New poll finds declining confidence in education policies

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The American public has sharpened its belief that the federal government should not play a dominant role in public education, with a majority saying they simply do not support initiatives that they believe were created or promoted by federal policymakers, a new survey shows.

Moreover, only 27 percent of respondents give President Barack Obama a grade of “A” or “B” for his performance in support of public schools – down from 41 percent in 2011. A majority of those surveyed, 54 percent, do not think standardized tests are helpful to teachers; many do not understand how charter schools work, and the number of Americans saying they are familiar with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has skyrocketed in just one year, with a majority saying they oppose the standards.

Those and other findings are contained in the 46th edition of the PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. Conducted annually by PDK International in conjunction with Gallup, the poll is the longest-running survey of American attitudes toward education and thus provides an extensive and trusted repository of data documenting how the public’s viewpoint on public education has changed over the decades.

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