We’ve written about overburdened educators before, but teacher shortages and the need for more instructional time continue to be two of the most concerning issues facing our nation’s education system, so the topic seems worth revisiting.
In a recent article, Heather Schwartz of the Rand Corporation details a dramatic drop in educator morale:
“Teacher morale has plummeted…In 2016, before the pandemic…75 percent of teachers...said that the stress and disappointments of the job were worth it. Now, 2022, …only 44 percent of teachers are saying the stress and the disappointments of the job are worth it.”
Meanwhile, in “Can Four-Day School Weeks Keep Teachers From Leaving?” EdSurge’s Nadia Tamez-Robledo profiles districts that are exploring dramatic solutions to teacher burnout, including a shorter work week:
“With teacher morale seemingly at an all-time low, school districts are looking for ways to keep educators from burning out and quitting. One idea: Give them an extra day off.”
This is a complex problem with multiple contributing factors. We believe that one of those factors is the lack of mature technology solutions that meet educators’ requirements. In almost every other market, there are end-to-end solutions designed to take on burdensome and complex tasks.
In education, we believe technology hasn’t delivered on its promise. In the assessment space, many products require extensive training, only address part of the need, and take days or weeks to administer. Solutions that are easy to implement, fully address the need, and give educators more time are few and far between.
In our view, to effectively serve educators, assessment solutions must:
- Meet the need completely, not partly. The outputs must align with educator requirements without requiring them to go elsewhere for additional information.
- Work smoothly and efficiently in traditional classroom settings.
- Offer online reports that can be easily reviewed, analyzed, and shared.
- Be easy-to-access and use for educators and students.
- Save time and reduce stress.
Our mission is to deliver a literacy assessment solution that meets these requirements, so teachers can easily gather the insights they need to target their literacy instruction. For that reason, we’re building a comprehensive reading assessment platform covering the 5 pillars of literacy (phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension).
The easy-to-use Literably assessment suite captures and analyzes hundreds of literacy skills, saves teachers time, better informs lesson planning, and gives administrators insights into student performance relative to grade-level expectations.
Our flagship product, the Literably Oral Reading and Comprehension Assessment, already has a great reputation with teachers and districts for its ability to free up instructional time. And our latest product, the Literably Foundational Skills Assessments, furthers that reputation by giving teachers an even richer picture of student strengths and weaknesses in phonics and phonological awareness. Both products will soon be available in Spanish. Together, they make assessing, planning and intervening less time-consuming, and more effective.
It’s time for education solution providers to think hard about the impact of their offerings on already overburdened educators. We’re as excited as ever to partner with schools on this work.