What Do Teachers Think about Education Reform?

While Congress debates ESEA reauthorization and talks about school reform, the Association of American Educators (AAE) polled its members to find out what they think about key issues and the proposed changes directed at the classroom. Regarding issues like funding, school choice, standards, and technology, overall the respondents pushed for common sense approaches, even when confronted with questions regarding teacher preparation and evaluation.


  • 37% of AAE members admit not feeling prepared for the classroom after traditional college of education experiences.
  • 76% agree with a National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) report that recommends rigorous teacher preparation requirements, including a 3.0 GPA and the passage of subject-matter tests to gain entry into teaching programs.
  • 66% agree that to attract new teachers and those with experience in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects we need to explore alternative certifications, allowing degreed professionals easier paths to the classroom.
  • 60% of teachers supported a North Carolina bill that proposed an 11% pay raise in exchange for giving up traditional tenure.
  • 71% of those surveyed are interested in a hybrid teaching role that would encompass teaching in the classroom part time with additional leadership roles in a school/ district.
  • 67% of survey respondents agree with a new Colorado law requiring school boards to let the public observe collective bargaining negotiations.
  • 93% of teachers agree with a Massachusetts law calling for every employee who may be alone with students to be fingerprinted in order to check for arrests and convictions nationwide.
  • 64% of those surveyed would prefer to negotiate their own contract so that they can negotiate a salary and benefits package that best suits their lifestyle.

Most important, the majority of those surveyed support local control of education. Fifty-two percent believe local school boards should have the greatest influence in public education, 33% chose the state government, and just 6% said they would want the federal government having the final say.

Read the press release and the 2015 National Membership Survey.

Education Policy