News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today that after two years of rapid change, Tennessee educators reported improved work environments in a broad range of categories, all shown to correlate to increased student achievement.
The results from the second statewide TELL (Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning) Tennessee Survey are now available, and more than 61,000 educators, or 82 percent, in the state responded, a five percentage point increase from 2011. Across Tennessee, 1,627 of 1,774 schools, or 91 percent, reached a response rate of at least 50 percent.
“We know that when educators feel good about the culture and climate of their school, that leads to increased results for our students,” Haslam said. “We want to hear from our teachers, and I am grateful that so many of them took the time to respond.”
From Feb. 18 through March 22, 2013, all school-based licensed educators were asked to complete the online survey using an anonymous access code. Educators were asked to submit their perceptions on a variety of issues related to student achievement and teacher retention, including the adequacy of facilities and resources; time; empowerment; school leadership; community support; student conduct; professional development; mentoring and induction services; and student learning. The results will be used by school-based decision making teams, schools, districts, and numerous other organizations to improve the teaching and learning conditions in the state’s schools and districts.
According to an online survey of nearly 1,000 Tennessee teachers, reported by the Commercial Appeal, 36 percent said they spend between $251 to $500 on classroom supplies, including work sheets, handouts and other materials they need to teach class.
Among PreK-2 teachers, that percentage jumped to 42 percent. Nearly 6 percent said they spend more than $1,000 a year.
“A lot of teachers just eat the expense,” said J.C. Bowman, a former teacher and executive director of Professional Educators of Tennessee, which released the survey last week. “People don’t realize how much they care and how much money they spend out of their own pocket just to do their job.”
Teachers in Shelby County Schools get $200 for classroom extras, but $100 is pooled at each school for laminating film, copy paper, chalk, file folders, scissors and other staples, including staples.
…To get a sense of how far $200 goes, Andy Gattas, who owns four Knowledge Tree stores in the metro area, says a kit to decorate a standard 4- by 6-foot bulletin board sells for $12.
“The teacher will probably need another $8 to $10 in supplies to finish it out. This is one decoration she would leave up for about a month. That’s not counting supplies; there’s no stapler, highlighters, pens, pencils.”
PET sent the results to legislators, hoping that “when they look at the BEP (Basic Education Program) formula, they will increase the amount of money teachers can use for in-house resources,” Bowman said.
“We’re saying, here’s an issue; are you aware?”
Often, the principal siphons teacher supply funds to invest in a new curriculum, said Gattas. “It’s nothing evil; there’s no misappropriation, but (teachers) don’t get all the money.”
Eighty percent of Knowledge Tree sales here come directly from teachers’ wallets, Gattas said.
“Vote Orange” is a new election slogan coming from the University of Tennessee, reports WPLN.
But according to a recent candidate survey, it’s hard to tell whose interests align with UT’s top officials. Only a third of General Assembly candidates bothered to answer the survey.
The questionnaire attempts to pin down lawmakers on increasing funding for higher education, maintaining lottery-funded scholarships and keeping guns off campus.
It was a first year for the survey. The results – as incomplete as they are – have been distributed to tens of thousands of alumni around the state, says UT President Joe DiPietro.
“Perhaps in the future, General Assembly members will participate in greater numbers, particularly if we have alumni who have conversations with their elected officials to gain a better perspective perhaps about why they didn’t participate.”
As part of a new strategic plan, UT is trying to turn its alumni into lobbyists who will influence their own lawmakers to back the university’s position on issues.
Note: The survey results are HERE.
The University of Tennessee has done a “Tennessee Safety Traffic Culture Survey.” Among the findings, as reported by the News Sentinel:
More than a quarter of those who responded to the survey said they had sent a text or e-mail while driving at least once in the previous 30 days, compared to about 4 percent of ressondents who said they drove while intoxicated in that same time period, according to a report produced on the survey and released publicly last week.
Nearly 95 percent said it was unacceptable to drive while drowsy, yet nearly 25 percent said they had done so in the previous 30 days
Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration has apparently joined Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey in asking Tennessee businessmen which regulations they would like to eliminate. Back in March, Ramsey launched a website to solicit complaints about regulations and now the administration is conducting a survey, too, reports Cookeville Times.
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is conducting an anonymous, four-question survey that will be used for informational purposes only. In order for the state to better assess their regulatory systems, Tennesseeans are encouraged to take a few minutes to respond to this survey by Wednesday, July 20.
According to survey instructions, “The purpose of this survey is to gain perspective on federal and state regulations that are burdensome to Tennessee businesses. Please note that “burdensome,” in the context of this survey, is defined as an unreasonable rule or regulation which limits, restricts, or hinders the normal course of business.”
Business leaders and citizens are asked to be as detailed as possible in answering and asked to include: (i) references to a specific rule or regulation (including rule or regulation number); (ii) the federal or state department charged with overseeing compliance for each rule or regulation referenced; and (iii) the approximate cost and/or man hours required to comply with each rule or regulation referenced.
From Vanderbilt University:
They’ve been called patriots and extremists, constitutional sticklers and libertarians.
Who are the people who make up the Tea Party movement?
According to a new survey undertaken by sociologists from Vanderbilt University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Tea Partiers are an old movement in new (albeit retro) packaging.
“The Tea Party movement is best understood as a new cultural expression of the late-20th century Republican Party,” said Steven J. Tepper, associate professor of sociology at Vanderbilt and associate director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at the university.
“Compared to the Republican Party, Tea Party supporters are more likely to support libertarian principles. But virtually every other characteristic of Tea Party supporters – from demographics to political and social attitudes – matches the profile of Republican supporters.”
“I would say that the Tea Party right now is not positioned to change American politics in any drastic way.”
Tepper, along with UNC-Chapel Hill colleagues Andrew J. Perrin, Neal Caren and Sally Morris, conducted two telephone surveys of registered voters in North Carolina and Tennessee in the spring and fall of 2010, as well as interviews and observations at a Tea Party rally in Washington, N.C. Results of the poll of about 2,500 people were published in the Spring 2011 issue of Contexts magazine. The margin of error on the statistics used in this release is plus or minus 3.1 percent.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday disputed assertions by the Tennessee Education Association’s president that teachers feel demoralized and disrespected by new legislation, including a recently passed bill that would limit educators’ collective bargaining powers.
Speaking to reporters, Haslam said a state Education Department-sponsored survey “didn’t show that at all.”
The Tennessee Teaching, Leading and Learning Survey, which was conducted in February and March by the state Education Department, would give teachers and other certificated school personnel “a chance to give feedback on a lot of different issues,” the governor said.
“Can morale be better? You bet,” said Haslam, who plans to sign the bill shifting from collective bargaining to so-called “collaborative bargaining.” ”But it did not show a serious morale issue at all for Tennessee teachers.”
Educators were asked dozens of questions, including a number about “school leadership.” For example, three out of four teachers surveyed said they agreed or strongly agreed that “there is an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.”
But TEA lobbyist Jerry Winters said the survey, co-sponsored by the association, dealt with teachers’ attitudes toward individual school governance.
No questions were asked about the union-busting legislation, he told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.