Michigan Association of School Administrators

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MET Life survey reveals school leadership is more complex, challenging, and stressful

Teacher Satisfaction Continues to Decline; Educators More Confident about Their Ability To Implement Common Core State Standards than about Standards’ Impact

As major changes in education loom and cuts in many public school budgets continue, the job of running the nation’s schools has become more complex, challenging, and stressful, the new MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership (2012) reveals.

School leaders today say that key responsibilities are challenging, particularly those schools alone cannot address. The challenges include balancing budgets—more than half of both teachers (56 percent) and principals (53 percent) report that their school’s budget has decreased in the last 12 months—and addressing the growing needs of diverse learners and their families.

Many principals say their jobs have changed over the last five years (69 percent say the responsibilities are not very similar) and 75 percent say their jobs have become too complex. Principals also report high levels of stress and limited control over key academic functions in their schools. About half of all principals (48 percent) and teachers (51 percent) report that they feel under great stress in their job at least several days a week.

Meanwhile, nine in ten principals (89 percent) say they are accountable for everything that happens to the children in their
schools, but fewer principals say they have a great deal of control over key school-based functions, including the curriculum and instruction in their schools (42 percent) and making decisions about removing teachers (43 percent). The survey—the 29th in an annual series commissioned by MetLife and conducted by Harris Interactive1— examines the views of teachers and principals on the responsibilities and challenges facing school leaders, including the changing roles of principals and teachers, budget and resources, professional satisfaction, and implementation of the Common Core State Standards for college and career readiness.

Read a Summary by MET Life

Read the survey

Read a response by NEA president, Dennis Van Roekel

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Embargoed MetLilfe TeacherSurvey2012.pdf2.51 MB
2012 Teacher Survey PR FINAL_embargoed 022013.pdf73.98 KB
NEA president-MetLife Survey of the American Teacher.docx12.38 KB