The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released results June 1 from the inaugural 2020 Impact Kentucky survey, which asks teachers about their working conditions and helps improve the environment for educators across the state.
Impact Kentucky, formerly the TELL Kentucky survey, is the fifth statewide survey of certified educators in Kentucky, but the first using a new format. The biennial survey offers every certified educator in Kentucky the opportunity to provide input on teaching conditions that can be used to inform school, district and state improvements. It also allows parents to see what the culture and climate is like for their children’s teachers.
“Creating a school environment where teachers can thrive is a key focus of the Kentucky Department of Education,” said KDE Interim Commissioner of Education Kevin. C. Brown.
“We want to thank all the teachers and other staff across the state who took the time to take this survey. With this data, we can see the progress we’ve made, but also see areas where we can improve conditions for teachers. This is an important tool for school and professional development and helps us give teachers a voice in school improvement.”
The 2020 Impact Kentucky survey was shorter and more focused on what matters most to educators than the prior survey. The anonymous 15-minute survey went to all school-based licensed educators, who had six weeks, from Jan. 13-Feb. 21, to respond. More than 43,000 educators in the state responded (85%), surpassing the previous participation record set in 2017 by over 1,500.
Respondents included teachers, principals, assistant principals and other education professionals such as school counselors and social workers. They were asked about:
- Professional learning
- Feedback and coaching
- School leadership
- Staff-leadership relationships
- School climate
- Managing student behavior
- Educating all students
Some of the key findings:
- Educators report most favorably on staff-leadership relationships.
- Educators report confidence in their ability to educate all students, regardless of race or cultural background, in a data-driven manner.
- Educators report least favorably about resources.
- Lower-grade educators have more favorable views of working conditions, especially when it comes to school climate and professional learning.
- Principals and assistant principals have more favorable views of working conditions than teachers and other education professionals.
- School leaders show clear strengths in leadership effectiveness and relations with staff.
The full 2020 report and results can be viewed on the Impact Kentucky website. The results are open to everyone and include both statewide and district-specific results.
KDE Associate Commissioner Rob Akers said the results “should be used to celebrate areas of strength and identify a few areas where there is room for growth. We are thankful to school leaders to being vulnerable enough to consider the feedback and use it to drive improvement.”
He said there are a few things to keep in mind when interpreting the results. Because Impact Kentucky is a new survey with meaningful differences in scoring and survey content, this year’s results are baseline data and can’t be compared with previous TELL data.
“Also, as with all surveys, the results represent the perceptions of the respondents at a specific date and time, especially important as it was administered before the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Akers said.
The survey was administered by Panorama Education, in partnership with KDE. The survey replaces the TELL Kentucky Working Conditions Survey, which was administered through the New Teacher Center.
To redesign the 2020 survey from prior years, KDE partnered with the Impact Kentucky Steering Committee, made up of teachers, principals, superintendents, parents and other education stakeholders from around the state.
In consultation with KDE, Panorama will be providing information and resources to support school leaders as they review their results and plan next steps. The Impact Kentucky website has a resource guide with information and videos on several survey topics that will help districts interpret and take action on their results, and on June 4 and 5, Panorama will host live webinars. To attend, educators can register on Panorama’s web link.
The goal of Panorama Education is to improve student outcomes by helping schools and districts act on data, partnering with more than 10 state agencies and over 30 of the largest districts in the U.S. to reach more than 10 million students.