Teachers sour on Walcott and policymakers, new surveys show

Teacher dissatisfaction with policymakers in charge of the city school system hit an all-time high last year, according to survey data released by the Department of Education today.

In his second year as New York City schools chancellor, Dennis Walcott’s popularity fell to levels that rival the tumultuous 95-day tenure of his predecessor, Cathie Black. Fifty-seven percent of teachers said they were “unsatisfied or very unsatisfied” with Walcott, the highest disapproval rate for a chancellor since at least 2010.

A little more than one in four teachers expressed strong approval for Walcott.

Teachers’ perception of the Panel for Educational Policy, the controversial policy-making body that is controlled by Mayor Bloomberg, took an even sharper dive. Compared to a 40 percent satisfaction rate last year, just 26 percent of teachers said they were satisfied with the PEP this year. Since 2010, the approval rate has dropped by 20 percentage points.

The city said a record number — 985,700 — of parents, students and teachers responded to the 2013 surveys, which the department says is the second largest in the country after the U.S. Census. It came in a year of turmoil for city schools that included Hurricane Sandy, a bus strike, a failed teacher evaluation system and new anxiety-producing tests.

The results, which include individual school surveys that are used by education officials to evaluate whether a school should be closed, weren’t all gloomy for Walcott. Nearly three in four parents who responded to the survey said they approved of Walcott and the PEP.

Other highlights:

— More teachers said their school used the Danielson Framework to evaluate and give feedback on their instruction, though not as many said the feedback helped them integrate Common Core standards into their classroom.

— A little more than half of students said their classroom activities and assignments “often” aligned with the Common Core, while most other students said their schoolwork is “sometimes” aligned with the Common Core.

— Overall, the percentage of students and parents satisfied with academic expectations, communication and engagement increased. Parents were less satisfied with “safety and respect” at schools.

The citywide analysis of the survey is embedded below, and individual school results can be viewed by downloading the “2013 survey data for all New York City public schools” and tabbing through the categories listed at the bottom of the Excel document.

2013 NYC School Survey Citywide Analysis