Half of Teachers Surveyed Have Seriously Considered Leaving Profession, Latest PDK Poll Finds



James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Only Half of Teachers Polled Say Community Values Them  

Alexandria, Va. – Aug. 5, 2019 – Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement today following the release of the 51st annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools

“As schools across the nation prepare to kick off a successful 2019-20 school year, the findings of the latest PDK poll provide clear insight into the stressors and concerns weighing on the minds of school system leaders, educators and parents alike. If there is one theme that emerges from this year’s findings, one theme that spans every community in every town in America, large and small, it’s that our nation’s public schools, the students they serve, and the educators that work in them need continued and expanded support. How we get there is where the work remains, but it is a clear consensus. 

“Fresh off a school year where we saw teachers striking in numerous states, it isn’t surprising to find that approximately half of public school teachers reported considering leaving the profession in the past few years. At a time when we aim to bolster our teacher workforce and ensure all students have access to a highly effective teacher, we must get serious about addressing the disconnect between our continued need for excellent educators and how the environments in which they work—compensation, support, professional respect and development, and broader community issues—either exacerbate or ameliorate job stressors. 

“Related to supporting our teachers, Americans name lack of financial support and funding for schools as the biggest problem facing public schools in their community for the 18th consecutive year. Even with broad support for the need for additional funding for schools, however, the public doesn’t report being willing to pay for it themselves: 70% adults say they’d prefer to see cuts in other government-funded programs rather than pay additional taxes to provide more school funding, and 61% of teachers agree. 

“I couldn’t agree more with Josh Starr, chief executive officer of PDK International, who said, ‘There is a national crisis in the teaching profession, the most important profession in the country, and it’s time for Americans to come to grips with what this means for the long-term health of our nation.’ I truly believe that teaching is the one profession that enables all others, and this year’s PDK poll is an excellent illustration of the obstacles and opportunities facing teaching as a profession and a workforce, as well as the importance of continued support and investment in our public schools, getting serious about what it is we say those schools need and if we, as a nation, are willing and able to make it happen. 

“We congratulate Josh Starr and his staff at PDK International for bringing these important issues to our attention. These results reaffirm our continued efforts to reframe the current national dialogue around public education to highlight the critical role public schools play as the bedrock of our civic society and their work to prepare students to be successful, contributing members of their communities.”


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 www.aasa.org.