Americans are divided on many public education issues, according to a newly released poll.
The 44th Annual Phi Delta Kappa Gallup Poll. shows Americans disagree on teacher evaluations, vouchers for private schools and public school opportunities for children of illegal immigrants.
Most agree that there should be more done to help urban schools, according to the Public’s Attitudes Toward Public Schools poll.
“More than ever before, we sense a hardening of viewpoints in public education, and those are aligned with whether a person is a Democrat a Republican or in many cases an independent voter,” says Bill Bushaw, executive director of PDK International. “Americans are clearly divided on which candidate will be more supportive on public education.”
The poll shows Americans do agree that teacher programs should screen and prepare teachers more rigorously, and that the achievement gap should be closed.
“More than 70 percent of people in this country still trust the men and women who teach in our public schools,” says Lily Eskelsen, vice president of the National Education Association.
Seventy percent also say there is inequity in school funding from district to district in many states, "and that’s something the NEA is working on, equity in funding,” she says.
According to the poll, most Americans agree that the biggest problem facing public education is funding.
Findings for the PDK/Gallup poll were based on 1,002 interviews with adults in the United States. The national sample of adults was drawn from the Gallup Panel.