The latest edition of the influential Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup opinion poll, released on August 17, found more support for public school teachers and sympathy toward schools’ financial woes.
Despite negative publicity and state initiatives limiting the power of teachers unions, the annual poll found significant support for teachers. More than 70 percent of respondents said they have “trust and confidence” in public school teachers, and 69 percent of respondents gave public school teachers in their community a letter grade of an A or B, compared to 50 percent in 1984.
Another result found that 36 percent of respondents think that lack of financial support is the biggest problem facing schools.
And most respondents felt that decisions on teacher salaries and layoffs should be based on multiple factors, including advanced degrees, experience, and administrator evaluations, while their students’ scores on standardized tests were rated as least important. Also, most respondents thought that school districts should use multiple factors when determining layoffs, rather than seniority.
Full results of the poll are available at: www.pdkintl.org/kappan/poll.htm.