National Poll Validates Local Concerns

At a time when the Oklahoma education system is faced with significantly decreased budgets, increased class sizes, and an unstable high stakes testing system, the PDK/Gallup annual poll of Americans validates our concerns.

Several key areas of the poll were investigated, including: policy/practice, which refers to Common Core State Standards (in our state referred to as Oklahoma Academic Standards, OAS); teacher evaluations; 21st century skills; school safety; alternative schooling; and challenges/solutions.

Some of the findings showed a drastic change in public opinion than was expressed just a year ago.

Key Findings:

  • Nearly two thirds oppose releasing information to newspapers about how students of individual teachers perform on standardized tests.
  • The poll revealed only 45% of parents have heard of Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Of those, most had an incorrect understanding of what the standards are.
  • Many believed the standards are based on a blending of state standards, the federal government is insisting all states adopt the standards, and that there is a plan to create standards in all academic areas. All false.
  • Fewer than 25% believed increased testing has helped the performance of local public schools.
  • The majority rejects using student scores from standardized tests to evaluate teachers.
  • Of those polled who were under the age of 40: 78% have confidence in the men and women who teach in public schools, and 70% have a high level of confidence in the principals.
  • More than 90% believe music, sports, drama, and newspaper are very or somewhat important to a well-rounded education.
  • Parents of public school students are more concerned about the actions of other students (80%) than they are by intruders in the school (14%), suggesting that bullying is a serious concern.
  • By a margin of almost two-to-one, Americans support increasing mental health services rather than hiring more security guards to promote school safety.
  • Of those polled, 70% percent oppose private school vouchers – the highest level of opposition to vouchers ever recorded in this annual survey.

The data compiled of national public opinion validates support of public schools and educators, as well as, reflects our local concerns of inadequate funding and debauched assessments and grading systems for students, educators, and schools. Follow this link to read the complete report.


 

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