Kentucky teachers’ and principals’ participation in the TELL (Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning) Kentucky Survey set a record for first-time response rates on similar surveys in other states.

According to the New Teacher Center (NTC), the non-profit organization that administers the survey, Kentucky’s overall response rate was 80 percent. Of the total 52,353 educators eligible to participate, 42,025 completed the survey. Additionally, 91 percent of Kentucky schools met the minimum response rate threshold of 50 percent and qualify to receive their own school results for school improvement planning.

The TELL Kentucky Survey provided a unique, anonymous opportunity to gather information about school working conditions from those whose views matter most – practicing educators.

From March 1-28, all school-based certified public school teachers and principals were asked to submit their perceptions on a variety of issues. All school-based certified public school teachers and principals were asked to submit their perceptions on a variety of issues related to student achievement and teacher retention, including the adequacy of facilities and resources; time; empowerment; school leadership; community support; student conduct; professional development; mentoring and induction services; and student learning.

According to NTC, early analyses of the results indicate that, overall, educators are positive about their teaching conditions. However, there are also some areas of concern expressed by educators.

In addition to the results, NTC provided schools and districts the tools for assistance in using the data, such as a School Improvement Guide and a District Guide. All tools and results are available at As follow-up, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will provide webcasts and technical support on use of the data.

The results will be used by school-based decision making councils, schools, districts, the KDE, Kentucky Board of Education and numerous other organizations to improve the teaching and learning conditions in the state’s schools and districts. However, the results will not be used to form a score as part of an accountability model for schools and districts.

The Kentucky Board of Education will review the preliminary findings at its June meeting for potential state policy and budget impacts.

The final report from NTC, which will include information related to student achievement as well as other key indicators such as years of experience of teachers and comparison to the results from the administrator portion of the survey, will be available in the fall.