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“Public Attitudes Toward The Public Schools”

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Every year a Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll is done on “Public Attitudes Toward The Public Schools.” This year’s results have just been released.

John Norton was kind enough to give me permission to reprint a summary he wrote-up (you can also find a nice analysis at Public School Insights).

Here’s John’s summary:

Here are a few findings:

• More than 2/3 of respondents in the national poll favored paying teachers bonuses when their students score well on standardized tests. More than 4/5 agree that teachers with advanced degrees should be paid more.

• Only 28% of those polled had a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” impression of No Child Left Behind.

• Only 26% of the public favor lifetime contracts (tenure, as defined in the poll) for teachers. 66% think teachers should have the right to a legal review before principals fire them.

• Question: If your local schools needed teachers in science, math, technical subjects, and vocational subjects, would you favor or oppose…relaxing teacher education and certification plans so more people could qualify to teach these subjects? In 2009, 71% were opposed. In 1986, 74% were opposed.

• About 3/4 of Americans favor a single national set of standards for the certification of public school teachers.

• And, finally, an oldie but a goodie: Asked to assign grades to (1) school your oldest child attends; (2) public schools overall in your community; and (3) public schools nationally, the percentage getting “A or B” were, respectively: (1) 74%, (2) 51%, and (3) 19%.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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