September 21, 2016
By STEVEN COOK/President – Michigan Education Association
“I feel bad for the younger teachers. They will probably never experience the true joy of teaching because policymakers have made education all about scores and data.”
That comment comes from one of nearly 11,000 respondents to a survey the Michigan Education Association and American Federation of Teachers Michigan conducted asking school employees to share how they feel about the work they do.
Those of us who represent school employees have urged policy makers to ask the experts on the front lines in classrooms across the state what they think about public education in Michigan. In this landmark survey conducted by the state’s two largest education unions, we did just that. The staggering number of responses we received during this one-week online survey proves that school employees are eager to be heard when it comes to education in our state.
The overwhelming sentiment expressed by survey respondents was a lack of appreciation for the work they do. Years of attacks on school employee wages and benefits have made clear to them that lawmakers see little value in the job teachers and school support professionals do.