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What We Learned from Reader Polls

All teachers support tenure. Educators would never agree to a dress code. And, despite the ups and downs, teachers rarely regret their career choice. It's obvious, right? Well, maybe not. Read what Education World learned from its first 17 Weekly Surveys. Included: Results from The Weekly Survey.

When Education World launched The Weekly Survey in January to learn more about our readers' views, we were confident that we already knew how educators would respond to many hot and "gut-feeling" topics.

So much for what we thought we knew.

Seventeen surveys later, we've noted some surprising results.

  • 67.4 percent of respondents said that, if they had their lives to live over, they would not be educators.
  • 60.5 percent said that if one of their children was considering a career in education, they would encourage him or her.
  • 51.6 percent reported that staff morale at their school was "below average."
  • 70.6 percent said schools should not teach just about evolution when discussing the origins of life on Earth.
  • 67.6 percent said they would transfer to a "school in need of improvement" if it meant earning more money.
  • 52.4 percent said tenure for teachers should be abolished.
  • 53.8 percent believe that parents should have a say about which teacher their child is assigned to.
  • 75 percent believe that schools should have dress codes for teachers and administrators.

Some survey results were less surprising.

  • 61.3 percent of respondents said they hold a second job to supplement their educator's salary.
  • 62.6 percent believe Secretary of Education Rod Paige should resign for referring to the NEA as "a terrorist organization."
  • 45.9 percent said that a teacher influenced the decision to become an educator.
  • 32.3 percent said patience is the most important quality for an educator -- closely followed by flexibility (27.7 percent).

Of course, the survey results highlighted above offer just a glimpse of the many surprising and not-so-surprising lessons we learned this year. For more survey results, go to The Weekly Survey. We look forward to learning more about your views next school year!