Educators in search of a positive work environment might want to consider relocating to Ashe County.
According to the results of the most recent survey of working conditions in N.C. public schools, 93 percent of teachers in Ashe County Schools agreed their school is a good place to work and learn. That’s higher than the state average of 85.1 percent.
The average for ACS is up slightly from two years ago, when 91.8 percent of teachers signalled approval with working conditions.
Last week, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction released the results of the 2014 N.C. Teacher Working Conditions Survey and with few exceptions, ACS scored higher than the state average in every category.
The survey is designed to gather a variety of information from teachers, counselors, principals and other administrators who deal with teaching and learning conditions — including adequacy of facilities and resources, time, empowerment, school leadership, community support, student conduct, professional development, mentoring and induction services and student learning — every day.
“The N.C. Teacher Working Conditions Survey results offer clear connections among student achievement and teacher retention and can be used as a roadmap for school improvement,” State Superintendent June Atkinson stated in a press release. “Feedback from this year’s survey will continue to guide efforts to strengthen teaching and learning conditions across the state.”
All 260 educators in ACS participated in this year’s survey.
The positive responses of ACS educators were also better than those in neighboring districts.
Only 83.5 percent of teachers in Alleghany County Schools, 87.9 percent of teachers in Wilkes County Schools and 87.9 percent in Watauga County Schools agreed their school is a good place to work and learn.
The following is a school by school list of overall survey results:
• Ashe County High School - 92.9 percent of teachers agreed their school was a good place to work and learn compared to 84.9 percent for other high schools across the state.
• Ashe County Middle School -86.4 percent agreed, compared with 83.7 percent who work in middle schools across the state.
• Blue Ridge Elementary - 95.8 percent agreed, compared with 85.9 percent who work in elementary schools across the state.
• Mountain View Elementary - 91.5 percent agreed, compared with 85.9 percent who work in elementary schools across the state.
• Westwood Elementary - 98 percent agreed, compared with 85.9 percent who work in elementary schools across the state.
The numbers for Westwood were particularly impressive as only 87.8 percent of educators believed they worked in a good environment in the 2012 survey - an improvement of 10 percentage points in a two year span.
For a more detailed breakdown of the results of the 2012 and 2014 surveys, go to www.ncteachingconditions.org.
Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @albulluck.