CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Teacher Alliance released a new report Tuesday that gives insight to what Charleston County School District teachers think about the district they work in.
Over the last year, 69 percent of CCSD teachers said they have considered leaving the teaching profession, would have considered it had they been financial able to do, a statement from the alliance said.
“It is no secret that teachers in South Carolina are growing restive,” Charleston Teacher Alliance Director Jody Stallings said. “2019 is a golden opportunity for teachers, educational leaders, and political leaders to work together on solutions that will keep excellent teachers in the classroom, educating the next generation. This is where they want to be and this is where all of us need them to be.”
Teachers provided a range of specific reasons why they would consider leaving the teaching profession. These are available in the final results on the CTA website. Among the top reasons cited were unrealistic expectations, stress, lack of parental support, poor student discipline, lack of respect for the profession, low salary and benefits, overwork, large class sizes, negative impact on teacher families, and over testing, the alliance report said.
In the survey one teacher wrote,
“I feel as if teachers are not treated fairly. We have a big responsibility caring for our students on a daily basis but we don’t get the respect that we deserve. We do not get the breaks that we need or deserve. Students are allowed to do whatever they want to do.”
The alliance report also found that the school board was given an “Ineffective” score for the 3rd consecutive year. Teachers did score the board higher than they did the previous year. It is the third year in a roaw that the board has been rated Ineffective, the alliance report said.
CCSD teachers also voted on Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait’s performance. Postlewait’s teacher rating improved for the third consecutive year. The report said she scored a 2.13 out of 4.
The report also found teachers rated four schools as “At-Risk” for its ineffective principal performance. Two of the three schools have been “At-Risk” for three consecutive years, the report said.
“Effective leadership at the school level is critical if we are to educate our children properly, Stallings said. “We applaud the many principals in CCSD who are giving their all to ensure that their schools are places where students can learn and teachers can do their best. It is important for the district to address the problems in those schools where ineffective leadership is an obstacle to success.”
The Charleston County School District released the following statement Tuesday on the survey:
"Charleston County School District takes feedback from teachers seriously, and the CTA survey provides data on perceptions that need to be considered along with results from the state-required online survey of all CCSD teachers each Spring through the SC Department of Education. Additionally, for the past two years District leaders have met quarterly with the Teacher Cabinet and monthly with the Teacher Forum where many of these issues are discussed.
"We will review the issues raised in the CTA survey, especially teachers surveyed who say they have considered leaving the profession. Many of the issues cited have been made very prominent by teachers all across the state, like class size, the amount of testing, teacher salaries, and student discipline. We must continue to talk with teachers about the issues impacting them and seek solutions that will make the teaching profession strong, and in turn strengthen educational opportunities for all students.
“We thank all the dedicated teaching professionals of CCSD for their commitment to the young people of our county, and we will continue to work with teacher groups like CTA on issues that are important to them.”
Charleston County School District Board Chairman Dr. Eric L. Mack also released the following statement:
“As CCSD Board Chair, I take feedback from teachers seriously, and the CTA survey provides data on perceptions that need to be considered. The Board expects the District administration to maintain regular interaction with teachers to discuss important issues, and I am aware that for the past two years District leaders have met quarterly with the Teacher Cabinet and monthly with the Teacher Forum where many of these issues are discussed.”
"The Board appreciates all the dedicated teaching professionals of CCSD for their commitment to the young people of our county, and we will continue to encourage the District administration to work with teacher groups like CTA on issues that are important to them."