The first half of results from the PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools was released today. A second report will be issued in October. Sometimes we are contacted by reporters for a local reaction to the results so for your info, below are some statistics from the survey as well as a link to the file. The poll is based on a telephone survey (in English) of 1,001 adults selected by random digit dial.
- 56% of those surveyed said local school boards should have the greatest influence on what is taught (28% the state government and 15% federal government);
- 60% oppose the Common Core Standards (Republicans oppose more strongly than Democrats);
- Of those who oppose, 65% say it is because it limits flexibility of teachers and 51% say teachers in their community do not support the standards.
- Of the 33% who favor Common Core Standards, 74% say it is because kids learn what they need regardless of where they attend school.
- 40% of Americans do not believe the standards are challenging enough while 26% of parents say they’re too challenging.
- 54% of surveys regardless of political affiliation, and 68% of parents do not believe standardized tests help teachers know what to teach.
- Americans continue to assign higher grades to local schools, lower to nation’s schools. Parents of students in public schools marked highest for their schools.
- 50% believe US students rank lower than students in other nations and 46% believe US students rank in the middle.
- Survey respondents chose “lack of financial support” as the greatest challenge to schools.
- 70% (62% of parents) support public charter schools, “particularly when they are described as schools that can operate independently and free from regulations.” However, the general public does not know a lot about charter schools. Most did not know if charter schools could charge tuition, admit based on ability, teach religion, etc.
- 63% oppose vouchers, allowing students to attend private school at public expense.