Friday, May 6, 2011

TELL Survey Garners High Response, Roadmap for Future

This week, KDE released the results from the first teacher working conditions survey, or TELL (Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning) Kentucky survey. Readers may be interested in viewing the data at

At that link, readers will find the state results, district results and school-level results. We are very excited about this release of data, since more than 80 percent of Kentucky’s teachers and principals responded to the survey. Kentucky had the highest first-year participation rate of any state that has utilized the survey.

So… now that we have the results, what happens next? We are working with our partners to provide support and training on how schools, districts and state leaders can use the results to change policy and practice at each level. The Kentucky Board of Education will model how to use the results at a work session on June 7. The board will review the results and receive recommendations from our Working Conditions Coalition. The board will prioritize the recommendations for the budget and legislative agenda for the 2012 session of the General Assembly.

We are very excited that our partners are supporting training and coaching for teachers, principals, district staff and school boards on how to utilize the results of the survey. We hope that school boards will build capacity to include in superintendent evaluation process how the results are used to prioritize policy and budget decisions at the district level. We also hope superintendents will use the results in principal evaluation process to prioritize process changes at the school level. Also, we hope school-based councils will utilize the results in collaboration with the principal to prioritize changes in school-level policy and budget decisions.

We strongly recommend that the results of the survey NOT be utilized for any personnel evaluations or decisions. We strongly recommend that how leaders utilize the results to create improvement plans should be part of personnel evaluation procedures.

While we have had phenomenal success in the implementation of the survey, the actual value now comes with the actions taken to improve working conditions in our classrooms, schools and districts. Improved working conditions will mean improved learning conditions for our students. Improved working conditions will mean lower teacher turnover rates and reduced costs for human resource processes. Improved working conditions will mean improved learning results for our students. Thanks again to all of our partners in this important work.

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