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Survey of Michigan Teachers Reveals Widespread Disappointment, Demoralization

After a particularly rough school year, a survey combined by the state’s two teacher unions has revealed that the state’s teachers have been left disappointed and demoralized as the school year starts anew.

"The presidents of AFT Michigan and the Michigan Education Association say it is the first time, to their knowledge, that a joint survey of this magnitude has been attempted. And the turnaround time for responses, they say—one week—was extraordinary,” said The Detroit News.

The rapid turn-around time indicates Michigan’s teachers have been looking to have a voice for some time. With this opportunity, teachers described working in fear of new state evaluations and a majority said they are forced to work in poor building conditions.

Overall, 32 percent said they work in a building infested by insects and rodents while 35 percent said they work in poor air quality, said The Detroit News.

While the survey asked the opinions of teachers throughout the state, Detroit in particular has made national news recently for the poor working conditions teachers are asked to work in.

Last year, Detroit teachers staged mass sick-outs to raise attention to concerns over building conditions as well as whether they would receive earned pay over summer months. 

The city’s teachers took to social media to broadcast concerns, trading images of fungus in classrooms, crumbling walls and buckling floors.

While the result has clearly led to dissatisfied teachers, there’s another important group of individuals suffering, as well—students.

Earlier this month, students from these same Detroit schools sued the state of Michigan for being denied one of the most basic educational rights—the right to learn to read.

"Los Angeles-based public interest firm Public Counsel says the suit is the first of its kind, seeking to establish a legal right to literacy based on the 14th amendment of the constitution,” ABC News says.

Education advocates hope the latest survey and recent events will prompt the state’s legislators to take action to respect public school employees, in turn helping the children they serve.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

9/20/2016

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