May 16, 2024

New Survey Reveals a Teaching Profession in Crisis, as Outlook Remains at an All-Time Low

[NATIONAL] (May 16, 2024) — In a bleak wake-up call for the nation today, Educators for Excellence (E4E) shared results from their 7th annual Voices from the Classroom survey of teachers, painting a precarious picture of the state of the teaching profession and raising serious concerns about students’ academic success, mental health, and wellbeing. During their Capitol Hill event, E4E highlighted that a mere 19% of teachers believe the profession is sustainable, with only 16% of teachers recommending the profession to others, and less than half expressing commitment to staying in it for the long haul. The survey results reveal an education system in crisis, with 70% of teachers believing their students remain behind academically compared to before the pandemic.

“Every day, students go through their school doors and work hard as they prepare for their future. Yet, there are daily struggles they face that hinder their academic, social and emotional growth,” said Kevin Ervin, CEO of youth-led movement Our Turn. “By prioritizing student well-being, schools can create an environment that fosters academic success and holistic growth.”

Drawing from nearly 1,000 teachers nationwide and an oversample of 300 teachers of color, the stark results illuminate a critical inflection point for educators and the need for sweeping and systemic change. As voters hurdle toward a contentious and highly dramatic 2024 election cycle, the call for a national conversation on the state of education and solutions to address it has never been more relevant.

“The results from our survey make it abundantly clear: our country’s education system is failing our teachers and students,” said Evan Stone, co-founder and CEO of E4E. “The time has passed for piecemeal solutions—we need a sweeping reimagination of the profession. The good news is that we have the recipe for success: if we listen to and act upon what teachers want and need, we can deliver on the promise of an education system that ensures every student has access to a high-quality education that meets their individual needs.”

“Today’s schools are not working for teachers, parents, or students,” said Keri Rodrigues, co-founder and president of the National Parents Union. “We know the profound impact that teachers make in our students’ lives, but without the necessary supports or structures, we face losing teachers who are critical for fostering our children’s success.”

Many key results from Voices From the Classroom 2024 indicate a significant decline from 2022, highlighting the ongoing challenges of a profession set back during the pandemic. Today, 77% of teachers say they are likely to stay in the profession, down nine percentage points from 2022. Additionally, the percentage of teachers reporting they’re “very likely” to stay has declined even more: from 56% in 2022 to 44% in 2024. With 70% of teachers reporting that their students are behind academically compared to before the pandemic, the post-pandemic education environment begs a call for modern classrooms that are responsive to issues affecting educators and students alike.

“Other professions have shifted and innovated, so why not ours?” asked Genelle Faulkner, a high school biology teacher from Boston, MA. “The world is changing and our K-12 system desperately needs to evolve, as well. Teachers like myself need new and innovative structures and resources that reflect the classrooms and students of today.”  

In light of the challenges, the survey results reveal a path forward. Teachers are telling us the changes they want to see in their schools and classrooms. They are collectively calling for a more collaborative and dynamic profession, one that offers them the resources, learning opportunities, and leadership pathways that are essential for their professional success and the success of their students. Teachers are identifying several critical areas for support:

  • A majority of teachers would like to spend more of their work time collaborating with other teachers (63%), classroom instruction (57%), and curating and creating instructional materials to supplement curriculum (54%). 
  • A majority of teachers either strongly or somewhat favor (25%) or are open to the idea (29%) of increasing veteran teachers’ class size slightly in order to significantly reduce the class sizes of first-year teachers.
  • A majority of teachers either strongly or somewhat favor (50%) or are open to the idea (31%) of teaching in a co- or team-teaching model in which class size increases but another staff member co-teaches or supports.
  • Nearly all teachers are also interested in exploring differentiated compensation models, such as higher salaries for adding additional students to their classrooms. 

Teachers also want more opportunities to learn about emerging research-backed instructional practices and emerging technologies in the classroom, with nearly two-thirds of teachers reporting they want more training on leveraging artificial technology in the classroom. 

“Teaching is one of the toughest, most important jobs in America. Educators work tirelessly to support our kids, but they are facing challenges in the classroom like never before – from chronically high rates of absenteeism and child poverty to social media addiction and gun violence,” said Senator Michael Bennet (CO). “Congress must do more to support our teachers with higher pay, better working conditions and more training opportunities.”

“Teachers’ alarmingly low morale is a continued call for change,” said Stone. “But the current conversation as we head into one of the most consequential election seasons in our nation’s history is not focused on what teachers say they want and need to stay in their job and to better serve their students.”


About Educators for Excellence (E4E)

Founded by public school teachers, Educators for Excellence is a growing movement of more than 35,000 educators, united around a common set of values and principles for improving student learning and elevating the teaching profession. We work together to identify issues that impact our schools, create solutions to these challenges, and advocate for policies and programs that give all students access to a quality education. 

For the full survey results, press release, and more, visit:

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New Survey Reveals a Teaching Profession in Crisis, as Outlook Remains at an All-Time Low