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Teachers Network online survey

Comments from Annie: The Teachers Network survey offers an important perspective to NCLBâ??s destructive path. But, unfortunately, this report is largely no where to be found in mainstream media. Wouldnâ??t it be appropriate for the Federal Department of Education to at least acknowledge that the teachers have spoken and listen to their concerns?

Instead, as the issue of re-authorization makes its way onto the political stage of election campaigns, we can brace ourselves for more propaganda from the Aspen Institute and other solidly funded interest groups with high stakes financial priorities. As a matter of fact, Aspen Institute no longer even bothers to identify themselves by name; they have simply become the â??Commission on NCLBâ?? and the members are now consistently referred to as â??commissioners.â??

As in: â??Commissioners are actively working to share the Commissionâ??s recommendations with stakeholders across the country in support of an improved law.â??

And the "improvements" amount to much more of the same...only worse.

A campaign of propaganda is like that sometimes; a gradual variation, one degree at a time away from the truth. It is a misrepresentation, a manipulation, but drip by drip can erode a mountain.

Marketing campaigns are an unimaginable force. We can only hope to counter the force of this campaign with our own ingenuity and determination.

Please send this report out to everyone you can think of and contribute however you can to any efforts to stop the destructive forces of NCLB.

Consider yourself a Commissioner of the Truth representing the Commission of Educational Reality.

Join a Commission against NCLB reauthorization.

Press Release

Survey Reveals that Only 1% of Teachers Find No Child Left Behind an
Effective Way to Assess the Quality of Schools and

69% Report It's Pushing Teachers Out of the Profession

April 2007-

Over 5600 public school teachers from all 50 states
recently responded to a Teachers Network online survey regarding the
effectiveness of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and its impact on the
teaching and schools.

Survey results show how for the majority of teachers the emphasis of
NCLB on high-stakes testing is not working. Only 37% of respondents
found standardized tests "somewhat useful" but 42% deemed them "not
at all" helpful to their teaching. Over 40% claim that these tests
are encouraging them to use rote drill, and 44% report that the
tests are pushing them to eliminate curriculum material not tested.

Over 40% believe that NCLB does not result in teachers making
instructional decisions that are best for their students or that
it's helping to reduce the achievement gap in education-its primary
goal. And fewer (3%) agree that it encourages them to improve their
teaching effectiveness with all students. Fewer still (1%) find it
is an effective way to assess the quality of schools

Three-quarters of the teachers surveyed reported experiencing a
great deal of pressure from NCLB to improve students' test scores
due to NCLB, coming from the top down. Among the forces exerting
pressure on teachers to improve student scores are state departments
of education (60%), district administrators (57%), newspapers and
other media (43%), and principals (39%). Only 10% said they felt
pressure from parents.

What will be of real concern to policymakers will be our findings
regarding teacher retention: 69% of survey respondents "strongly
agree" that NCLB with its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals has
contributed to teacher burnout.

The respondents were evenly distributed across the grade levels from
kindergarten through 12th grade. Slightly more than half of the
survey takers (52.2%) were not from a school that has been
identified as one in need of improvement in any academic area and/or
with any disaggregated population of students. Teacher respondents
ranged from

1-3 years experience (17.2%) to teachers with 25 or more years
(16.5%). One-fifth of the teachers who responded have been teaching
between 6-10 years.

"As we look at this data," explains Professor Frances Rust of the
New York University Steinhardt School of Education, "it seems very
clear that from the teachers' perspective, NCLB is a top down
mandate about which they feel greatest pressure for their students
to pass high-stakes tests coming from their district
administrators. This deprofessionalizes the teaching force, pushing
teachers towards rote instruction that bypasses curriculum areas
that are not tested and minimizes teachers' efforts to be responsive
to the specific needs of learners in their classrooms."

According to William J. Cirone, Superintendent of Santa Barbara
County Schools and Chairman, Teachers Network Board of Trustees,
"Teachers have always been concerned about accountability and
authentic assessment but the survey shows that this law really
misses the mark on exactly what it is supposed to be targeting-and
the unintended consequence is more teachers are leaving because of the law.

The survey and survey data are available at www.teachersnetwork.org.

About Teachers Network

Teachers Network is a non-profit organization-by teachers, for
teachers-with a 26-year track record of success, dedicated to
improving student learning in public schools nationally and
internationally. Teachers Network is unique in its focus on
professional development as the key to improving student
achievement. Using the power of an award-winning web site, videos,
and print resources,

Teachers Network leverages the creativity and
expertise of a national and international community of outstanding
educators. Through its leadership, Teachers Network empowers
teachers to transform public schools into creative learning

For more information about Teachers Network, go to

— The Teachers Network



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