AASA Statement on Part II of the 2014 PDK Gallup Poll
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alexandria, Va. – (September 16, 2014) – Daniel A. Domenech, the executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement today upon the release of Part II of the 46th Annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.
“Once again, AASA is grateful to PDK International and Gallup for providing helpful information as we work to build a strong national education agenda on behalf of all children in our public schools.
“I was not surprised that only a little more than a third of those surveyed (38 percent) favored using student performance on standardized tests to evaluate teachers. Standardized tests measure cognitive skills at the lowest levels — recall and knowledge. Teaching to the test leads to a loss of emphasis on subject areas that are not tested. We agree that testing is a key component of the educational process. We must separate testing for the sake of informing instruction from testing purely for accountability purposes.
“I was pleased to see that an overwhelming majority of the Americans (80 percent) surveyed support National Board Certification as a means to improve teacher quality in our country. This is a program that sets the bar for our nation’s teaching force. Effectively leveraging National Board Certified Teachers has changed the learning culture in our classrooms and schools. When I was superintendent in Fairfax County, Va., I supported this teacher quality initiative and encouraged more teachers to engage in the prestigious National Board Certification process.
“We are concerned that the opinions of Americans are changing regarding the importance of a college degree. Less than half of the respondents indicated ‘college education is very important today.’ Just four years ago, 75 percent of Americans held that belief, according to the survey. This finding should signal a call to action to educate the total child—all aspects of child development—in order to transform America’s school systems so more students enter college. It’s up to our political, community and business leaders to help close the achievement gap, which begins before children ever come to school.”
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 advocates for the highest quality public education for all students, and develops and supports school system leaders.