Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
BURLINGAME – A new national survey shows once again that the public has a deep trust in our public school educators, and that a majority of people feel unreliable standardized test scores should not be used to evaluate teachers, according to the annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of 1,001 Americans about attitudes toward public schools.
“This survey tells a familiar story about our profession and our commitment to communities,” said Dean E. Vogel, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “Americans continue to have a very strong amount of trust and confidence in teachers, and while they have some concerns about the nation’s school system overall, they strongly believe in their neighborhood schools where their kids go to learn and thrive.”
In fact, 71 percent of parents polled would give their local public school that their oldest child attends a grade of A or B. Of all those surveyed, 72 percent say they have trust and confidence in educators.
Vogel noted that it is good to see that the public shares teachers’ concerns about high-stakes testing and the tying of high-stakes standardized test scores to teacher evaluations. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed now oppose using student test scores to evaluate educators. Only two in 10 think increased testing is helping school performance.
“Parents know that children learn in different ways and that their achievement can’t be measured by a standardized test,” Vogel said. “It’s the same for teacher quality and effectiveness. The poll shows that voters understand this and have moved beyond the simplistic testing approach advocated by some in the education reform movement the past few years.”
The survey shows that most Americans have not heard about the rigorous new Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by California and 45 states overall. “What was good to see is that a majority of respondents ranked critical thinking as the top 21st century skill our schools need to teach – which is exactly what the Common Core approach stresses, rather than rote learning based on memorizing endless facts and filling in bubbles on a test,” Vogel said.
This survey found that parents feel our public schools are safe. Americans overwhelmingly support increasing mental health services in schools instead of hiring more security guards, and most reject arming teachers and administrators. “We agree with what most people contend,” Vogel said, “that better mental health services in our schools, not armed staff, will help our students who need the most attention get on a better path to success in life.”
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.