers alike:

    95% of teachers expressed support for course choice allowing students to craft custom educational plans.
    79% of members expressed support for public charter schools.
    71% of AAE members expressed support for Nevada’s Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs), allowing parents to choose a school that best suits their child’s needs.
    38% of AAE members are currently benefiting from school choice policies.

Today’s students have embraced technology like no other generation has. AAE members are willing to embrace innovation but have concerns about scalability and access:

    93% of AAE members utilize technology in their classrooms.
    48% of survey respondents agree with a proposal that would require students to take an online course to graduate.
    69% of teachers would support a blended learning environment in which students spend part of their day with a teacher and part of their day on a computer.

AAE members have been consistent proponents of policies that help retain and attract excellent teachers:

    77% agree with the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) report that recommends rigorous teacher preparation requirements, including a 3.0 GPA and passing of subject-matter tests to gain entry into teaching programs.
    68% agree that to attract new teachers and those with experience in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects we need to explore alternative certifications, allowing degreed professionals easier paths to the classroom.
    73% expressed support for efforts to recruit well-qualified teachers who are more representative (color and/or gender) of the student population.

AAE members are concerned with overtesting but remain committed to measuring success:

    78% expressed some support for requiring students to pass proficiency tests to graduate from high school.
    86% expressed some support for the U.S. Department of Education’s proposal of capping standardized testing at 2% of classroom time.

Collective bargaining and workforce reforms are also considered by AAE member teachers:

    67% of those surveyed are interested in negotiating their own contract so that they can negotiate a salary and benefits package that best suits their lifestyle.
    67% expressed interest in a “Worker Choice” policy that would allow a teacher to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement in their district and negotiate their own salary and benefits package.
    82% recognized the need for a choice between a traditional pension plan and the opportunity to invest in a portable 401(k) for new teachers.

"2016 will undoubtedly bring changes to K-12 education and the profession as a whole," stressed Beckner. "We’re confident these findings will be a useful tool for policymakers and stakeholders on all levels."

Complete results of the survey can be found at http://www.aaeteachers.org/natsurvey.

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Alexandra Freeze

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