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ERIC Number: ED502195
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan-31
Pages: 90
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Final Report on the Mississippi Project CLEAR Voice Teacher Working Conditions Survey
Berry, Barnett; Fuller, Ed
Center for Teaching Quality
In 2007, the state of Mississippi conducted a web-based survey of all school-based licensed educators in which they were asked to share their perceptions of the state of teacher working conditions in Mississippi. This report of the Mississippi Teacher Working Conditions Survey, Project CLEAR Voice (Cultivate Learning Environments to Accelerate Recruitment and Retention) outlines connections revealed, provides information upon which policymakers and educators can act, and offers suggestions for more refined future analyses. The findings also provide a lens through which to view the recommendations of the state's National Board Certified teachers about how to support and staff high-needs schools in Mississippi. General findings include: (1) Mississippi teachers believe that their schools are good places to work and learn; (2) Administrators believe that teachers are central to decision-making and that they are empowered on many fronts, but teachers disagree; (3) Mississippi educators appear to be more involved in classroom-level decisions than in school-level ones; (4) Elementary school educators, compared to their secondary school counterparts, are more positive about their teacher working conditions; Middle school teachers are least likely to be positive about their working conditions; and (5) School setting appears to play a role in perceptions: rural elementary and high school teachers are more likely than their more urban counterparts to be positive about their working conditions. Teacher responses to survey questions were disaggregated and analyzed based on each teacher's declared career intentions to stay in her or his current school, move to another school or district, or leave teaching, and based on each teacher's declared participation in a mentoring program, whether as a mentor or as a teacher who received mentoring in her or his early career. Findings suggest the following recommendations: (1) State policymakers should consider sponsoring follow-up case studies to investigate in more depth why educators at certain schools have less positive impressions of their working conditions than do educators at other schools, with special focus on schools in the second quintile in terms of proportion of economically disadvantaged students; (2) Administrators should experiment with new school schedules with the intention of providing more non-instructional time for teachers; (3) Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) should conduct a thorough review or audit of mentoring efforts statewide; (4) MDE should encourage and help its administrators to assess their leadership and empowerment practices, along with their interactions with teachers, in order to move toward improvement in these areas and toward establishing stable and committed faculty communities; (5) MDE should develop more robust teacher, student, and administrator data systems that can track teacher and administrator responses to teacher working conditions surveys longitudinally and link these data with actual teacher turnover figures and robust measures of student achievement; and (6) State policymakers should consider implementing a follow-up telephone survey to investigate what made it possible for some schools to achieve high response rates, as well as what roadblocks prevented other schools from doing likewise. Five appendices are included: (1) District Response Rates; (2) Teacher Perceptions vs. Principal Perceptions of Teacher Working Conditions; (3) Teacher Perceptions for Teaching and Learning Conditions, by Career Intent; (4) Selected Survey Responses Across Student Poverty Levels; and (5) Methodology. (Contains 31 endnotes, 6 figures and 19 tables.) [This report was written with Alice Williams.]
Center for Teaching Quality. 976 Airport Road Suite 250, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Tel: 919-951-0200; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Teaching Quality
Identifiers - Location: Mississippi