Poll: Americans say biggest issue facing schools is funding

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Big news: Americans agree with educators about the biggest issues facing our schools.

The annual poll of the public's attitudes toward public schools released by Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) and Gallup disclosed some huge news. For the 10th straight year, Americans said loud and clear that funding is their top education priority.

Americans are sick and tired of the test obsession. They want more funding for schools, more resources and support for teachers, and an end to the crazy idea that everything can be measured with a bubble test.

Here are the three biggest findings from the poll:
 

  • Two out of three Americans say there is too much emphasis on standardized testing.
  •  Fifty-five percent of all Americans - and 63 percent of public school parents - oppose using standardized tests for teacher evaluation.
  • People believe that lack of funding is the single biggest problem facing our public schools.

"We have long said that testing is being misused and overused in our schools. The hours and hours required for testing could be used more effectively as instructional time - students working with their teachers to learn," said OFT President Melissa Cropper.  "While Ohio has begun to address the volume of testing, those discussions ignore the root issue - determining whether testing is being used for the right purpose. I believe it is not."

"The PDK/Gallup poll confirms that Americans and particularly parents agree that testing is diverting attention away from the solutions that could make a real difference in education. Funding, proper resources and support for teachers could raise education in this country to a higher level  to help students achieve to their potential and strengthen our communities."

"Americans want all children to be able to attend a great neighborhood school. Every school can be a great school with the right support. Funding is a big part of that recipe," Cropper said.

"This poll confirms again that the public believes that teachers are the most important factor in the education of children. It is important for policymakers not to ignore the voices of those who have the most impact. As educators, we must be included in developing policies that work," Cropper said.

Contact: OFT Communications Director Lisa Zellner 614-257-4195