Arkansas Tech research highlights teacher generosity | Arkansas Blog

Arkansas Tech research highlights teacher generosity



A BOUQUET FOR TEACHERS: Tech study says its deserved.
  • A BOUQUET FOR TEACHERS: Tech study says it's deserved.
One of the most regrettable aspects of the "education reform" movement is that it is built on demonizing teachers — particularly those who are members of professional organizations. Lazy, overpaid, underworked, uncaring, incompetent. The words are freely employed. My own general experience, in the unionized Little Rock School District, was far different over a cumulative 25 years of kids' education (though, sure, there was the occasional disappointment.)

But don't mind me. Faculty members at Arkansas Tech University have done a new study on Arkansas school teachers and come to a glowing conclusion:

“The stereotypes of educators in the media have had a disturbing consistency over the past two decades,” said Dr. Sid Womack, professor of secondary education at Arkansas Tech. “Arkansas educators do not fit the caricatures from elsewhere. They are unselfish professionals who give freely of their time and money to make better lives for their students.”

Some of the findings, from a Tech news release:

*K-12 teachers in Arkansas work an average of 60 hours per week during the academic year, while the averages for K-12 principals (65 hours per week), K-12 band directors (64 hours per week) and K-12 coaches (63 hours per week) are slightly higher.

*K-12 educators average 15 unpaid days per summer working on advanced degrees or other types of professional development;

*based upon data collected from Nov. 7-11, 2011, Arkansas educators donate an average of $17.29 per week of their own money to their classrooms and schools;

*extrapolated over a typical 36-week instructional year, the 35,000 individuals engaged in K-12 education in Arkansas donate approximately $21.785 million to their classrooms and schools per year.

“A disturbing repercussion of such benevolence is that over time, patrons may come to believe that states such as Arkansas may actually educate children for low-appearing per-pupil expenditures,” said Womack.

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