It’s Christmas morning if you’re interested in finding out what the public thinks on major education issues; Education Next has released its annual national Poll . If you want a quick read Education Next provides a good summary of results. In addition, this morning’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required) contains an opinion piece by Harvard Professor Paul Peterson where he talks about how the public ranked teachers and how teachers ranked colleagues. Peterson writes:
About 22 % of public school teachers are not performing adequately in the public eye, if one assumes that satisfactory work requires at least a C grade . Citizens do like a majority of the teachers in their local school district, saying on average, that 51 % of them deserve an A or a B. But 13% earned a D and no less than 9% of teachers were given an F.
Parent surveys are nearly identical. Parents give 56% of the teachers in their local schools one of the two top grades, but they hand out a D to 13% and an F to 10%.
Teachers ratings are perhaps the most telling. Educators tend to be the most generous in giving high marks, saying that 69 percent of their colleagues in the local school district deserve an A or B. Not everyone scores so well. Teachers report that 8% percent of their colleagues deserve a D, and that 5% deserve an F.
The talk about underperforming teachers naturally leads to teacher tenure. So what does the public think about tenure? Respondents to the Ednext poll oppose granting tenure to teachers by over a 2 to 1 margin. The public also thinks that if tenure is awarded it should be tied to how well students are performing in the classroom.
The survey also covers other important topics. .
Common Core: Respondents remain split on Common Core. However, it is interesting to note when the term Common Core is used in the question, as opposed to state standards, opposition increased significantly. Results confirm what many believe; Common Core is a toxic term.
School Choice: Poll results show support for school choice remains strong but varies depending on how a program is structured and financed.
The EdNext PEPG Poll contains lots of interesting information. One of the best things about the poll it is that many of the questions have been asked in multiple years, so you can often track changes in public sentiment. It’s well worth reading.