A new survey shows a strong majority of the American public wants better systems to fire underperforming teachers, and principals, too. But those who are allowed to stay should earn a lot more.
The poll conducted by the Associated Press and Stanford University brought forth data to prove, again, that there is plenty of public support for overhauling teacher tenure and pay scales.
According to the AP, half of the respondents said teachers’ salaries should be based on their students’ performance on state assessments and evaluations from their administrators.
About 35 percent said that “a large number of bad teachers is a serious problem in America’s schools,” and only 45 percent blamed the problems on teachers’ unions. But while the poll did not specifically ask about local school boards, respondents were more critical of school administrators.
Fifty-three percent said local administrators deserved “a great deal” or “a lot” of the blame for the problems facing U.S. schools. (And 65 percent said state officials deserved a great deal or a lot of the blame, while 59 percent said the same for federal officials).
Stanford University’s Larry Cuban, a professor emeritus of education, told the AP that some of the public’s negative views come from frequent criticism from policymakers and from the media.
“It’s become a throwaway line: Oh, sure U.S. schools are lousy,'” Cuban told the AP. “I think we have schizophrenia in the U.S. that we believe all U.S. schools are lousy except the schools we send our kids to.”
Joetta Sack-Min, Associate Editor