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Regional analysis of educator survey reveals different needs across Michigan

Posted at 9:39 AM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 15:18:43-04

LANSING, Mich. — Regional data analysis from a landmark statewide educator survey conducted earlier this year is now available for reporters to use as part of back-to-school stories and other local education coverage.

The statewide survey was fielded in February 2019 by Launch Michigan, a diverse alliance of education, labor, business and philanthropic organizations committed to establishing a shared agenda to ensure all Michigan students receive a best-in-class education. Nearly 17,000 responses were gathered from a broad array of Michigan educators, including teachers, administrators, ancillary staff, paraprofessionals, and other support staff. The survey was conducted by Ann Arbor-based research firm, Emma White Research.

By taking input from educators, Launch Michigan continues to shape recommendations for improving public education for all students using the most robust data available and including feedback from those who work with students directly.

The results from the educator survey highlight front-line perceptions of educators across the state – and further analysis has now been done within nine regions. Breaking down the data by each region allows for better identification of how educator and student needs differ throughout the state.

As students head back into classrooms for the 2019-2020 school year, Launch Michigan is making the data from each region publicly available. A sample of regional statistics from the survey:

  • Only 21% of teachers in the Thumb Region would recommend careers in education for young people.
  • Just 19% of K-5 teachers in Southwest Michigan believe that they have been adequately prepared to provide substantial support to students in the run-up to the state’s new 3rd-grade retention law.
  • To be effective, teacher evaluation systems in schools must lead to improvements for students. However, only 35% of Mid-Michigan teachers feel that systems in their schools lead to better student learning.
  • Teacher development cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach if it going to lead to student growth. But only 38% of teachers in Flint and the Tri-Cities receive specific professional learning suggestions that are tailored to their needs.
  • Literacy resources for teachers are vital for student success. Only 29% of teachers in Michigan’s UP have access to literacy coaches in their schools.
  • 39% of teachers in the northern Lower Peninsula do not have enough books and reading materials in their classrooms. Without adequate resources, generating growth in reading becomes much more difficult.
  • In South Central Michigan, only about half of teachers believe their local schools are doing a good job. For Michigan’s future, our students and educators need better.
  • Only about half of Metro Detroit teachers feel empowered to teach in ways that are best for students. All teachers should have the ability to lead in their classrooms for the future of all students.

The results of Launch Michigan’s statewide educator survey are helping guide and shape recommendations to the state legislature and governor, which are expected to be presented in early December 2019.

To view fact sheets for each region, visit [].

The original survey, as well as a recording of the press call covering the results are available at [].

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