Each year, the PDK/Gallup poll allows educators
and policy makers to track public opinion about
one of this nation’s most important institutions:
its public schools.

What did Americans say in 2014 about the most pressing issues in education — and did Democrats and Republicans agree?

PART I - Sept. 2014

Scroll down to see results

Most Americans are familiar with Common Core

Q. How much, if anything, have you heard about the new national standards for teaching reading, writing, and math in grades K through 12, known as the Common Core State Standards — a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or nothing at all?

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Americans oppose local use of Common Core State Standards

Q. Do you favor or oppose having the teachers in your community use the Common Core State Standards to guide what they teach?

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Americans say standardized tests not helpful

Q. Some teachers believe student standardized tests help them know more about their students’ academic achievements. Other teachers believe that student standardized tests do not help them know what to teach. What do you think? Are student standardized tests helpful, or are they not helpful to teachers?

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Americans support some, not all testing

Q. How supportive are you of the following types of student tests? Are you very supportive, somewhat supportive, not very supportive, or not at all supportive?

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Americans say international comparisons matter

The results of a test known as the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, were released last December. The test measures the achievement of students living in 65 countries, including the United States.

Q. Using a five-point scale, where 5 means strongly agree and 1 means strongly disagree, please indicate your level of agreement with each of the following statements about the PISA international test comparisons.

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Americans say finance is biggest problem

Q. What do you think are the biggest problems that the public schools of your community must deal with?

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Americans give local schools good grades

Q. Students are often given the grades A, B, C, D, and FAIL to denote the quality of their work. Suppose the public schools themselves in your community were graded in the same way. What grade would you give the public schools here — A, B, C, D, or Fail?

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Half of Americans give schools nationally a grade of C

Q. How about the public schools in the nation as a whole? What grade would you give the public schools nationally — A, B, C, D, or Fail?

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Americans give Obama divided grades on education

Q. President Obama is continuing his second term in office. How would you grade his performance in support of public schools using the A, B, C, D, or Fail scale?

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Americans say local school boards should have most influence

Q. In your opinion, who should have the greatest influence in deciding what is taught in the public schools here — the federal government, the state government, or the local school board?

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Americans believe that charter schools provide a better education

Q. Do you believe students receive a better education at a public charter school than at other public schools?

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Americans oppose vouchers

Q. Do you favor or oppose allowing students and parents to choose a private school at public expense?

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