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The Teacher Working Conditions (TWC) Survey was established and administered for the first time in 2002 by the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards Commission.  North Carolina became the first state in the nation to study teacher working conditions by surveying those whose opinion matters most on these issues—teachers themselves. It was the first attempt in the nation for a state to survey its entire licensed staff.  Then-Governor Easley became aware of the initiative and adopted it as part of the Governor's Teacher Working Conditions Initiative (2002-2008).  The work continues with the biennial statewide survey out of the NC Department of Public Instruction, with the guidance of the NC TWC Advisory Committee. The results of this survey are one component of the on-going process for collaborative school and district improvement plans. Results are also used as artifacts in the educator and administrator evaluation instruments in our state.

During the four-week window the survey is administered, educators may complete the survey anytime, from any Internet location, using an anonymous password. The data gathered provides customized reports to schools and districts about the state of working conditions in their respective school. These data are essential as different schools are starting from different places and must have different priorities for improving working conditions.

Results from the survey are posted online for schools and districts that meet the minimum threshold of 40% response and at least 5 respondents. These results, as well as the results for the state, are posted approximately five weeks after the survey closes.

North Carolina was the first state in the country to conduct such a statewide survey. The power of the Teacher Working Conditions Survey is evidenced by its current replication in more than 16 other states.

A snapshot of the 2016 iteration shows that North Carolina had 101,846 respondents which yielded a response rate of 86%. As a comparison, the 2014 iteration had 93,178 respondents yielding a response rate of 89%. 8,600 more educators participated in 2016 than 2014.

In 2016:

  • The largest demographic of teachers to respond had 11-20 years of experience
  • 1,076 schools achieved the goal of a 100 percent response rate
  • Use of Time scored as the lowest construct on survey
  • School Leadership remains the factor that most affects teachers’ willingness to stay at their school


Previous findings, as well as nationwide research, show that teaching conditions are positively associated with improved student achievement and teacher retention. The NC TWC Survey provides educators with data, tools and direct support to facilitate school improvement. NC TWC Survey includes questions on the following topics:

Every school that reached the minimum response rate threshold of 40% (and a minimum of 5 respondents) will be able to use its own data in school improvement planning. 


  • Community Engagement and Support
  • Teacher Leadership
  • School Leadership
  • Managing Student Conduct
  • Use of Time
  • Professional Development
  • Facilities and Resources
  • Instructional Practices and Support
  • New Teacher Support