Teacher & Principal School Report


First launched in 2016, the Scholastic Teacher & Principal School Report series showcases the results of two national surveys of public school pre-K–12 educators on critical issues affecting public schools across the U.S. The first report, Equity in Education, offered a close look at the barriers to equity in education, educators’ funding priorities, and their personal spending for students and classrooms. The second report, Focus on Literacy, explored educators’ views on the importance of reading, the barriers to independent reading time in school, and the home-to-school connection. The series also dove into findings from 16 states, revealing the striking similarity of challenges educators face nationwide, with fascinating differences on a local level.


In the Teacher & Principal School Report: 2nd Edition, released in 2020, 4,517 public school educators share their views on the importance of reading to stem learning loss and support students’ social-emotional needs. Amidst the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the summer, 790 educators were re-contacted to share their insights into the effects of COVID-19 on them and their students, in addition to expectations for the academic year ahead.  


A national survey of 4,517 public school educators was conducted by YouGov between December 9, 2019 and January 31, 2020. Lists of teachers and principals were sourced from Market Data Retrieval’s (MDR) database of public school Pre-K–12 teachers and principals. A total of 3,969 teachers (including 85 school librarians) and 548 principals (including 92 vice principals) completed the survey. When data is presented among teachers, librarians are included unless otherwise specified. When the term “educators” is used to describe charts, tables and data findings, we are referencing teachers, librarians and principals combined.


The sponsor of the research was not revealed to the respondents. Participation was incented with a gift certificate to an online education store, which was revealed at the end of the survey to be the Scholastic Teacher Store.


All teachers and the majority (n=419) of principals were recruited to the survey via email invitation, based on a stratified sample frame created to mirror the populations of teachers and principals.


Additional principals were recruited via Facebook based on known status as a principal. The resulting data was weighted using a two-step process, separately for teachers and principals. States were first weighted to the appropriate proportion within the appropriate census region, and then the teachers and principals within each region were weighted on specific characteristics, based on available National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and MDR information. Teachers were weighted on gender, years of teaching experience, school urbanicity, school grade range, school enrollment and percentage of students receiving free/reduced-price lunch. Principals were weighted on gender, metro status, school grade range, school enrollment and percentage of students receiving free/reduced-price lunch.


In the summer of 2020 (July – early August), we re-contacted educators from the winter study who gave us permission to do so.  The survey was conducted from July 23, 2020 through August 4, 2020; 790 pre-K–12 public school teachers and 70 public school principals and vice principals completed the survey.


Sample characteristics were very similar to the Winter 2020 data in terms of gender, years of teaching experience, grade(s) taught, region, FRL and urbanicity. Minimal weights were applied to align the recontact sample to the winter 2020 survey sample.


Data from the recontact study is labeled with “Summer 2020.”

Study Preparation

Prior to questionnaire design, online focus groups were conducted in the spring of 2019 to obtain input on potential questions. Three focus groups were held with 2019 State Teachers of the Year, and three focus groups were conducted with principals. In addition, an in-person working session was conducted with the 2019 State Teachers of the Year to gain further feedback on the relevance and language of drafted questions. The survey was pre-tested in November of 2019, via an online survey with open response feedback questions.


The quotes that appear throughout this series were captured in one of two ways:

  • Educators who participated in the online survey had the opportunity to answer one of six open-ended questions regarding educational issues, and were also able to share any additional thoughts they had.
  • Verbatims were collected from educators who participated in the focus groups.

Data Presentation

In some cases, percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding. Additionally, when two or more scale points are combined, for example, to show the percentage who say they agree or agree strongly, percentages may round up or down by one percentage point.


Data are presented throughout this series in charts and tables. Due to the robust nature of the sample, it is safe to assume that any difference of 7 points or more between teacher subgroups, any difference of 12 points or more between principal subgroups and any difference of 6 points or more when teachers and principals are combined is statistically significant at the 90% confidence level.


In this series you will see two main subgroupings analyzed – poverty level and grade level. Poverty levels are determined by NCES definitions of high- and low-poverty schools, based on the percentage of students eligible for free/reduced-price lunch. The three breaks shown in the report are:

  • Low Poverty (0–25%) n=814 teachers and 98 principals
  • Mid Poverty (26–75%) n=2032 teachers and 303 principals
  • High Poverty (76%+) n=1010 teachers and 128 principals


Grade levels for teachers are based on self-reported grades taught and defined as follows: Elementary (Pre-K–5) n=1910, Middle School (6–8) n=1085 and High School (9–12, AP) n=1277. Some teachers may teach grades that span multiple categories, in which case they were counted in the appropriate multiple categories. Principal grade-level subgroups are based on pre-coded classifications of Elementary n=372, Middle School n= 85 or High School n=91. Principals from schools classified as “combined” were counted in the Elementary group.

About Scholastic

For 100 years, Scholastic Corporation has been encouraging the personal and intellectual growth of all children, beginning with literacy. Having earned a reputation as a trusted partner to educators and families, Scholastic is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, a leading provider of literacy curriculum, professional services, and classroom magazines, and a producer of educational and entertaining children's media. The Company creates and distributes bestselling books and e-books, print and technology-based learning programs for pre-K to grade 12, and other products and services that support children's learning and literacy, both in school and at home. With 15 international operations and exports to 165 countries, Scholastic makes quality, affordable books available to all children around the world through school-based book clubs and book fairs, classroom libraries, school and public libraries, retail, and online. Learn more at www.scholastic.com.

About YouGov

YouGov is a global provider of analysis and data generated by research in 42 markets. As market research pioneers, YouGov’s data consistently outperforms others on accuracy, as concluded by Pew Research. YouGov’s custom research specialists conduct a full spectrum of quantitative and qualitative research providing comprehensive market intelligence to the world’s leading businesses and institutions. https://today.yougov.com