National Membership Survey Shows Teachers Supportive of Key Education and Labor Reforms
Alexandria, VA – Today the Association of American Educators (AAE), the largest national non-union teachers' association, released its annual member survey about key education issues. Survey results show progressive stances toward education and labor reform, particularly with regard to school choice, technology, attracting new teachers to the workforce, and collective bargaining.
While policymakers champion new and innovative ideas in education, it's critical that educators' opinions and experiences are taken into account as these reforms are considered and implemented. As a member-driven organization, AAE brings an authentic teacher voice to the education reform dialogue, rendering valuable input into creating a world class education system from well-informed teachers in all 50 states.
"AAE derives its policy positions directly from our membership survey so that we can most accurately represent their views at a time when the teaching profession is drastically changing," stated AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner. "The opinions expressed in this survey are those of real teachers, not union bosses with partisan political agendas."
With regard to new legislation designed to increase federal education spending, AAE members stress local control and are suspect of increased federal assistance with ties to the federal bureaucracy:
While the union-backed establishment sees school choice as detrimental to the teaching profession, AAE member teachers support varied policies that empower parents to choose the learning environment best suited for their child:
- 77% of survey respondents do not support increased federal spending on education at the expense of increased regulations in their respective states.
- 83% of AAE members do not support a national curriculum.
According to the results relating to technology and education:
- 78% of survey respondents agree with a law in Oklahoma that provides a tax credit to individuals and corporations that donate to organizations providing "Opportunity Scholarships."
- 61% of those surveyed agree with an Arizona law that provides tax credit scholarships to special education students in traditional public schools, allowing them to attend the public or private school of their choice.
AAE members also recognize the need to attract new and effective teachers to the classroom:
- 58% of survey respondents agree with a policy that would phase out textbooks with digital content.
- 75% of teachers agree with a Utah law guaranteeing high school students access to online courses.
In the wake of 48 states considering labor reform legislation in 2011:
- 71% agree that in order to attract new teachers, alternative certification methods must be expanded, allowing degreed professionals an easier path to the classroom.
- 85% of AAE members support Teach for America and its mission to place recent top-tier college graduates into high-need classrooms after intense training.
"As the profession evolves and the cry for reform grows louder, AAE members are embracing commonsense solutions that focus on successful student outcomes," explained Beckner. "We hope these findings will be a tool for reformers and stakeholders on all levels as they consider policies that affect the classroom."
- 78% of survey respondents assert that collective bargaining has little to no effect on their ability to teach effectively and just 28% of teachers believe collective bargaining equates to a better compensated workforce.
- 63% agree with a policy that would allow teachers to negotiate their own contracts based on their individual needs.
- 84% of those surveyed believe that teacher unions are hurting the teaching profession.
- 74% of AAE members disagree with "LIFO" or "last in, first out," jumping nearly four points from last year's survey.
Complete results of the survey can be found at www.aaeteachers.org/2011surveypdf.
The Association of American Educators is the largest national, non-union, professional educators' association, offering an alternative to the partisan politics and non-educational agendas of the teacher labor unions. AAE does not endorse, support or contribute to any political cause or candidacy. AAE has members in all 50 states and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $15 per month which includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional development resources as well as a host of other benefits. Visit aaeteachers.org for further information.