2nd Annual Teacher Engagement Survey Results

Every year the month of May is reserved for Teacher Appreciation. And, to close it out strong, we hosted an Educate78 Supply Closet at the Oakland Public Education Fund’s outstanding Teacher Appreciation Party. The Educate78 Supply Closet was set up to give away classroom supplies to hundreds of Oakland public school teachers. In this small way, we hope to reduce the need for teachers to pay for basic classroom materials out of their own pocket.

It was a great night!  Like many in public education, for us at Educate78 appreciating teachers is a year-round affair

The Gallup survey uses a Maslow-esque hierarchy. Check out the questions for each area.

Our Annual Citywide Teacher Survey is another way we strive to support teachers. This survey informs citywide and site-level discussions about teacher retention and how to keep the excellent talent here in Oakland.

Spring 2017 marked the second year that our Teacher Advisory Group used the Gallup employee engagement survey to evaluate Oakland public school teacher satisfaction.

This year we saw a nearly 15% increase in the number of responses over last year, with a total of 572 teachers taking the survey from February to April 2017.

The 2017 survey shows a slight increase in teacher satisfaction over last year. And, our teachers remain more engaged than teachers nationally. Our citywide sample score of 3.87 (on a scale of 1-5) places Oakland teachers in the 36th percentile of all organizations in Gallup’s database, an increase of 2 percentile points from last year. Oakland teachers surveyed are “more engaged” than teachers surveyed nationwide by Gallup (38% in Oakland vs 30% nationally).

In terms of specific needs, Oakland teachers ranked opportunities for growth and development the highest and access to basic needs the lowest. This is consistent with results from last year.

In other words, Oakland teachers find their work fulfilling. But, they feel stymied by basic needs not being met. These basic needs include: classroom supplies, curriculum materials, and heating in their classrooms. These results are worrisome – and the survey was taken before the OUSD instituted its spending reduction measures. We worry what next year’s results will say, especially as the #OUSDBudget woes show every sign of worsening. Kudos to the school leaders across the city who are doing their best with limited resources to create healthy and nurturing working conditions for their teachers

We had additional questions about how long our teachers anticipated staying in Oakland. So, we went beyond the standard Gallup questions to learn more. 76% of respondents are planning to teach in Oakland in the ’17-’18 school year. This is good news for this coming year! But, only 56% are planning to teach in Oakland three years from now.

It is critical to ensure that the 56% stay committed to teaching in Oakland and to create the conditions that will sway the 33% that stated they were unsure to stay.

One way Educate78 is directly working to create these conditions is through Oakland teacher retention grants. In the ’16-’17 school year, we supported twelve pilot teacher retention projects. Want to see what Oakland teachers have been working on? Check out this video for highlights. Keep an eye out- we will announce the ’17-’18 grant winners soon!

One of the great resources for Oakland teachers is a community of organizations that work to support our public school teachers:

Next year, school budgets will continue to be tight, and OEA and OUSD will continue contract negotiations. Through it all, we know that recruiting and retaining the best teachers is one of the most important things we can do for our children. We hope that individuals and organizations across the city will join us in making every day and every month about teacher appreciation!

What will you do to appreciate our teachers and ensure they have what they need to stay teaching in Oakland?

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Oakland School Sponsors 5 Students for Prom by Taking City-Wide Survey

Ralph J. Bunche High School teacher, Sean Gleason and his teacher colleagues, all took the Oakland City-Wide Teacher Survey and earned a donation for their school.

How they’d put the donation to use? They sponsored 5 students by buying their tickets to Prom.

One example of the amazing things Oakland teachers do for Oakland students every day.

Take the City-Wide Teacher Survey & Receive a Donation for Your School!

Educate78’s Teacher Advisory Group Launches City-Wide Teacher Survey and Focus Group Initiative

Why do you to teach in Oakland?

What keeps you here? What might cause you to leave?

We want to hear your voice! We want to know, candidly, what’s working at your schools and what’s not.

We are a group of 20 Oakland public district and charter school teachers serving on a Teacher Advisory Group brought together by Educate78, an Oakland nonprofit committed to attracting and retaining high-quality teachers in Oakland. We believe deeply in keeping teachers’ voices at the center of the educational conversation in Oakland so that the teaching profession is highly respected, teachers’ voices are heard, and teachers are driving the educational initiatives in Oakland.

To this end, we launched a city-wide survey this month, and are facilitating focus groups discussions, of Oakland teachers in order to lift up teachers’ voices across our city and spark a conversation about teacher engagement and retention in our city.

Take the City-Wide Teacher Survey!

By completing this anonymous, 5 minute, 14-question survey, we can gather information about how public school teachers across Oakland — not just in one school or in one neighborhood — feel about our jobs


Any credentialed teacher, from Pre-K to K-12 to Adult Education who teaches in Oakland public district and charter schools, can take this survey.

As an added perk, for schools with the top participation rates, we’ll donate $15 to your school for every credentialed teacher on staff. This adds up fast. For example, a school with 20 teachers could receive a $300 donation to support your team’s work!

The short survey — developed by Gallup and used by thousands of organizations – will provide a reliable and common measure of our satisfaction and engagement. While it won’t cover every important topic related to our jobs, we believe the survey will reveal important trends and help to spark a conversation across our city around our day-to-day experiences in our workplaces.

We absolutely hope and expect that it will raise additional questions about what’s supporting teachers to be successful right now, and what we need to work and thrive in Oakland for years to come. We’re excited about the conversations and learning this survey can spark in the months and years to come!

Oakland Teacher Focus Group

We’re also facilitating focus group discussions across the city to dive deeper into what is keeping teachers in ours job and schools, and what might cause us to leave.  

Join our focus group about teacher retention led by Oakland teachers.

With your help, we’ll start this important and ongoing conversation. Oakland teachers, please join us by taking the survey and participating in a focus group. Your voice matters, and by sharing it, you’ll be part of a movement working to make our city a truly great place for educators.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Dewanna Slaughter

Dewanna Slaughter

Frick Middle School

Karen Schreiner

Karen Schreiner

Aspire Monarch Academy

Paul Meyer

Paul Meyer

East Bay Innovation Academy

Robbie Torney

Robbie Torney


We are members of the Oakland Teacher Advisory Group convened by Educate78. For a full list of members representing public schools across Oakland, visit the Teacher Advisory Group page. We are designing teacher-led initiatives across the city to improve teacher satisfaction and retention.