PDK Poll: Teachers Out of Sync With Public

Published July 1, 2000

Although a recent poll of Massachusetts residents indicated teachers and their families were supportive of school vouchers, the sixth Phi Delta Kappa Poll of Teachers’ Attitudes Toward the Public Schools showed only 16 percent of teachers favoring vouchers, compared to 51 percent of the general public. The poll, released in April, revealed a number of areas where the views of teachers diverged significantly from those of the general public.

While 70 percent of teachers considered class-size reduction to be the highest school reform priority, only 50 percent of the public ranked this at the top. For 72 percent of the public, but only 37 percent of teachers, updating instructional materials and books was the number one priority.

The widest disparity showed up with regard to setting teacher salaries. While 47 percent of the public feels it is very important to use student test scores in setting salaries, only 3 percent of teachers agreed.

For more information . . .

On the Phi Delta Kappa Poll, visit the group’s Web site at http://www.pdkintl.org/edres/tpoll.htm