Are Louisiana teachers being honest in exit surveys?

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    A panel of Louisiana educators expressed concerns Friday over the accuracy of answers teachers provide on exit surveys when they leave their jobs. The questions they’re asked, which can differ among public school districts, could result in sugar-coated responses that could keep systemic problems concealed.   

    At a Teacher Advisory Council meeting, Louisiana Department of Education staff members shared results from the 2022-2023 teacher exit survey and asked for recommendations from the council on how to make the survey better. Members immediately raised doubts over whether data from the surveys that the state reports is entirely accurate.  

    Louisiana’s teacher exit survey is a state-mandated reporting tool, although it is up to each school district to decide how to distribute it. Districts can decide to distribute the survey in any format they like, whether that be paper, interview, online, or any other form. They also have the power to decide what questions are asked during this interview. 

    There are 12 tracked reasons for why teachers leave. They include resigning for personal reasons, retirement, termination, accepting a school leadership role or another teaching position within Louisiana, and dissatisfaction with school or district policies. These options were created by a working group after the initial legislation establishing these surveys was passed.  

    Resigning for personal circumstances was chosen by 2,209 of teachers who completed exit surveys in the 2022-23 school year, which is almost one-third of the total. Retirement and accepting another teaching or school leadership position in Louisiana were the next two most frequent answers. Read the full story from Louisiana Illuminator.