The School Improvement Network, an online professional development and teacher-training company, recently released the results of a national survey of over 2100 educators. In responding to the survey, a remarkable 96 percent of teachers said that they are effective educators, while 89 percent felt that the same way about their colleagues.

Despite their great confidence in the abilities of teachers, a majority of teachers – 52 percent – believed that the public education system is failing. And in perhaps the most interesting result from the survey, only 11 percent of the teachers polled believed that parents are doing enough to help their children succeed in school. As one respondent wrote, “the government expects miracles from educators, when parents play the most vital role in a child’s life and they are failing their children, our students.”

This dramatic dichotomy between the view of educators as to their own effectiveness and that of public education in general, and the enormous divide between teachers’ opinion of their work as compared to parents, illustrates the challenges facing would-be education reformers.