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PDK/Gallup Poll Reveals Americans' Agreement and Difference on Education Issues

Official AACTE Statement
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AACTE Sheds Light on Entry Requirements for Teacher Preparation Programs

(August 23, 2012, Washington, D.C.) – The 44th annual Phi Delta Kappa (PDK)/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools was released yesterday, highlighting Americans' points of agreement and difference on education across the political spectrum.

The accompanying report, Public Education in the United States: A Nation Divided, showed split opinions on issues such as whether teachers should be evaluated based on students' standardized test scores and whether parents should receive vouchers to help their children attend private schools. There were also several shared views, including that the Common Core State Standards can have a positive effect on public education. For the third year in a row, 75 percent of Americans again expressed trust and confidence in public school teachers.

The majority of Americans feel that entrance requirements into colleges' teacher preparation programs should be kept the same or made more rigorous. Most also felt that entrance requirements should be the same as or more selective than college programs for engineering, business, pre-law and pre-medicine.

"The PDK/Gallup poll is a reputable, useful tool that informs us about the public's views on important education matters," said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). "It is encouraging that the public is confident in their public school teachers and giving the highest grades ever to their community schools. It is also good to see Americans take an interest in the selectivity and rigor of teacher preparation programs. With entry requirements often the same across an institution's pre-professional programs, AACTE has been focused on the characteristics of the students actually admitted to teacher preparation programs, the rigor of programs' clinical requirements and the knowledge and skills candidates will emerge with upon completion of their program. That is why the work we are doing through edTPA is so important to the education community. This new performance assessment process will allow us to measure a candidate's ability to effectively teach all students before becoming a teacher-of-record, while also providing programs feedback for continuous improvement."

AACTE recently issued a statement entitled Where We Stand: Selectivity of Programs to address the debate on how rigorous admission requirements should be for U.S. educator preparation programs. The statement cites a recent report that showed that more than half of prospective science and math teachers scored in the top third on their SATs, but that an increase in the top-third of teaching talent would need to be combined with other system reforms to raise student achievement. AACTE is also addressing program outcomes and accountability through a number of efforts, including its support of professional accreditation and the Data Quality Campaign.

View the 2012 PDK/Gallup poll in its entirety here. For the latest information on AACTE and educator preparation, visit www.aacte.org.

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AACTE: Serving Learners
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE's reach and influence fuel its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education. For more information, visit www.aacte.org.



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