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TELL Mass survey results now public

Do you want to know what teachers and administrators think about working conditions, class sizes, community support, student discipline, the quality of professional development, the atmosphere of trust and a whole host of other issues involving your school? Do you wonder how your school’s results compare to results in other schools in your district or in neighboring communities?

This information is now available to all schools in which at least half of the instructional staff filled out the online Teaching, Empowering, Learning and Leading Massachusetts – TELL Mass – survey last spring. Detailed reports with anonymous survey results went live in early July and are available for anyone to view at www.tellmass.org. Click on “View 2012 Survey Results” for district and school results.

The MTA is urging members to study the results carefully and encourage dialogue with school and district administrators about them. Positive findings should be honored and replicated, while problems should be identified and addressed.

“Teachers tell us they want their voices to shape practices in their schools. The TELL Mass survey is one way to express that voice and give teachers and administrators a tool to use in driving improvements in their schools,” said MTA President Paul Toner.

The MTA and the NEA, along with the governor and other supporters of public education, sponsored a similar survey four years ago. The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education took over the survey this past year under the federal Race to the Top grant, contracting with the New Teacher Center to administer it. In both cases, more than 40,000 teachers and administrators participated, or a little more than half of those currently employed.

The MTA received reports indicating that in some schools, participation was stymied because principals did not distribute the codes needed to log on to the secure survey site. Both the MTA and the DESE established help desks to aid members in participating.

“If your school didn’t reach the 50 percent mark, you need to figure out why,” said Toner. “If the reason was that the principal did not encourage and facilitate participation, that could be a sign of a serious problem. If you believe that is the case, we recommend you work with your MTA field representative to explore other ways that teachers and other staff can voice their views on important educator working conditions and student learning conditions.”