ASCD Encourages Educators to Review the 2015 PDK/Gallup Poll
Alexandria, Va. ― ASCD has released the following statement from Executive Director and CEO Deb Delisle in response to 2015 PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools:
Sunday evening, the 47th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools was released. This poll is the longest-running survey of attitudes toward education and provides great insight into how our communities feel about the education we provide, along with information on how attitudes have shifted over the past five decades.
At ASCD, we noted some particularly encouraging results when reviewing the 2015 poll. We find it notable that 70 percent of public school parents would give their oldest child’s school an A or B grade for school quality. By contrast, only 19 percent of these same parents would give an A or B grade to public schools nationally. While the gap between these data points can be considered disappointing, it is important to focus on how positively public school parents view their local schools, especially the schools their own children attend. When parents and community members get a chance to witness firsthand the work our educators are doing with their children, they cannot help but be impressed by what they see. On ASCD’s behalf, I pledge that we will do our part to communicate this encouraging message.
We also noted that nearly 80 percent of those surveyed rate student engagement and student hope for the future as “very important” in measuring the effectiveness of public schools in their communities, and close to 70 percent said that high school graduation rates are very important. Sixty-four percent said there is too much emphasis on standardized tests. We believe that these attitudes are strongly supportive of a well-rounded whole child education and accountability systems that include multiple measures. There are countless different measures to determine school quality and student success, and standardized tests are just one piece of the puzzle. ASCD’s recent white paper has more information on multimetric accountability systems and how a handful of districts have developed them effectively.
There are many more important findings in this poll, and I would encourage each educator and community member to review the data. As educators, it is our responsibility to do our best to understand the communities we serve. This survey is a valuable resource for each of us who wants to know more about how the public views our schools and how we can better serve our communities and the nation. You can find the full results at www.pdkpoll.org.
To receive more information about ASCD’s resources or public policy priorities, or to speak with any ASCD leaders or experts, please contact Ross Romano, ASCD publicist, at 1-703-575-5607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.