The TELL (Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning) Kentucky survey is designed to gather input from teachers, counselors, principals, and other administrators who know best the working conditions in Kentucky’s schools. First administered in Kentucky in 2011, the biennial survey includes questions on the following topics:
- Community Engagement and Support
- Teacher Leadership
- School Leadership
- Managing Student Conduct
- Use of Time
- Professional Development
- Facilities and Resources
- Instructional Practices and Support
- New Teacher Support
The web-based survey is voluntary, anonymous and confidential. By surveying every school-based certified educator, valuable information about educators’ perceptions of teaching and learning conditions can be compiled and analyzed at the school, local, and state levels.
A Steering Committee works collaboratively with the New Teacher Center (NTC), a nonpartisan group dedicated to the development of an effective and inspired teaching force, to design and administer the biennial TELL survey. Research from the New Teacher Center demonstrates that positive teaching and learning conditions are essential for student success and teacher retention. By documenting and analyzing how teachers and other educators view their teaching and learning conditions, educators, stakeholders and policymakers can make evidence-based decisions on policies and practices that improve student learning and success. Kentucky’s commitment to input from educators is clarified in 704 KAR 3:370 Section 10 (6): The evaluator shall use evidence from professional growth plans and self-reflection, the department approved survey of perception of superintendents, district personnel, and teacher on principal practice, and the department approved working conditions survey goal.
Practically speaking, schools and districts use TELL survey results to plan impactful professional learning for teachers and administrators and inform working conditions goals, school improvement plans, and principal evaluations. At the Department of Education, TELL results guide decision making about needed support, services, and outreach to Kentucky’s schools and districts; contribute to development, revision, and monitoring of Kentucky’s Equitable Access to Effective Educators plan; and help to determine most appropriate resources for school improvement.
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