TELL Mass Survey deadline extended until April 13

Note: Teachers who have a code will find the survey open for responses until 1 a.m., Monday, April 16.

Teachers may now contact the TELL Mass Help Desk and get a set of codes for all school staff, not just for individuals, if codes have not been distributed or were distributed improperly.

Contact: Helpdesk@tellmass.org or call 888-601-5826.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has decided to allow the help desk to provide teachers with enough TELL Mass survey codes to enable all eligible staff in a school to participate. Any staff member who has not been given a code and who has learned that lack of proper distribution is school wide may contact the Help Desk and get a set of codes for the entire building. The school staff member who contacts the Help Desk – in many cases, the building representative – will distribute the codes to all teachers in the school who have not already received one.

This policy change allows teachers in schools where the codes have not been distributed to have their voices heard. It has been initiated in response to complaints in some schools that the codes were not distributed, or were not distributed in a way that guarantees the anonymity of the respondents. Springfield is the only district to receive a waiver from the TELL Mass survey since the district already participates in a similar survey effort.

The commissioner has also extended the survey deadline to Friday, April 13.

The statewide response rate is currently 36 percent – and over 30,000 educators have taken the survey. While many schools and districts have reached the 50 percent threshold necessary to obtain results, many continue to show very low response rates. Now that teachers have a way to obtain codes for their schools and more time to complete the survey, we all have the opportunity to “tell” about the teaching and learning conditions in our schools.

For further information, please see the email below from Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester.

March 30, 2012
Dear Superintendents, Principals and Charter School Leaders:

I want to first thank and congratulate those schools and districts that have achieved and/or exceeded a 50% response rate to the 2012 TELL Mass survey.

In an effort to ensure that all schools and districts have the opportunity to maximize the participation of educators in this important survey, I have authorized the following steps to be taken:

1. The Department will extend the window to complete the online survey to Friday, April 13, 2012.

2. Teachers will now be able to request access codes from the Help Desk. (DESE clarified this statement with, “The Department will now permit a teacher to contact the Help Desk and request multiple codes for her/his colleagues as well.”)

3. Beginning on Monday, April 2, the Department will email superintendents and principals in Race to the Top districts and schools with low response rates to inform you of your current response rate and to encourage you to make a final push with your educators to complete the survey.

We hope these efforts will provide your districts and schools with the support necessary to reach a 50 percent or greater response rate. We are committed to providing educators with an opportunity to share their thoughts on teaching conditions and school climate. Results will be made available in mid May to schools and districts that have met the minimum threshold (50 percent or greater response rate).