Once again, MetLife’s Survey of the American Teacher offers deep insights into the status of America’s teaching profession.

Teachers report significant reductions in school budgets, programs, and services. Meanwhile, students and their families report an increase in needs.

And, strikingly, teacher satisfaction is lower than it has been in more than two decades, with a precipitous drop of 15 points since 2009.

The survey reveals factors connected to high job satisfaction: adequate opportunities for professional development, time to collaborate with colleagues, and more preparation to engage parents effectively.

Of course, other research has shown that these same factors benefit students.

Policymakers should take this data seriously—and take action. Why not redesign schools so teachers have the time, opportunities, and supports they need to help students succeed? TEACHING 2030, supported by MetLife Foundation, outlines bold yet practical ways to transform schools to better serve students.   

Each year, the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher promotes a nuanced understanding of challenges faced by teachers and those they serve. I hope policymakers will take note—and help to create the public school system that all students deserve.

Want to continue the conversation? Twitter’s a good place to start: Follow the hashtag #TeacherSurvey to read what teachers, policymakers, and the media are saying about the survey.

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