It’s the average amount spent on school supplies annually. And it’s the amount one lucky teacher will win for clicking “Like” on our new Facebook page, Teacher Sector, and answering our first poll question (it’s on the wall of the page). We won’t draw a winner until we get 500 teachers so please spread the word to teachers!
Why are we doing this? Well, it began as a much more ambitious idea to set up a national panel of 1,000+ K-12 public school teachers who we would follow for 3-5 years. Collecting data from the same “panel” of teachers over time would result in a huge databank of information about teachers and enable us to track teacher opinions about education policy and reform over time. But, alas, generating and maintaining a nationally representative sample of teachers isn’t easy, and turns out to be very costly, so we weren’t able to do it (at least not yet—it’s still a great idea and someone should still fund it and do it). But we still do a lot of work on teachers, and are still really interested in what teachers think about and how teachers are responding to a variety of reforms.
Which brings us to back to Teacher Sector. It’s far from our original idea but it’s one piece of our continued efforts to connect with teachers and the day to day realities they face in the classroom. So Like our page, and pass it on. Once we hit 500 teacher friends, we’ll draw for the winner.