Public Surveyed on Ed. Issues

Analyzing the results of a PDK-Gallup survey regarding education.

  1. A poll released by Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup today reveals that while presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney gets the nod on the topic of public education among those identifying themselves as independents, President Barack Obama takes the lead among respondents overall. This story by EdWeek writer Alyson Klein gives the details:

  2. Respondents were asked about their opinions on separate issues within the realm of public education, including finances, standards, bullying, and more. Those polled were divided on some issues like teacher evaluation and grading schools. However, a majority agreed that schools should discipline children for bullying, parents should have more control over failing schools, and balancing the budget is more important than improving education. See the general consensus here:
  3. While respondents favored balancing the budget, they did agree that funding is the biggest problem facing education.

  4. But EdWeek blogger Rick Hess argues that "more dollars actually make it harder to meaningfully redesign schools and systems." See what he has to say about the rest of the poll results here:
  5. Additionally, Neal McCluskey, associate director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, says of responses to finance questions, "People have no idea how much is actually spent on education, or how much it has grown over the decades." Read his post here:
  6. The executive director of PDK International himself, William J. Bushaw, even chimed in, saying that the most surprising finding in the polls was that "there is lukewarm support for evaluating teachers using students' test scores." See what else he found surprising here:
  7. Meanwhile, blogger John Wilson is surprised that three out of four respondents still have trust and confidence in American teachers, saying that "the public is able to discern the good in our schools despite the political rhetoric using a few bad examples to paint a negative picture of all teachers." Check it out:
  8. Heather Singmaster, blogging for Global Learning, focuses on the results of the poll regarding Common Core State Standards, which fifty-three percent of respondents believe will help American compete globally in education:
  9. Emily Douglas, blogging for K-12 Talent Manager, notes that the poll's results regarding teacher preparation and selection, as well as teacher evaluation, are important for talent managers. Americans seem to be in favor of more rigorous teaching entrance exams--even more rigorous, in fact, than those for business, pre-law, pre-medicine, and engineering. See what Douglas had to say here:
  10. EdWeek blogger Catherine Gewertz analyzed the data from a standards-centered perspective. She points out the possibility that "these folks just don't know much about the standards," and notes that while respondents seemed to question high school graduates' career-readiness, they did not so much question their college-readiness. She explains the details here:
  11. Of the poll, popular blogger Diane Ravitch says "the American public continues to have a remarkably high opinion of the schools and teachers they know best despite the concerted efforts of the reformers to undermine those beliefs." Read more here:

  12. For more results from the poll, view a selection of questions and answers here: