The educational system in Texas is in trouble. 

Even before the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, many students were having trouble retaining information, struggling with math, reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills.

How do we change this downward spiral? Is there anyone out there who truly believes that over-testing students more will make a difference? How can ever-changing education policies help? And what are the thoughts and opinions of the very people who are in the trenches every day?

Has anyone ever asked teachers how to fix education? 

Over the course of a year, from July 2019 to July 2020, Teachers for Texas, a nonprofit created to be the voice of teachers, held a survey to better understand where teachers stand on issues related to education. The survey was open to all teachers in public and charter schools in Texas. Teachers from districts of all sizes—and both rural and urban areas—participated in the survey.

The survey’s first question was, “What issues are keeping you from truly being at peace as a teacher?” There were 5,451 responses from 2,752 teachers. 

Only 44 teachers responded that they had no issues with being at peace at their job. This should sound an alarm of the issues plaguing our education system.

How can only 1.5 percent of teachers be happy and at peace with their job? How can Texans help teachers be more satisfied in their job? And what other issues are plaguing Texas’ educational system?

Excessive testing, the STAAR test, poor administration, and blatant law violations were just a few of the many issues that teachers voiced concern about in the survey. Texas Scorecard will address those issues in this new series.

In the next installment, we will look at testing and the responses teachers had about that polarizing topic. 

Tera Collum

Tera Collum has 13 years experience as a government and economics teacher in Texas public schools. She recently was the director of The Travis Institute of Educational Policy and Teachers for Texas.

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