Teacher Engagement Survey Results and Analysis June 2011 Overview Engagement is the sense of connection that individuals have with their profession in general and with their current jobs in particular. The specific situation at individual school sites impacts the teachers’ level of engagement. Aspects of the working environment such as relationships with school administration, colleagues, students, and parents; the physical working conditions; feelings of personal safety; policy considerations and implementation; support for personal development and growth; prior preparation; perceptions of personal relevance; and satisfaction all impact the level of teachers’ engagement. This study was conducted to accomplish three goals: 1. Measure the level of engagement among the teaching staff. 2. Identify which groups of staff are not engaged. 3. Identify areas to help improve engagement. With this information we hope to improve conditions so that all teachers are fully engaged in their profession. Fully engaged teachers is a key to helping all students achieve at their full potential. Study Design All members of the teaching staff were invited to complete the engagement survey. The survey was completed online using the K12 Insight platform. The survey consisted of four parts: Engagement Scale was comprised of eight items that were specifically designed to measure each teacher’s level of engagement. On the basis of responses to these items, an “Engagement Score” was computed for each respondent. School/Workplace items assessed 23 areas that are related to engagement. Each of the 23 areas were measured by two questions that were combined to yield a score for each area. General Satisfaction was assessed independently by two items. Respondent Background items included school site, grade levels taught, and subject areas taught. Technical Notes This study was designed as a census survey. That is, all teachers were invited and encouraged to participate. The census approach is desirable because: From an engagement/outreach perspective, it provides opportunities for all constituents to voice their views. From a statistical perspective, it eliminates sampling error because everyone is included. An alternative to a census study is a random sample study. The random sample involves inviting a fraction of the population to complete the survey. The random sample approach requires that: Individuals are selected to participate in a manner that is not systematically related to the variable being studied (unbiased). A sufficient number of individuals are invited and respond to the invitation to achieve a desired level of precision (margin of error). The resulting sample should reflect (be representative of) the characteristics of the population from which it was drawn. When a population is large, perceptions held by the population as a whole can be statistically estimated from a small fraction of individuals from that population. However, when the population is small, (i.e., <1,000), as much as one-half of the population must be sampled to gain a valid estimate of the views held by the overall group. In either case, individuals must be selected at random to ensure they accurately represent the larger population. Who Responded to the Survey? Of the 420 teachers in the district, 272 completed the survey to provide an overall response rate of 65%. This response rate is of sufficient size statistically to generalize to all district teachers. However, the teachers who responded to the survey chose to complete it. It is the engaged teachers who usually choose to participate. Therefore, the non-responding teachers are also likely not engaged. The responses to the survey questions may not reflect the views of all teachers. The responses provided by the engaged teachers provide valuable information about how engagement might be improved for all teachers. Completed Surveys 272 Response Rate = 65% Total Teachers 420 0 50 100 150 200 250 Count 300 350 400 450 Who Responded to the Survey? The number of participants varied considerably across schools, with most respondents at the High (n=90; 33%) and Junior High School (n=71; 26%). Number of Respondents by School Forest Avenue School 28 Tooker Avenue School 21 Santapogue School 12 JF Kennedy School 31 South Bay School 17 West Babylon Junior High School 71 West Babylon High School 90 Other 2 0 20 40 60 Count 80 100 Who Responded to the Survey? Respondents represented all grade levels and subject areas. Grade Levels Taught PK Subject Areas Taught 1 KG 26 1st 23 2nd 24 4th 31 5th 31 6th 27 7th 28 8th Electives 5 15 Physical Education-Health 10th 11th 55 40 World Languages 9 Other 50 40 37 Social Studies 57 12th 23 Science 49 Count 38 Music 9th 20 49 Mathematics 36 0 6 English-Language Arts 27 3rd Art 60 47 0 10 20 30 40 Count 50 60 What is the Overall Level of Engagement? The eight engagement scale items were rated on a five-point scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Average ratings are displayed. Because more engaged individuals likely completed the survey, these data may overestimate engagement among teachers districtwide. Teaching gives me a feeling of accomplishment. 4.76 Overall, I am satisfied with teaching. 4.60 My current teaching duties are interesting. 4.53 I am proud to work at my school. 4.50 I am not planning on leaving my school. 4.50 I am motivated to contribute more than what is expected of me at this school. 4.42 I would feel comfortable referring a good friend to teach at my school. 4.24 Overall, I enjoy working for this school's principal. 