AASA Statement on the 2014 PDK Gallup Poll
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alexandria, Va. – Aug. 20, 2014 –
Daniel A. Domenech, the executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement today upon the release of the 46th
Annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.
“AASA applauds PDK International and Gallup for providing helpful information as our nation works to frame policies and programs in an effort to carry out meaningful and positive change in America’s education agenda.
“Unlike last year when the poll told us two-thirds of the respondents never heard of the Common Core State Standards, we are pleased that an overwhelming majority of Americans surveyed this year (80 percent) have heard about CCSS while nearly half indicated they ‘heard a great deal or a fair amount.’
“We are concerned that the poll found over half (60 percent) oppose the Common Core, including a critical mass (40 percent) who believe the standards are ‘not challenging enough.’ According to our own survey (Common Core and other State Standards, June 2014), nearly all (93 percent) of the superintendents participating replied that the new standards are more challenging than previous standards. Three quarters of our members also replied the political debate has gotten in the way of implementing the new standards. Meanwhile, nearly half said their input was never requested regarding development or implementation. ‘We were given no voice in the decision when Common Core was first adopted,’ said one superintendent.
“Overall, the PDK/Gallup poll’s findings back the position of AASA when it comes to Common Core—to slow down to get it right to ensure schools and teachers have the resources they need to successfully implement the standards and aligned assessments to bolster student learning. Superintendents, according to our survey, remain optimistic about CCSS. In a recent School Administrator article, Susan Bunting, a Delaware superintendent said the new standards are creating a culture of experimentation and innovation among teachers in her district.
“The poll also reveals that the public sees the lack of financial support as a huge concern facing our public schools. We know that public school district budgets have yet to reach pre-recession levels, meaning they are operating with limited budgets to educate 50 million students a year, many of whom live in poverty. We need to acknowledge that poverty is a reality in America that continues to be the dominating factor when determining student achievement.
“We are not surprised to see that a large majority (two-thirds) of Americans continue to oppose school vouchers. It highlights that respondents view vouchers as the ineffective, flawed policies that they are, both lacking accountability to tax payers and discriminating against students with special needs.
“William J. Bushaw, chief executive officer of PDK International, correctly points out in his commentary within the poll that every child is unique and that it is ‘our responsibility to prepare them for success in their careers and in their lives.’ AASA stands ready to answer this call, by continuing to advance AASA’s legislative agenda through collaboration with policymakers, education advocates, and business and community leaders in order to bring necessary changes as reflected in the results of this year’s PDK/Gallup Poll.”
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 10,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.