Tuesday, July 6, 2010

NEA Fine Arts e-Survey Results from the 2009 RA

NBI 52:NEA, through UniServ and local presidents and state and national professional fine arts education associations, will contact and conduct an e-survey of its fine arts teachers. The purpose of this e-survey will be to identify changes in staffing, work conditions, and budgetary considerations for fine arts programs in districts over the past three years. NEA will report the results of the e-survey through standard means available to the NEA.

In April 2010 an e-survey using Survey Monkey was sent to 6,000 teachers identified as fine arts teachers. The expected response rate was 10%. The survey was open for 10 days and 3 reminders were sent. The final number of eligible completes was 382. Of the eligible completed surveys 206 identified themselves as music teachers and 168 identified themselves as arts teachers, while 8 indicated some other form of fine arts. The demographics of the respondents were 80% female and 20% male; 56% were over the age of 45; 87% were Caucasian; median number years of teaching was 19.6; 54% taught in elementary schools, 27% taught in middle or junior high schools; and 19% in high schools; 44% of the respondents hold Bachelor’s Degrees, 53% hold a Master’s Degree or higher, and 3% have some other form of education.
Respondents noted that there has been a decrease in staffing and funding for fine arts education over the past three years. 36% reported a drop in staffing in their district over the past three years, while 72% reported that the level of staffing has remained the same. While the amount of staffing has remained fairly constant, the amount of funding for the fine arts programs in schools has dropped. The area that has seen the most noticeable decrease has been in after school programs. Almost all (93%) of fine arts teachers reported that they either needed to start or continue fundraising programs in order to help offset the costs of additional programs.
Despite the decrease in staffing and funding, the respondents are, overall, satisfied with their working conditions. 81% of respondents said that they will remain a teacher until they are either eligible for retirement or are forced to retire. A majority (63%) of teachers say that if they could do it over again, they would still become a teacher. Almost all teachers (95%) believe that they are making a difference in their students’ lives.
While it seems there is high morale for the teaching aspect, when it comes to the administration, there is some animosity. 72% of respondents feel that there is no feeling of mutual respects between teachers and administrators in their school; 68% feel that administrators don’t support teachers when they are having problems with their teaching. Teachers would like to see more formal recognition or receive the recognition that they deserve with 87% responding that there is little to no formal recognition for a job well done or that they receive the recognition that they deserve.

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