The Charleston Teacher Alliance, a teacher advocacy group of over 1,000 Charleston County teachers, has released the results of its annual school leadership survey. The survey, taken by CCSD teachers, assessed the leadership skills of principals, the superintendent and the board of trustees. It also examined teacher attitudes toward leaving the teaching profession.
The survey found that in 2018-19, 69% of CCSD teachers considered leaving the profession or would have considered it had they been financially able to do so. Among the top reasons cited by teachers were unrealistic expectations, stress, lack of parental support, poor student discipline, lack of respect for the profession, low salary and benefits, overwork, large class sizes, negative impact on teacher families and overtesting.
“It is no secret that teachers in South Carolina are growing restive,” said Alliance Director and CCSD teacher Jody Stallings. “2019 is a golden opportunity for teachers, educational leaders and political leaders to work together on solutions that will keep excellent teachers in the classroom, educating the next generation. This is where they want to be and this is where we need them to be.”
Charleston teachers designated 16 schools as “Honor Roll Schools” for having principals who demonstrated outstanding leadership. This included two Mount Pleasant schools, Moultrie Middle and Pinckney Elementary. Four schools were designated “At-Risk” for overall ineffective principal performance. Two of those schools, Baptist Hill High and Ellington Elementary, have been “At-Risk” for three consecutive years
Teachers assigned Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait a score of 2.13 out of 4. This is the third consecutive year the score has increased.
“Dr. Postlewait continues to work hard to address the many needs across a vast and diverse school district,” Stallings said. “I am heartened by her sustained effort to engage teachers, seek their input and implement reforms that we know will help conditions in all of our schools.”
Though the overall score for the school board has also increased over the past three surveys, they were once again designated “Ineffective” for the third consecutive year.
“Teachers still believe that there needs to be constructive interaction, more focused attention on issues that impact the classroom, support for teachers in stronger discipline and continued pursuit of fairer teacher compensation,” Stallings said. “However, the board’s promise to boost salaries and raise the 25-year cap is good news for teachers.”
A detailed report and scores for each school can be found at CharlestonTeacherAlliance.com.