Educator Survey Results Shape Our Policies and Practices

By Candice McQueen, Tennessee Commissioner of Education

Over the last seven years, the department has partnered with the Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA) at Vanderbilt to administer the Tennessee Educator Survey, our most comprehensive feedback loop with teachers and administrators. Previous results from this survey can be directly tied to changes made over the years in how we conduct formal teacher and administrator evaluation in Tennessee and, more recently, to a statewide review of professional learning for Tennessee teachers. As we look forward to the work ahead, I’d like to quickly highlight a few areas for which we are particularly eager to hear what teachers and administrators are thinking. 

  • The department envisions a teacher evaluation system that is a valuable professional learning tool for teachers. But to accomplish this, we need teachers to use this survey to tell us where we are—and to tell us in future years how much further we must go.
  • Last year, many teachers used the survey’s open response space to voice concerns about the need to better address students’ non-academic needs. Given this feedback, we revised the survey so that we may gain a deeper understanding of the challenges affecting your classrooms.
  • We’ve also continued with efforts to refine our approach for collecting actionable feedback. This year, we’ve completely rebuilt the Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI2) section of the survey, among others, so that every educator and, most importantly, their students can ultimately derive even more value from the time they invest in completing this survey.

I encourage you to join the more than 27,500 educators who have already completed this year’s Tennessee Educator Survey if you haven’t already. If you are unsure that you’ve received your personalized link to the survey, please click here to request that your invitation be resent to your preferred email address. If you experience any difficulty using the online portal, please contact TERA at

We know your days are incredibly busy, so as a bonus to encourage participation, taking this survey will result in immediate eligibility for a weekly drawing that will continue to award iPads and discretionary classroom grants through the end of the survey window: April 21. More importantly, taking this survey will ensure that teacher perspectives will continue to shape our work.

Our teachers’ voices are key to making sure we get it right. Thank you for sharing yours.