4.00 3.00 3.50 4.00 Rating 4.50 5.00 What is the Overall Level of Engagement? Ratings on the eight items comprising the engagement scale were averaged to provide an engagement score for each respondent. The median engagement score was 4.8 (average was 4.4) and ranged from 2.2 to 5.0. Scores were classified according to three levels: Not Engaged (less than 3.5), Engaged (3.5 to 4.5), and Highly Engaged (4.5 to 5.0). Most respondents were either Highly Engaged or Engaged. Just 7% (n = 20) of respondents registered as Not Engaged. Engagement Score Descriptions Median 4.8 Minimum 2.2 Highly Engaged 61% Engaged 32% Not Engaged Maximum 7% 5.0 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percent Which Groups of Teachers are Engaged? The percent of teachers identified as “highly engaged” at each school is represented. Engagement tended to be lowest at the junior high school (45%) and high school (63%) and higher at the elementary schools (ranging from 61% to 77%). Highly Engaged by School Forest Avenue School 61% Tooker Avenue School 71% Santapogue School 67% JF Kennedy School 77% South Bay School West Babylon Junior High School West Babylon High School 71% 45% 63% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percent Which Groups of Teachers are Engaged? About two-thirds of the teachers in the core subject areas of English-language arts, mathematics, and science registered as Highly Engaged. All 6 of the responding art teachers indicated that they are Highly Engaged. Highly Engaged by Subject Taught Art 100% Electives 60% English-Language Arts 61% Mathematics 68% Music 73% Physical Education-Health 74% Science 65% Social Studies 78% World Languages 78% Other 66% 0% 20% 40% 60% Percent 80% 100% Satisfaction and Engagement Engaged or Highly Engaged teachers were more likely to be satisfied with teaching than were the Not Engaged teachers. Most (89%) of the Highly Engaged teachers said they have never considered leaving their school, compared to half of the engaged teachers and 11% of the Not Engaged teachers. 17% Satisfied or Very Satisfied teaching at school. 92% 99% Not Engaged Engaged 11% Have never considered leaving school. Highly Engaged 50% 89% 0% 20% 40% 60% Percent 80% 100% Where Should Efforts be Focused to Improve Teacher Engagement? Twenty-three aspects of the school/workplace environment were examined to find areas of focus to help improve engagement among teachers. Each area was rated on a five-point scale, with higher values indicating greater satisfaction with that area. The relationship between each teacher’s ratings and their overall engagement score was also examined. To do this, correlation coefficients were computed between the engagement scores and each school/workplace item. A correlation coefficient is a measure of how strongly two items are related to each other. The value can range from -1.0 to 0 to +1.0. The closer to ±1.0, the stronger the relationship. Based on the combination of ratings and correlation with engagement, the areas were classified as high vs. low in ratings and high vs. low in relation to engagement (see table below). Those areas that were rated low, but had a strong correlation with engagement (red) should receive primary focus. The secondary areas are those that had high ratings and a strong correlation with engagement (yellow). Rating Low High Relation to Engagement High Low PRIMARY FOCUS SECONDARY FOCUS Where Should Efforts be Focused to Improve Teacher Engagement? Relation to Engagement High Low Low PRIMARY FOCUS These areas are highly related Improvement in these areas to Engagement, but were rated may help with the overall low. work environment, but would These items offer best have little impact on opportunity for improving engagement. engagement. High SECONDARY FOCUS These areas are highly related to Engagement, and were rated District is performing well in favorably. these areas. Emphasis on these items may help improve engagement among some teachers. Rating Where Should Efforts be Focused to Improve Teacher Engagement? Relation to Engagement High Low Low PRIMARY FOCUS Rating High SECONDARY FOCUS The administrators and staff share my values. The principal tries new ideas. I enjoy working with the school administrators. The policies help me to do my job. The administrators do a good job and make good decisions. I feel recognized and appreciated for my work. I am satisfied with opportunities for career advancement. Staff from different backgrounds are valued at school. The administrators are truthful and do what they say. I understand what the principal expects of me. The administrators are truthful and do what they say. I have the support and authority to make decisions. I am supported when addressing problems with students. I have the time and resources to do my job. I am safe and comfortable at school. I am proud of the teaching quality at school. Meeting student's needs is a top priority at this school. My subject matter is interesting. I understand how my teaching affects the school and students. I am a positive influence on my students. I have the necessary training to teach at this school. I am satisfied with the pay and benefits. I enjoy working with my colleagues. Rating 3.78 3.71 3.55 3.76 3.52 3.56 3.86 3.90 3.41 4.09 4.41 4.19 3.58 3.53 3.88 4.40 4.35 4.58 4.62 4.80 4.29 4.12 4.53 Relation to Engagement 0.65 0.64 0.63 0.59 0.58 0.58 0.54 0.54 0.53 0.59 0.57 0.53 0.43 0.29 0.22 0.50 0.46 0.45 0.41 0.34 0.34 0.24 0.24 Written Feedback Teachers were provided an opportunity to give written feedback. 94 (35%) of the participants answered the question. Written feedback differed by school site, with comments often being specific to issues at their school location. Some common themes included: Sentiments expressed that administration holds different views/priorities than teachers; divide between teachers and administration. Expressed feelings of collegiality among teaching staff, but distance from administration. Expressions of both positive and negative views of their principals/school site administration. More consistent support is needed from administration on student behavior and discipline. Concerns about budget cuts. Concerns about the condition of the facilities, availability of materials. Summary The major findings from this engagement study revealed: Teachers showed a moderate response to the survey with 65% responding. The 35% who did not respond likely includes a high proportion of non-engaged teachers. While the feedback may not reflect the views of all teachers, it does provide information as to how engagement might be improved. The participating teachers revealed high levels of engagement with a median score of 4.8 on a 5.0 scale. o 61% were identified as “highly engaged” o 32% as “engaged” o 7% as “not engaged” Overall engagement tended to be lower among teachers at the junior high and high schools and higher at the elementary schools. About two-thirds of the teachers in the core subject areas registered as “highly engaged.” Primary opportunities for improving engagement include improving relationships between teachers and administrators, ensuring policies promote the necessary support for teachers to fulfill job functions, and increasing recognition for teacher’s work.