Annual PDK Poll Finds Most Americans Feel Teachers are Underpaid


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Poll Finds Most Parents Don’t Want Their Children to Enter the Teaching Profession

Alexandria, Va. – August 27, 2018 – Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement today following the release of the 50th annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.

“An overwhelming 78 percent of public school parents would support teacher strikes in their own communities if it meant higher pay as a result. According to the poll, two-thirds of Americans say teacher pay is too low. Meanwhile, for the first time in 50 years, a majority of Americans (54 percent) said they would not want their children to enter the teaching profession, citing poor pay and benefits.

“The overarching message behind these findings points to the following: The survey highlights the steadfast support for educators who are at the front of the classroom. However, the report also tells us that we, as a nation, must step up our efforts to elevate the teaching profession in order to attract and retain top-notch teacher candidates on behalf of the millions of children learning and growing in our public schools and for generations to come.

“This summer, AASA launched its Leaders Matter campaign, an effort to bring to the forefront powerful contributions made by the outstanding men and women leading our school districts. While the campaign’s focus is to concentrate on the accomplishments of our superintendents, this poll tells us we must also inform the public about the great work our teachers are doing in our rural, suburban and urban classrooms.

“Josh Starr, chief executive officer of PDK International, said, ‘It’s clear that most Americans believe we can do better for our students.’ I couldn’t agree more, which was the key reason why we launched our ‘Leaders’ campaign. As our superintendents succeed, so too will our public schools. As our teachers succeed, so too will our classrooms. The success of our students—our country’s leaders of tomorrow—depend on the support given to public education by the communities in which they live. Mirroring the objective of our own campaign, let’s leverage the findings of this report to lead, shape and grow the broad dialogue to support public education and public educators.
“Once again, we thank Josh Starr and his team at PDK International for collecting invaluable information that can only help our school districts foster learning-rich environments throughout the country.”


About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 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 equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit