Friday, April 13, 2007

Are Perceptions Reality?

Do you have a more optimistic view of your students' abilities than your teachers?

If you do, you're not alone according to the National School Boards Association. Their new study of 4,700 teachers and 267 principals and assistant principals in 12 school districts in 10 states found that principals were more likely than teachers to say that students can excel academically. The study is part of the NSBA's effort to gauge school climate. Among the findings:
  • 94.6 percent of administrators agreed/strongly agreed with the statement, "Students at this school are capable of high achievement on standardized exams." 77.2 percent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed.
  • 95.3 percent of administrators said teachers at their school would benefit from more professional development; only 68.1 percent of teachers thought so.
  • More teachers (23.6 percent) than principals (7 percent) agreed/strongly agreed with the following statement: "Most students at this school would not be successful at a community college or university. 85.2 percent of administrators disagreed/strongly disagreed with the statement; 58.1 percent of teachers did.
Why the gap? Teachers spend more time in the classroom, the American Federation of Teachers told Ed Week Magazine, so they have "a more realistic picture of what it would take to get [students] over the hurdles."

Why do you think there's such a difference in the findings?

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