Helping Teachers Shine a Light on Great Schools

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At NCTQ, we are no stranger to the fight for greater transparency in education and support it at all levels.  We also support a greater voice for teachers in education.  When the two are combined, the issue is a no-brainer... provides more transparency for parents about K-12 schools by producing school profiles that include information on student-to-teacher ratios, links to nearby homes for sale, parent reviews and surveys.  (For example, a preschool parent survey may assess teachers' development of literacy skills.)

Now, GreatSchools wants to include the voices of teachers on their school sites.  Seems like a great idea to us, especially since the teacher surveys could potentially balance one-sided parent reviews and give deeper insight into the school curriculum and culture.  Not so for local union leaders and school district staff in Marion County, Indiana, where one superintendent discouraged teacher participation through an email to staff and another superintendent contended that the district was so small that parents with questions could simply inquire directly.

The president of the Indiana PTA may have put her finger on the reason for the objections when she said: "I kind of see where they're coming from. This is all new territory for them to share this much information with parents and the community. It probably scares them."

Marisa Goldstein