by Tim Walker
Teachers are less satisfied with their jobs than they have been in decades, according to the 2012 MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. Almost one-third of teachers are thinking of leaving the profession they love – due in part to the unconscionable cuts in education funding. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel described this finding as “shocking” and said it was clear evidence that ill-conceived economic policies are having devastating consequences on teachers and students across the country. More than three quarters of the teachers surveyed reported that their school’s budget had decreased.
“I have heard similar concerns from NEA members,” Van Roekel said. “They have told me that staff and important programs have been cut; early childhood education has been eliminated; computers and text-books were out of date; and classes such as history, art, PE and music—which provide a well-rounded education—are no longer offered.”
The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Teachers, Parents and the Economy, the 28th in an annual series commissioned by MetLife and conducted by Harris Interactive, examines the views of teachers, parents and students about the teaching profession, parent and community engagement, and effects of the economy on teaching and learning in schools.
Two-thirds of the teachers surveyed reported that layoffs of teachers, staff and parent/community liaisons occurred at their school in 2011, and three-quarters have experienced budget cuts in their schools in the last 12 months. The survey also found that teachers and parents of students in these cash-strapped schools are more likely to be pessimistic that student achievement will be better in five years than are teachers and parents of students in schools where budgets have remained the same or increased.
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