PDK Poll: Ratings for Public Schools Rise but Retaining Quality Teachers is a Key Issue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
James Minichello
703-774-6953
jminichello@aasa.org 

Alexandria, Va. – Aug. 25, 2022 – Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement today following the release of the 54th annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.

“I’ve said many times that public schools represent the lifeblood of America. They open the doors for every child—regardless of zip code. Public schools recognize the importance of social and emotional development and are working diligently to provide nurturing environments where students can become effective, empowered learners. It is encouraging to know that forward-leaning, equity-driven school districts are implementing bold, actionable steps invoking future-focused best practices for the well-being and self-sufficiency of the young learners they serve.

“We’re pleased to see that more than half of the adults surveyed in the latest PDK Poll gave an A or a B to the public schools in their communities. There are scores of exemplary school districts in large districts and small that know the one-size-fits-all approach to educating our children doesn’t work.

“It is of great concern that only 34% of respondents said they would want a child of theirs to become a public school teacher in their communities. I have a daughter who is a teacher in her community. I could not be prouder of the work she does.

“Following the release of the 51st annual PDK Poll, the chief executive officer of PDK International at that time, Joshua Starr, said the following, ‘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.’ While a teacher shortage existed before COVID, schools and communities are nearly three years into responding to and recovering from the global pandemic, an effort that has only magnified and exacerbated the educator shortage.

“This discussion underscores the urgent need for Americans to work collaboratively to create the favorable environments for educators to do their jobs effectively. The futures of our children are at stake. The teacher pipeline has been drying up for some time now. If this issue isn’t corrected, how are we going to continue the important work of academic recovery and mental health supports that our schools so desperately need? What kind of message are we sending to the world when the greatest country in the world has a problem with putting high-quality teachers in every classroom?

“The results of this year’s poll reaffirm our continued efforts to continue the national dialogue around public education and in particular, the shortage of teachers for our schools.”

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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.