Measuring Educators’ Job Satisfaction

How do teachers feel about their careers? What can public policy do to retain educators and improve their job satisfaction?

Launch Michigan, a diverse coalition of business, education, labor, parents, and philanthropic and civic leaders, asked EWR to measure attitudes among educators in Michigan to inform the development of a shared policy agenda.

The survey we conducted among nearly 17,000 educators statewide found that while generally satisfied with their own jobs, educators’ concerns about the state of the field are serious enough that only a quarter would recommend education as a career for young people they know. On every measure we compared, educators in Michigan are less content than their counterparts in Tennessee, a state which has served as a model for education reform efforts. In particular:

  • Educators say they are worn down by heavy workloads and what they see as lack of support or respect, and sometimes active hindrance, from political leaders.
  • They are divided on whether the current teacher evaluation system is fair, but few see it leading to better student learning.
  • Most say opportunities for professional learning are inadequate.
  • Educators are open to a number of approaches to improve schools and educational outcomes. They prioritize smaller class sizes and expanding access to Pre-K and are generally supportive of ideas ranging from distributing funding based on need to adding literacy coaches.

Launch Michigan is using this data in its development of a policy agenda for improving public schools in Michigan.

See the survey report here.

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