Delaware educators participate in state survey

Educators across Delaware are encouraged to participate in a new survey released by the state Department of Education.

The survey is called TELL (teaching, empowering, leading and learning) and was released today to all licensed educators and administrators through the Delaware State Education Association.

Governor Jack Markell and Mark Murphy, secretary for the Department of Education, were at South Dover Elementary School for the launch of the program Monday and explained the importance of gaining large-scale of feedback from educators.

“A survey of this magnitude, we think we can learn a lot from the teachers and other professionals who will be doing the survey,” said Markell. “And, the real point is for them to inform us as to understanding what the working conditions are looking like and what can make them more successful.”

Murphy added that the state is now two years in to the Race to the Top program and the survey will provide the state with an idea of how schools are adapting to changes that have been implemented because of the program.

“It’s sparked by our constant efforts to hear from people who are closest to our children,” explained Murphy. “Governor Markell and myself make efforts as much as possible to have the voices of our educators heard and this is just an opportunity to do that. We committed to this as part of our Race to the Top plan, to hear from our educators and as we have formulated this survey, it’s now ready to go and this is a good time to do it.”

The survey consists of a few dozen questions and can be filled out anonymously by teachers once they receive an access code.

“They’ll be looking at the support they get as new teachers and also as veteran teachers,” said Frederika Jenner, president of DSEA. “Support for classroom discipline, school discipline, support for materials and supplies, text books and papers, copy supplies, that kind of thing. They’ll be looking for general environment, school climate that is supportive of students and supportive of the educational staff.”

Markell added that while the state receives lots of regular feedback from teachers across Delaware, the anonymous survey will allow them to pinpoint more specific issues that teachers might be reserved talking about in a group setting.

“I think there’s a lot of value to an anonymous survey,” he said. “When they know that they can be really honest, there can be no negative consequences for them. The only way to make progress is if you get people to be really honest and that’s what this is about.”

Schools have until Feb 15 to complete the survey. A preview of the questions are available at www.TellDelaware.org

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