A new report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools explores teachers’ views on K-12 education, with some notable findings. Titled “Listen to Your Teacher: An Analysis of Teacher Sentiment on the State of Public Education,” the report includes poll findings from over 1,200 public charter and district school teachers. While many teachers are tired–and concerned about students–charter teachers report more durable motivation and higher levels of job satisfaction.
The Alliance released some of the poll findings in a sneak peek memo earlier this summer. (Read a Coalition blog post about that memo.) But this week’s report also provides in-depth analysis, and comes at a time when concerns are rising about teacher attrition. In fact, citing analysis from Chalkbeat of six states–including North Carolina–the Alliance notes that “more teachers left in 2021–22 than ‘at any point on record.'”
Some key findings about teachers overall
- Most teachers support public school choice (78% of district teachers and 87% of charter teachers).
- A majority of teachers are weary and worried: 58% are worried or anxious, 67% are burned out, and 72% are overwhelmed.
- Teachers are quite concerned about students: 84% said student mental health is “at an all-time low.”
Key findings about charter school teachers
- Charter school teachers are more likely to be satisfied with their work: 97% of charter teachers vs. 83% of district teachers.
- They’re also more likely to report steady or increased motivation to teach. Seventy-nine percent of charter school teachers say they are as motivated–or more motivated–to teach than when they first started, compared to just 34% of district teachers.
- Charter school teachers are less likely to consider leaving. More than half, 52%, have “never considered leaving the profession,” compared to 20% of district teachers.
Misconceptions and information gaps persist about charter schools
The report also highlights some surprising gaps in information. In particular, many teachers do not know that charter schools are public and free.
- A majority of district teachers, 52%, don’t know that charter schools are free. The same is true of 43% of charter school teachers. Moreover, 51% of district teachers don’t understand that charter schools are public, along with 38% of charter school teachers.
As the Alliance notes,
These widespread misunderstandings about charter schools, even among teachers who work at them, seem to indicate that more and clearer public discussion about the unique features— and benefits—of charter schools is needed.
Download the full report here.