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Tennessee Department of Education Releases 2020 Tennessee Educator Survey Responses


Tennessee Department of EducationNashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Education released key findings and responses from the 2020 Tennessee Educator Survey.  

The Tennessee Educator Survey, conducted annually in partnership with Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA), gathers data to understand educator experience to provide direct feedback to stakeholders and policymakers on a series of key issues facing our schools and classrooms.

Majority of Teachers and Leaders in Tennessee Responded; Overview Brief with Key Findings Available

Majority of Teachers and Leaders in Tennessee Responded; Overview Brief with Key Findings Available

This year, the survey was modified mid-administration to explore instructional challenges due to COVID-related school building closures.  

State-, district-, and school-level data is now available on the survey results website and the Tennessee Educator Survey: 2020 Overview brief can be found here

“Educator voice is so critical, especially as we all continue to navigate how best to reopen schools and prepare for the upcoming school year. Thank you to the over 37,000 educators who participated in the Tennessee Educator Survey this year to provide this essential feedback,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We hope this data will empower our decision makers and administrators across Tennessee to support teachers as they serve our kids.” 

A majority of the teachers (51%) and leaders (53%) in Tennessee participated in the survey this year despite school building closures caused by COVID-19 Coronavirus.

The 2020 overview brief is the first in a series of 2020 survey briefs and provides detailed analysis of key results in the three areas of the department’s Best for All strategic plan, including: 

  • Nine out of ten teachers agree that their school is a learning community that encourages ideas and suggestions. 
  • One out of five teachers report spending more than 10 hours per week creating or sourcing their instructional materials. 
  • School-based mental health professionals signal a need to improve referral processes, with only half agreeing the process gets students the help they need quickly. 

“During these challenging times, we know that educators are on the front lines providing student support in so many ways in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Erin O’Hara, Executive Director, Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA). 

“We thank all the educators and administrators that participated in this year’s survey to share your voices to help us understand your experiences and perspectives across Tennessee,” O’hara stated.



The 2020 survey also included additional questions specific to educator experiences as a result of unprecedented school closures caused by COVID-19 Coronavirus and the resulting changes to instruction and learning— providing some of the earliest data on Tennessee educators’ experiences amidst the pandemic. The findings from these questions can be found here

The Tennessee Educator Survey is a voluntary and confidential survey, open to all teachers, administrators, and other certified staff across the state. Survey questions can be found here and statewide results, the overview brief, and more can be found here.  




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