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PDK/Gallup Poll Shows Satisfaction with Local Schools, Divide between the Public and Policy Makers

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(August 21, 2013, Washington, D.C.) – The 45th annual Phi Delta Kappa (PDK)/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools was released today, revealing that Americans are highly satisfied with their community schools but disagree with policy makers on key education issues.

More than 70 percent of respondents said they have trust and confidence in their local public school teachers and principals. Fifty-three percent gave the schools in their communities an A or B, the highest rating ever recorded in the poll.

"The PDK/Gallup poll continues to provide us an informative snapshot of Americans' perspectives on pressing education matters," said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). "We are pleased to see that Americans are satisfied with their local school teachers and principals, as this reflects well on the work of higher education-based teacher preparation programs that produce 90 percent of new teachers. AACTE members are committed to strengthening partnerships with PK-12 schools so that the public can feel even more confident in the educators leading their classrooms."

Among the most surprising results is that more than half of respondents oppose requiring the use of students' scores on standardized tests in their teachers' evaluations. This practice, promoted by policy makers on both sides of the aisle and education reformers, is often touted as a key to closing the achievement gap. In fact, policy makers are looking to expand the use of PK-12 student test scores to evaluate teacher preparation programs and graduates.

AACTE agrees with the poll respondents that single unproven measures, such as student test scores, should not be used in high-stakes decisions or promoted through the media as valid measures of educators' performance. Instead, AACTE supports the use of multiple-measure assessment systems, such as the use of edTPA to assess teacher candidates' readiness and provide useful data and feedback to teacher preparation programs. This proposal and more is reflected in The Educator Preparation Reform Act, a bill recently reintroduced by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) that AACTE and many other national education organizations support.

This year's PDK/Gallup poll contains several other interesting results regarding awareness and understanding of the Common Core State Standards, as well as opinions on school vouchers and college- and career-readiness. View the 2013 PDK/Gallup poll in its entirety here.

For the latest information on how AACTE and its members are working to improve education and student learning, 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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