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 II - Oct. 2014

Scroll down to see results

Most Americans trust teachers

Q. Do you have trust and confidence in the men and women who are teaching children in the public schools?

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Americans oppose using test results to evaluate teachers

Q. Some states require that teacher evaluations include how well a teacher’s students perform on standardized tests. Do you favor or oppose this requirement?

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Americans favor one year of practice teaching before fulltime teaching

Q. In your opinion, how much time should a person who is preparing to become a teacher spend practicing teaching under the guidance of a certified teacher before assuming responsibility for his or her own class?

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Americans support board certification for teachers

Q. Some professions, like medicine and law, require individuals to pass board certification in addition to earning a degree in order to be licensed to practice. Do you believe teachers should be required to pass board certification in addition to earning a degree?

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Americans favor using teacher evaluations to improve teaching and dismiss ineffective teachers

Q. In your opinion, how important is the following reason for evaluating a teacher’s performance in the classroom? Helping teachers improve their ability to teach. Using teacher performance to determine salaries or bonuses. Documenting ineffectiveness that could lead to a teacher’s dismissal.

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Americans divided on need for change at elementary schools

Q. Which of the following statements best describes how you feel about the elementary schools in your community? Elementary schools are not changing quickly enough, changing too quickly, or do not need to change.

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Americans say middle, senior high schools not changing enough

Q. Which of the following statements best describes how you feel about the middle/junior high schools and high schools in your community? Middle/junior and high schools are not changing quickly enough, changing too quickly, or do not need to change.

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Americans support educating children of undocumented immigrants

Q. Do you favor or oppose providing public education to children of immigrants who are undocumented? (Half the sample.)

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Americans still value college education

Q. How important is a college education today?

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Americans want internships for high school students

Q. Using a five-point scale where 5 means strongly agree and 1 means strongly disagree, please indicate your level of agreement with the following statement about public schools in this country. High school students should be required to participate in at least one volunteer or paid internship during high school.

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Americans want more career choices for high schoolers

Q. Using a five-point scale where 5 means strongly agree and 1 means strongly disagree, please indicate your level of agreement with the following statement about public schools in this country: High school students should receive more education about possible career choices.

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Americans favor preparing all kids for college

Q. Using a five-point scale where 5 means strongly agree and 1 means strongly disagree, please indicate your level of agreement with the following statement about public schools in this country: High schools should place more emphasis on preparing all students to attend college.

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Americans rate “soft skills” ahead of grades and test results

Q. Would you say each of the following factors is a very important, somewhat important, not very important, or not at all important factor in helping a high school student get a good job one day? Performing well on standardized tests such as ACT or SAT? Earning a B or higher grade point average on completed coursework? Having a mentor or adviser? Working on a real-world project that takes at least six months to complete? Learning skills like dependability, persistence, and teamwork?

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