Survey: Anti-Poverty Initiatives Are Top Priority for State Teachers of the Year

The top three funding priorities for student learning are anti-poverty initiatives, early learning and reducing barriers to learning, according to a new survey of the State Teachers of the Year.

The survey, "State Teachers of the Year 2015 Survey," was conducted online in late April by Scholastic with assistance from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Forty-six of the award-winning teachers participated in the survey, which covered topics such as school funding, the effect of higher standards, teacher satisfaction, barriers to learning, the importance of independent reading, traits of good teachers and book recommendations for students.

Key findings from the survey:

  • 76 percent of respondents said family stress is a barrier to student learning;
  • 63 said poverty is a barrier to learning;
  • 52 percent said learning and psychological problems are barriers;
  • 48 percent said focusing school funding priorities on anti-poverty initiatives would have the biggest effect on student learning;
  • 37 percent said funding priorities should focus on early learning initiatives;
  • 35 percent said funding priorities should focus on reducing barriers to learning such as access to wrap-around services and health care;
  • More than four in 10 said a lack of time was their biggest challenge as a teacher, and it was the top challenge cited by respondents;
  • Respondents said working with students in the classroom gives them the most job satisfaction, and paperwork gives them the least job satisfaction;
  • 98 percent said independent reading time in the classroom is extremely or very important to academic success;
  • 59 percent said their students have time for independent reading in the classroom at least once a week;
  • 61 percent said lack of time was the biggest barrier to independent reading time in the classroom; and
  • 96 percent said Common Core State Standards and other high standards will have a positive effect on student learning.

Further information about the survey can be found on Scholastic's blog.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].