Pretty amazing poll - A majority of Americans think there is too much emphasis on testing AND that test scores alone can't judge a student/teacher/school BUT believe parents should not opt their kids out from testing. They reject Common Core. They believe "lack of financial support" is the biggest problem for their local school.
Americans across the board once again named lack of financial support as
the biggest problem facing their local schools — the 10th consecutive
year in which that issue has landed at the top of the list.
From the Washington Post:
The results released Sunday come from the 47th annual PDK/Gallup poll of attitudes toward public schools, the longest-running survey of Americans’ views on public education.
This year’s PDK/Gallup poll is a nationally representative web survey of
3,499 Americans, ages 18 and older with Internet access and an
additional telephone survey of 1,001 Americans, ages 18 and older. Both
surveys were conducted in May 2015. The addition of the web survey
allows PDK and Gallup to report in greater detail about racial/ethnic
groups for the first time.
Testing (and quality of school)
A majority of respondents — 64 percent — said too much emphasis has been placed on testing, and a majority also said the best way to measure the success of a school is not through tests but by whether students are engaged and feel hopeful about the future.
Overall, the public is happy with local schools, with 57 percent of
public school parents giving their school an A or a B for performance.
But just 19 percent had that opinion of public schools nationwide.
(This mirrors the belief that many Americans have about their congressperson - love theirs but think Congress stinks. Parents like their own child's school but think that, overall, most public schools are not good.)
Many Americans also said they think students should be judged by multiple measures, including student work, written teacher observations and grades.
Despite the view that there is too much standardized testing, a majority
of respondents said parents should not excuse their children from
tests. A majority also said they think test scores are “somewhat
important” in judging the effectiveness of their local schools.
And they overwhelmingly think teacher quality is the best way to improve education, followed by high academic standards and effective principals.
A majority of respondents — regardless of political affiliation — opposed the notion of evaluating teachers based in part on test scores, an idea heavily promoted by the Obama administration and fought by teachers unions.
Control of Public Education
When it comes to the role of the federal government in public schools, a majority of respondents said Washington should play no role in holding schools accountable, paying for schools or deciding the amount of testing. Seven out of 10 respondents said they wanted state and local districts to have those responsibilities.
But respondents were opposed to vouchers, or using tax dollars to pay
for private school tuition, a policy increasingly promoted by Republican
politicians. Several of the 2016 presidential hopefuls — Scott Walker,
Jeb Bush and Bobby Jindal — support vouchers.
Respondents said they support charter schools, and more than six out of 10 say parents should be able to choose any school for their children within their school district.
(I think this says more about choice than the quality of charters.)
But a majority — 54 percent — is opposed to the Common Core State
Standards, the K-12 academic benchmarks adopted by 43 states and the
District of Columbia that have been under fire by critics on the left
On some issues, there were clear differences of opinion along racial lines. Blacks tended to be more supportive of the Common Core and standardized testing than whites, and a majority of blacks — 55 percent — gave President Obama an A or a B for his support of public schools, compared with 17 percent of whites.
In a rebuttal to those who say states should use common tests so that
the public can compare how students perform across state boundaries,
fewer than one in five public school parents said it was important to
know how children in their communities performed on standardized tests
compared with students in other districts, states or countries.
nearly one in three blacks said using standardized tests to compare
their local schools with schools in other districts and other states is
“very important.” Just 15 percent of whites gave the same response.