Thursday, September 04, 2008

Dear Mr. President, Are You Listening?

Education does not seem to be a major platform in this Presidential election, but the issues are great nevertheless. Phi Delta Kappa conducted a Gallup Poll about what the issues are and what the next President needs to know. Take a look for yourself and be a voice for your children's schools.

Video of PDK Gallup Poll 2008 Results

Here's the results in a nutshell:

Presidential Candidates
Americans view Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as much more supportive of public schools than Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Federal Funding
Americans support an increased use of federal funds to maintain local public schools.

No Child Left Behind
Fewer than 2 of 10 Americans believe the No Child Left Behind legislation should be continued without significant change.

Biggest Problems
Lack of funding for schools tops the list of "biggest problems facing schools" for the sixth year in a row.

International Comparisons
Americans' impressions of public schools in Europe and Asia are very positive with almost 50% assigning grades of A's and B's, as compared with lower grades assigned to our nation's schools.

College Courses for High School Students
Americans are supportive of high school students taking college-level courses and earning college-level credits while still in high school.

Paying for College
Even though college costs have increased significantly, seven of 10 American parents believe they will be able to pay for college for their oldest child, a finding consistent with the response 13 years ago when it was last asked .

In a change from nine years ago, Americans believe written observations by teachers, as opposed to scores on standardized tests, are a superior way to document student academic progress.

Teacher Pay
Almost three of four Americans believe teachers should be paid higher salaries as an incentive to teach in schools identified as 'in need of improvement.'

What are your thoughts on these issues?