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Poll: Americans trust teachers, but don’t want their child to become one


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  • Lisa Irish/ Arizona Education News Service

MCESA Worked With The Rodel Foundation Of Arizona To Offer Math 20/20. This Program Focuses On Deepening A Teacher’s Understanding Of Mathematics. In Turn, They Are Better Able To Facilitate Students’ Learning. Photo Courtesy Maricopa County Education Service Agency

Most Americans say public school teachers are underpaid, and 71 percent of those surveyed in the 2018 Phi Delta Kappan (PDK) Poll said they would support teachers in their community if they went on strike for higher pay.

The 5oth PDK Poll of the public’s attitudes toward the public schools asked 1,042 adults in 50 states about a range of education issues through online surveys administered in May 2018 by Langer Research Associates of New York.

While 61 percent of Americans said they trust and support public school teachers, more than half said they would not want their child to become a teacher, citing low pay and benefits.


Poll: Americans trust teachers, but don't want their child to become one AZEdNews2018PDKPollInfographic

Infographic by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews
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For the 17th year, Americans said the biggest problem facing local schools is the lack of financial support.

 

 

School safety

More than a third of parents of K-12 students fear for their child’s safety at school.

Eighty percent of parents support armed police in schools, 76 percent support mental health screening of all students, 74 percent support metal detectors at school’s entrances, while just 37 percent of parents support allowing armed teachers and staff in schools.

When asked to choose what area they would prefer schools to spend money on, 71 percent of parents said providing mental health services for students compared to 28 percent who said armed guards.

 

Equity

Sixty percent of Americans said they’d prefer to spend more on students who need extra support instead of spending the same among on every student.

When asked if schools should spend less money on students with fewer needs or if more money should be raised for the schools through taxes, Americans were evenly split between both choices at 49 percent each.

 

Americans also noted that public schools today are better at college preparation, educating students of all abilities and backgrounds, encouraging critical thinking and ensuring respect for all than when they attended school.

While 19 percent of Americans gave public schools an A or B grade nationally, 70 percent of parents of  K-12 students would give their child’s school an A or B grade.

College affordability

Three-quarters of Americans said they support providing free tuition at community colleges, which is a policy that has been implemented or proposed in several states and cities.

In addition, 68 percent of Americans support increasing federal funding to help students pay for four-year college tuition, possibly because 46 percent of parents of K-12 students say it is not likely that they will be able to pay for their child’s college tuition.

Sixty-one percent of Americans say that a four-year college degree is crucial to future success.