Teachers give thumbs up/thumbs down on schools

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A new statewide survey of teachers in public schools have show some surprising results when it comes to what teachers think of their own schools.

The teachers were asked about working conditions at their particular school, and since they responded anonymously, the responses were very candid.

This is how the survey is defined on the official website:

The North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions (NC TWC) survey is an anonymous statewide survey of licensed school-based educators to assess teaching conditions at the school, district and state level.

First administered in 2002 as part of the Governor's Teacher Working Conditions Initiative, it is conducted biennially.

The results of this survey are one component of the on-going process for collaborative school and district improvement plans. Results are also used as artifacts in the educator and administrator evaluation instruments in our state. 

The results are then posted for each school system across the state.

On a hot day in the middle of the summer, you won't find anyone around the school buildings, but at the local park you will find kids enjoying their time off.  They may not be ready to go back to school, but they're not all exactly dreading it either.

"Oh, I really love the school, and it's a really good school to go to," said Audrey Ward.

Audrey will be a fourth grader at Granite Quarry Elementary, one of the schools at the top of the list when it comes to working conditions.

More than 91% of Rowan-Salisbury teachers completed the state survey.

Faith, Rockwell, and Carson High were also at or near the top among Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

The rankings included answers to questions about subjects like school facilities, morale, leadership, and student learning, to name a few.

Most here say they weren't surprised that Knox Middle School was at the bottom.  The superintendent knows there are big struggles at Knox, and that's why two principals have taken over and the school is making a big effort to partner with various groups in the community.

"We just see so much potential with the community and the school at Knox, " said Co-Principal Dr. Michael Waiksnis.

WBTV first met the Knox administrators when they came to town a few weeks ago.  The new survey verified that they have challenges in turning this school around.

"We believe when you engage the community, the parents, the students, the teachers, in a sense of teamwork you get to take a look at those challenges and make those things opportunities and eventually work your way to a pretty remarkable success," said Co-Principal Dr. Latoya Dixon.

School system officials say they hope the changes here, and at other schools that showed a low rating among teachers, will improve the outlook next year, both for staff and students.

To check the results for any of North Carolina's public school systems, click here.

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