A national survey of more than 40,000 public school teachers shows that supportive leadership is even more important than higher salaries or performance pay. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored the survey in collaboration with the publisher Scholastic Inc.
According to a report in the Washington Post, 68 percent of those surveyed described supportive leadership as “absolutely essential” in retaining good teachers. The survey reported 45 percent of respondents rated higher salaries and 8 percent listed performance pay as “absolutely essential.”
Other “essential” elements mentioned were “relevant” professional development and “clean and safe” working conditions, time for teachers to collaborate and access to high-quality curriculum.
Looking at student achievement, 71 percent said monetary rewards for teacher performance would have moderate or no impact. Common standards across states and clearer academic standards were listed as elements that would help student achievement.
This tracks with the goals of Birmingham Education Foundation, which has training for principals as one of the key elements of its work to support and strengthen Birmingham City Schools. It’s good to see that teachers themselves agree with the importance of leadership, which came through strongly in the work of Yes We Can! Birmingham, a grassroots initiative of your Community Foundation.