Press Releases & Statements
- 07 March 2012
For interviews, contact: Lisa Johnson
(March 7, 2012, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) today commended The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Teachers, Parents and the Economy for shedding light on first-hand perspectives of the teaching profession and parent-school engagement.
The report, which surveyed teachers, parents, students and thought leaders in education, found that there has been a significant decline in teachers’ satisfaction with their profession, with survey results at the lowest level in more than two decades. Teachers with high job satisfaction were found to be more likely to feel their jobs are secure and say they are treated as a professional by the community. They are also more likely to have adequate opportunities for professional development, time to collaborate with other teachers, more preparation and supports to engage parents effectively. More than half of parents and teachers said that teachers are not adequately compensated for the work that they do.
The report also found that the effects of the economic downturn are felt widely and deeply in education. More than 75 percent of teachers have faced budget cuts in their schools over the last year, while students and their families report an increase in needs.
AACTE members have reiterated a need for greater federal investment in programs such as the Teacher Quality Partnership grants, many of which support university-school district partnerships that ensure teachers are adequately prepared to meet the K-12 students’ needs in those districts and are subsequently supported on the job when they enter the classroom.
MetLife’s survey also found that parent engagement has increased in the past 25 years but remains a challenge for many schools. Overall, nearly 70 percent of teachers rated their pre-service training as excellent or good in preparing and supporting them to engage parents effectively. However, teachers in schools with low parent engagement were significantly less likely to rate their pre-service training or professional development on the job as highly as those in high-parent engagement schools.
At the recent AACTE 64th Annual Meeting, several sessions focused on preparing teachers and educators to effectively address and engage in issues at the student, parent, school and community levels.
“The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher continues to be a valuable resource to the education community at-large,” said Sharon P. Robinson, president and CEO of AACTE. “The results are practical to our work, where we are reassured by a significant number of teachers finding their preparation programs prepared them to engage parents effectively. That said, we see that there is room for improvement in this area, and we will continue to lead that charge among our members. We will also continue advocating for federal funding to support schools and colleges of education, which are working to prepare teachers who are confident and effective in meeting their schools’ and students’ needs.”
For the latest information on AACTE, visit www.aacte.org.
AACTE: Serving Learners
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE’s reach and influence fuel its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education. For more information, visit www.aacte.org.