Public trusts teachers, but not their unions

Americans trust teachers, but not their unions, concludes the annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll.

More than 70 percent of respondents have confidence in public school teachers; 69 percent give local teachers an A or B. However, nearly half say teachers’ unions hurt public education.

Three out of four said they’d encourage a bright student to become a teacher; 67 percent would like their own child to choose a public-school teaching career.

Americans increasingly support school choice, but only one of three favors vouchers, the poll reported.

Consistent with past findings, Americans believe teacher salaries should be based on multiple factors, including advanced degrees, experience, and the principal’s evaluations of the teacher. Students’ scores on standardized tests were rated as least important. Similarly, Americans believe that school districts should use multiple factors to determine which teachers should be laid off first, rather than basing it primarily on seniority (last hired, first fired).

College prepares graduates for the workforce, respondents said, but not all believe a college degree is sufficient for readiness.

Even more so than in the past, Americans give high marks to local schools, low marks to the nation’s schools, notes Rick Hess.

I’ll start by noting that I’m not a huge fan of the American public right now. After all, we’re the twits who demand lots of services but don’t want to pay for them. And then we get angry when our leaders can’t square this circle. We insist that they take painful steps to rein in spending, and then complain when they try to do it. In short, we’ve shown all the character and discipline of an irate preschooler.

While Americans strongly prefer small classes, 80 percent “believe that high school classes with more students and a better teacher would result in higher student achievement than would smaller classes with less effective teachers,” Hess notes.

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  1. This just follows what’s been being said for awhile, Americans know their local schools and teachers are good, but the billionaires are good at purchasing propaganda to bash the public schools nationwide.

  2. More likely Americans know the teachers aren’t all that good but there’s just nothing to be done about it. Better to cling to the belief that you’re doing a good job for your kids then confront the fact that you can’t.

  3. Stacy in NJ says:

    What Allen said. If you acknowledge your local teachers are mediocre then you most act to improve, augment, change altogether your child’s educational environment. Not everyone is emotionally or financially capable of taking on that responsibility. Better to believe that “the kids are all right” than to face the alternative in a stressful time.

  4. Another set of the ignore the facts crowd chimes in.

  5. I’ve been in a union, so I don’t need anyone to tell me how unions function as roadblocks to almost everything except securing higher pay for the most senior members.

  6. I’ve been in a few unions, so I don’t need anyone to tell me how unions function to secure workers’ rights in the face of stupid people who denounce them to the benefit of rich traitors.

    • Rights are enumerated by the Constitution. What union apologists refer to as “rights” bears a striking resemblance to privileges since there’s no right to hang onto to a job you’re doing poorly. Except within the warm, non-judgmental embrace of the union.