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METLIFE SURVEY OF THE AMERICAN TEACHER: Only Half of Teachers Think Their Students Will Attend a Two- or Four-Year College After High School

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, “The nation has devoted a lot of attention to the achievement gap, and thanks to No Child Left Behind we’re starting to see some improvement in that area. However, as the MetLife report demonstrates, the expectations gap—the difference between what teachers expect their students to know and what students need to know to succeed in today’s economy—remains under the radar.”

A recent survey on educators’ views about student achievement reveals that about two thirds of teachers (64 percent) strongly agree that it is important for all students to have one year or more of postsecondary education in order to be prepared for work or a career. However, the study also shows that only 59 percent of secondary school teachers report that they regularly talk about what college is like with their students and on average, teachers expect only 50 percent of their students will attend a two- or four-year college after high school.

According to Part 2: Student Achievement from The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, there is majority discrepancy between teachers’ confidence in their own abilities versus their confidence in their students’ abilities. Eighty four percent of teachers believe they can enable all of their students to succeed academically, while only 36 percent believe that all of their students have the ability to succeed academically. A higher percentage of principals (51 percent) believe that all of their students are capable of educational success. Data from the study also showed that 51 percent of teachers (including 71 percent of secondary teachers) agree that students only do enough work to “get by” in their school.

In a recent statement, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, said, “The nation has devoted a lot of attention to the achievement gap, and thanks to No Child Left Behind we’re starting to see some improvement in that area. However, as the MetLife report demonstrates, the expectations gap—the difference between what teachers expect their students to know and what students need to know to succeed in today’s economy—remains under the radar.”

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher has been conducted annually since 1984 by Harris Interactive. To read the full report visithttp://www.metlife.com/about/corporate-profile/citizenship/metlife-foundation/metlife-survey-of-the-american-teacher.html.

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