The 44th annual Phi Delta Kappa (PDK)/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools was recently released, 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 including teacher evaluations and school choice vouchers, as well as shared views on the benefits of the Common Core State Standards confidence in public school teachers. The report showed that the majority of Americans feel 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 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.”