New Report Portrays the Reality of Today’s Teaching Profession



Contact: Robyn Miller-Tarnoff,, 703-405-8355

AUSTIN, Texas—March 7, 2024—Teachers’ overall enthusiasm and confidence about their jobs is negative, according to the Teacher Morale Index, a new, multifaceted gauge developed by the nonprofit Education Week. With an overall score of -13 (on a scale that ranges from -100 to +100), America’s teachers on average have a somewhat dim view of the state of their profession.

This is a key finding of a new report released by Education Week yesterday at the SXSW EDU Conference in Austin. The report is part of an ambitious, multi-year project that aims to portray the “difficult, beautiful” work of teaching, correct misconceptions, and help guide more effective policies and practices for the workforce of more than 3 million teachers in the nation’s K-12 schools.

“Teachers today face a multitude of challenges not always apparent to people outside classrooms,” said Education Week Editor-in-Chief Beth Frerking. “This myth-busting project couples robust journalism and exclusive survey data to reveal how teachers view their work and the distance—sometimes great—between what they experience and what their school leaders perceive. We found that despite their struggles, most teachers still value their work because of their students.”

In addition to the Teacher Morale Index, the project features analysis of the top issues facing the profession, as seen by teachers and school leaders (available as a shareable Research Summary); in-depth field reporting from schools across the country; articles and videos capturing the everyday highs and lows of teaching; and downloadable guides to the findings for school and district leaders.

The report found that nearly half of teachers—49 percent—said their morale worsened over the past year.

“These findings are important because how teachers feel about their current jobs and their own future as educators is a critical indicator of the profession’s long-term health,” said Holly Kurtz, director of the EdWeek Research Center.

Kathryn Vaughn, an elementary art teacher in Brighton, Tenn., and a member of the EdWeek Teacher Advisory Panel said, “I think the more information the public has, the better, and the more empathy it can create for people that have chosen the teaching profession. It’s very different from the outside looking in as to what teachers do. Maybe this will demystify what we do every day.”

The report is available at

The State of Teaching Project is supported by grants from the Charles Butt Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation, and by general operating support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Charles and Lynne Schusterman Family Philanthropies.


Since 1981, Education Week has been America’s most trusted resource for K-12 education news and information. A non-profit organization, teachers, principals, and district leaders nationwide turn to us for the most up-to-date information on K-12 education, as well as innovative, high-value tools and solutions. Learn more at


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