AASA Statement on 49th Annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools

For Immediate Release 

James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)
Alexandria, Va. – Aug. 28, 2017 – Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement today following the release of the 49th Annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.

“America’s superintendents know that high schools are filled with innovators — students who have their sights set on career goals and who are ready to compete in the 21st century global economy. I was not surprised to see that an overwhelming majority of Americans — 82 percent — support more job or career skills classes, even it means less time on academic courses. For years, our education system has placed standardized test scores as the barometer to measure college and career readiness. Conversely, 86 percent of those surveyed say schools should offer certificate or licensing programs that qualify students for employment after graduation. 

“Josh Starr, CEO of PDK International, states in the report, ‘Americans recognize that success in the workplace and in life requires people skills as much as academic smarts, and they believe that schools should focus on both.’ I could not agree more. These findings are closely aligned with AASA’s Redefining Ready! initiative, a program introducing research-based metrics to more appropriately assess that students are college ready, career ready and life ready.

“We are encouraged by another key finding affirming more than half of Americans surveyed oppose vouchers. As we describe in our report released earlier this year, Public Loss, Private Gain: How School Voucher Tax Shelters Undermine Public Education, boosting resources for private schools using public dollars would ‘starve’ public education of critical funding at a time when available resources are already limited.

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