NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: JUNE 7, 2012


More than 100,000 North Carolina licensed teachers and principals participated in the 2012 NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey (NC TWC), according to the Initial Findings report by the New Teacher Center this morning presented to State Board of Education members. NC TWC findings are used to help inform state education policy, develop schools' annual improvement plans and more recently, in the state's educator evaluation process.

The New Teacher Center, a national nonprofit organization that administers the NC TWC survey, also noted in its report that educators' perceptions of working conditions have remained relatively stable – no question response rate increased or decreased by more than 5 percent. Many of the areas where perceptions of positive conditions have decreased are the most dependent on resources – time, professional development, etc. More data needs to be gathered to understand how federal, state and local resources have been utilized, particularly in schools that have seen improvement, to better understand how successful strategies can be scaled.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said the NC TWC provides insight into how teachers feel about their working conditions and its impact on their job performance. "We know that your work environment affects how well you do your job. Survey data helps school and district administrators address areas of concern so that teachers and students can focus on what is most important – teaching for learning," Atkinson said.

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison noted North Carolina's leadership role in surveying all of its licensed educators on working conditions and thanked teachers and administrators for their strong, faithful participation. "Research has shown the connection between positive teaching conditions, student achievement and teacher retention. It's essential that we do all we can to make schools a great place to teach and learn."

Initial survey findings showed that 86 percent of all licensed educators participated in the survey. In order for a school to have its own data to use in its annual school improvement plan, at least 40 percent of educators (and a minimum of five teachers in small schools) at that school had to participate in the survey. Of the 2,434 traditional public schools, 2,429 (99.7 percent) met or exceeded the 40 percent threshold. Sixty-one percent of charter schools and 76 percent of special schools also met or exceeded the minimum threshold. All districts reached at least a 59 percent response rate. The survey results for each of these schools, as well as every district and the state is available online at Also available on the website are guides for schools and districts to use showing how to incorporate its data in school improvement plans as well as the presentation to the State Board of Education.

Further analyses of the results will be conducted by the New Teacher Center and reported later this year. In addition to general trends, the report will include analysis of trends in the data related to student achievement, teacher retention, new teacher support and persistently low-performing schools.

The NC TWC is an online, anonymous survey that assesses teacher working conditions at the school, district and state levels. Questions focus on time, facilities and resources, community support and involvement, managing student conduct, teacher leadership, school leadership, professional development, instructional practices and support, and new teacher support.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.