Low numbers for Teacher Engagement

Posted by on April 28, 2014

Hope and engagement aren’t frills

Regarding the recent Gallup poll that asked teachers, principals, students, and other professionals about their hope, emotional engagement, and wellbeing at work or school, Anya Kamenetz writes in The Hechinger report that while these qualities may seem like frills, they powerfully correlate with harder metrics like a company’s profits or a school’s test scores. In 2009, Gallup studied 78,000 students in 160 schools in eight states, finding that a one-percentage-point uptick in a school’s average student engagement was connected to a six-point increase in reading achievement and eight points in math. Similarly, in peer-reviewed studies, Gallup’s “hope” measure was a better predictor of grades in college than SATs, ACTs, or high school GPA. In a third study, students’ hope accounted for almost half the variation in math achievement and at least a third the variation in reading and science scores. An intimate connection between the schoolroom engagement of students and the workplace engagement of teachers is unsurprising, Kamenetz says. Yet 70 percent of teachers are classified as disengaged. The structures teachers work in — which may include high-stakes testing and value-added rankings based on outside factors — seem to impede their happiness. Gallup’s research is a powerful indicator we need to better consider the full range of factors affecting school performance.


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