A new survey of American opinions on education policy finds the public at large and its teaching force are at odds on whether teachers’ pay should be tied to their students’ test scores.
The 4th annual survey by Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and the journal Education Next found 49 percent of respondents approved of the idea, compared with just 24 percent of teachers.
The survey also found tepid support for Race to the Top, the Obama administration’s signature education program. Just 32 percent of those surveyed said they believed the program was needed to improve education; 22 percent said they saw it as an “unwarranted intrusion into state and local government.”
Support for the program was stronger among black and Hispanic Americans. They backed the program by 48 percent. The program got low marks from educators, with 46 percent of teachers saying they opposed it and 22 percent saying they approved of the competitive-grant program.
The PEPG-Education Next survey was conducted by the polling firm Knowledge Networks between May 11 and June 8.
The findings are based on a nationally representative, stratified sample of 1,184 adults. The margin of error for responses given by the full sample in the PEPG-Education Next survey is roughly 2 percentage points.
A version of this article appeared in the September 01, 2010 edition of Education Week as Public Opinion