Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, August 23, 2015

PDK/Gallup Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Reject Test-Based School Accountability

Lyndsey Layton in the Washington Post:

Americans overwhelmingly think there is too much emphasis on standardized testing in public schools and that test scores are not the best way to judge schools, teachers or students, according to a national poll.

The results released Sunday come from the 47th annual PDK/Gallup poll of attitudes toward public schools, the longest-running survey of Americans’ views on public education.

 The survey showed that the public rejects school accountability built on standardized tests, which has been federal policy through No Child Left Behind, the signature education initiative of President George W. Bush.

64% say there is too much emphasis on standardized testing in schools.

That's nearly two-thirds of respondents.

Here's an interesting finding on teacher evaluations and test scores:

A majority of respondents — regardless of political affiliation — opposed the notion of evaluating teachers based in part on test scores, an idea heavily promoted by the Obama administration and fought by teachers unions.

As Americans move away from the idea that tying teacher ratings to test scores is a practical way to evaluate teachers, Andrew Cuomo is moving toward it.

Until he is made to pay a political price for pushing what is clearly an unpopular education policy, he'll continue to do it, of course. 

As for Regents Chancellor Tisch and NYSED Commissioner Elia, they say they're going to get the opt out numbers down next year by convincing parents that standardized testing is swell and a civil right and schools just cannot function without them.

The PDK/Gallup poll shows they're going to have an uphill climb.

Same goes for Common Core - 54% oppose it according to the PDK/Gallup poll.

Also there's this interesting tidbit that goes right to the core of the testing issue:

In a rebuttal to those who say states should use common tests so that the public can compare how students perform across state boundaries, fewer than one in five public school parents said it was important to know how children in their communities performed on standardized tests compared with students in other districts, states or countries.

The rationale for the PARCC and SBAC tests was just that - to give the public the ability to compare how students perform in different states.

At less than 20% support, not so much on this tenet of the education reform agenda either.

So let's see, the public doesn't like standardized testing, doesn't think teachers should be evaluated using test scores, doesn't care about the PARCC/SBAC comparisons, and opposes Common Core.

Quite a victory for education reform, eh?

Oh, and one last thing - 57% of the respondents gave the public schools in their own communities (you know, the one's they're familiar with) either an A or B for performance.

So much for the "failing schools" crisis.


  1. Charters and choice aren't a cornerstone of education reform?

    A whopping 66% of public school parents support charter schools.

    A even more whopping 67% of public school parents support allowing children to attend any school in their district, not just the one they are assigned to by street address.

    I anxiously await your spin on how the other numbers in this survey are rock-solid but these two somehow aren't.

    1. Charters certainly are cornerstones of ed deform, but after a decade plus of the media and pols hailing the wonders of charters and decrying the failures of public schools, it's not a surprise to see numbers like that. Only 19% give public schools either an A or a B overall, though 57% give their own public schools an A or B. That's a prime example of how people have their perceptions of public schools formed by media but when they have actual experience with a school, they feel differently about it.

      So yeah, charters poll well, but as they proliferate throughout, let us see how much longer they continue to poll this well. We see more and more charter scandals (Ohio seems to be ground zero) and as those stories abound, it's reasonable to think those numbers come down.

      Nonetheless outside of charters, the rest of the poll is dismal for education reformers. A resounding rejection.

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  3. If we cant make such objective comparisons how will the real estate industry decide property values?! O merciful heavens!

    1. Indeed! And how will school superintendents know how to help their students without the information from these tests which comes months after the actual tests?