Who has a better understanding of tenure or student assessment than teachers themselves? As debate on these issues has grown increasingly rancorous, though, teachers’ voices have been drowned out. Two reports, Primary Sources, from Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, aim to address that. Thousands of teachers weighed in on everything from how they should be evaluated to what tools would improve their work, revealing the joys, frustrations, and challenges America’s 3.2 million educators face every day.

Job Satisfaction Plummets
62% of teachers were very satisfied with their jobs in 2008.
44% were very satisfied in 2011—the lowest since 1989.

Teachers Workday
11h: A teacher’s average workday
7h25m: During required school hours
1h40m: At school, before and after classes
1h40m: Outside of school
40m: Extracurricular activities

What is the impact of merit pay for teachers on improving academic achievement?
9%: Very strong impact
17%: Strong impact
43%: Moderate impact
30%: No impact at all

When Should Teachers Get Tenure?
1–2 Years: 6%
3–5 Years: 71%
6+ Years:  23%

How to Best Measure Student Performance
Formative, ongoing assessments: 62% say it's absolutely essential
Class participation: 55% say it's absolutely essential
Performance on class assignments: 47% say it's absolutely essential
Final exams: 10% say it's absolutely essential
State-required standardized tests: 7% say it's absolutely essential