The 41st annual PDK/ Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitude Toward the Public Schools is out, and among the interesting findings are:
- Two-one support for mandatory testing in grades 3-8.
- Two-one support for kids in all 50 states to take the same test. This majority has held since 2002, and is constant across party lines.
- Americans continue to lack basic facts about charter schools. More than half think charters are private, can charge tuition, and can select students on the basis of ability. 46 percent think charters can teach religion. All of these are false.
The best news coming out of the poll is Question 17. It asks whether the respondent would like a child of theirs to teach in a public school. In 1969, 75 percent said yes. That fell to 48 in 1980, but has rebounded to 70 percent this year. Parents do influence their child’s choice of career (notice all the U.S. Army commercials aimed at parents), so it’s very good news that more Americans would be proud to have their child choose teaching in public schools as a career.
Update: This is not new, but Americans once again rated their schools positively but schools as a whole less so.