What do educators really think about the teaching and learning conditions in Harford County Public Schools? Gov. Martin O’Malley aimed to find out in an anonymous online survey for all Maryland educators known as the Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) Maryland Survey.
The goal of the governor’s survey is to ensure that all educators in Maryland public schools have the work environment they need to help students achieve. According to tellmaryland.org, “The TELL Maryland Survey is a perceptual survey that will allow every educator to TELL Maryland if they have positive teaching and learning conditions that research has shown to be important to student achievement and teacher retention.”
Survey questions covered topics such as:
• School facilities and resources
• School leadership
• Community support and involvement
• Managing student conduct
• Instructional practices and support
The most recent TELL survey, the second of its kind since 2009, was administered in the spring of 2011 and results were published in August. The survey was made available to all school-based, certificated educators and designated education support personnel (ESP).
According to a brief written presentation made by school officials to the Harford County Board of Education in October, a total of 4,225 staff members in Harford County Public Schools responded to the survey and all schools exceeded the 50% completion rate needed for results to be reported, “thus providing school-based data for all HCPS schools.”
Survey results show that, on average, the vast majority (79%) of educators in HCPS agreed with the following statement: “Overall, my school is a good place to work and learn”, which was slightly less than the average of 82.6% for all Maryland public schools.
Garnering agreement from less than 60% of teachers surveyed, areas of relative weakness in HCPS included the consistent enforcement of school rules on student conduct, the evaluation and differentiation of professional development, teacher influence in school decision-making, teacher autonomy in instructional delivery, sufficient non-instructional time, efforts made to reduce routine paperwork, and the level of comfort teachers have in raising concerns with school administrators.
Also worth noting, 96% of HCPS teachers surveyed agreed with the statement that “effectiveness with the students I teach” influences their decisions about their professional plans. Support from school administration, collegiality among staff and teaching assignment were also strong influences, while 72% agreed that salary was a factor.
Regarding the results for Harford County as a whole, the presentation to the school board concluded: “Survey results indicate that Harford County Public Schools showed growth in positive responses from the 2009 TELL Survey to the 2011 TELL Survey in every area on all replicated questions.” The report to the school board did not, however, include the results for individual schools.
Below are the 2011 TELL Survey results by school for Harford County Public Schools.
Bel Air Elementary
Bel Air High
Bel Air Middle
C. Milton Wright High
Center for Educational Opportunity – Alternative
Church Creek Elementary
Forest Hill Elementary
Forest Lakes Elementary
Fountain Green Elementary
George Lisby Elementary at Hillsdale
Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary
Harford Technical High
Havre de Grace Elementary
Havre de Grace High
Havre de Grace Middle
Homestead Wakefield Elementary
John Archer School
North Bend Elementary
North Harford Elementary
North Harford High
North Harford Middle
Patterson Mill High
Patterson Mill Middle
Prospect Mill Elementary
Ring Factory Elementary
William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary
William S. James Elementary
Youth’s Benefit Elementary