MetLife’s Survey of the American Teacher, which was just released today, is one of the most enlightening reports on U.S. education that has hit the Web so far this year, and it has some very interesting findings. Most notably, the survey shows that teachers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs, and at the Afterschool Alliance, we feel that those teachers need additional support to make a positive and rewarding impact on children in schools that are facing exceptionally difficult budget restrictions. Additionally, we found it particularly alarming that many teachers reported that their schools were eliminating social services, arts and afterschool programs, which offer additional assistance for students and often provide a reprieve for over-burdened teachers. While many of the survey’s findings are disheartening, we’re hopeful that the Survey of the American Teacher will promote awareness of the fact that America’s children, teachers and families are struggling to survive in these tough economic times and that more resources are necessary to help them weather the storm.
Key findings from the survey include:
- Teacher job satisfaction has dropped 15 points since 2009, from 59% who were very satisfied to 44% who are very satisfied, the lowest level in over 20 years.
- Three-quarters (76%) of teachers report that their school’s budget decreased during the past year.
- More than one-third (36%) of teachers report reductions or eliminations of programs in arts or music (23%), foreign language (17%) or physical education (12%) in the last year.
- A majority (63%) of teachers reports that class sizes have increased in the last year.
- Seven in ten (72%) parents and two-thirds (65%) of students worry about their family not having enough money for the things they need, and 62% of parents and 54% of students worry about the parents’ losing or not being able to find a job.
You can check out the entire survey on MetLife’s website.