ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. Identifying these challenges is a continual process, as they morph and change over time. In pursuit of this goal of developing programs, products, and services that provide solutions, we attempt to tap into the world of the educator in many different ways – by visiting schools, soliciting feedback from the ASCD faculty who conduct PD, exploring the top-of-mind thoughts of educators through social media, holding discussions at our conferences, and by conducting a variety of research. This week’s ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll question is a quick snapshot of what is challenging 829 SmartBrief readers this week. We know that the main topic of interest for many is the Common Core State Standards, so this poll sought to go beyond that topic that we are hearing so much about, to see what else keeps educators “up at night.”
There were three of the challenges listed that rose to the top. These were very student-centered concerns:
- Engaging students (23%)
- Using student or school data wisely (22%)
- Improving student achievement (19%)
Following these top items, two other concerns were rated in the secondary position. These were more teacher and administrator-centered:
- Building teacher morale (15%), and
- Improving professional learning ( 11%)
Of the two items that were of least interest , one may be lower due to the fact that it is applicable only to a sub-set of educators , the item Supporting English-language learners ( 6%). The other item, which is applicable to all educators , was simply of less concern overall – Becoming an effective time manager (5%).
This survey question was included in ASCD SmartBrief, a daily education news roundup e-newsletter, which has 217,000 subscribers. Using ED Pulse, the weekly online poll, data was collected from 829 readers, starting on November 8, 2012. Online surveys do not provide a random sample, as participants are self-selected, meaning that a margin of sampling error cannot be calculated or quoted. In addition, the population and sample are limited to those with access to computers and an online network. However, online surveys have been shown to produce results that have proven to be reliable predictors of outcomes, including election results.
If you have a question on education that you would like to see addressed in a future ED Pulse poll, feel free to submit it in the comment section below, along with any other comments.