Thursday, January 21, 2010

Public Perception of Education

I used to blog for my old company, but they took the blog down. I am
not actually allowed to own the writings I put up on that blog, but as
I reference them on occasion in my writing I am putting those articles
up in my archives here for reference sake. I'll put the tag GS on those
articles noting that they were originally published on the

Public Perception of Education

There are some places where it is often easy to get the impression that teachers are the most lazy, money grubbing, good for nothing, bums. Just read some of the comments at the end of this article. Meanwhile, the other paper in the same county writes positive articles on the exact same school district and there is only one comment.

Last month Phi Delta Kappan The Journal for Education published the results of their latest Gallup Poll. Thankfully, not everyone in America hates teachers. Some highlights of the poll.

  • · Almost 80% of Americans think the next president should rely on advice from educators about education policy.
  • · Almost 60% of people want NCLB to change significantly
  • · A plurality, (46%) but not a majority of people think schools should be under the control of local school boards.
  • · A plurality, (37%) but not a majority of people think Federal funding is the best way to finance public schools.

· >>COMMENTARY<< As long as Americans think American education generally is pretty bad, but their own children go to a pretty good school, it will be very difficult to make the kinds of changes actually needed to make the American education system globally competitive…..parents who are looking at the homework and text their children bring home se that the work is more difficult than the material they covered in the same subject at the same grade.

· >> COMMENTARY<< Each year, I find myself slipping further and further away from the core beliefs that define my vision of a quality education. …Rather than encouraging my students to embrace curiosity and to always wonder, I drill discrete skills, teach from a pacing guide, deliver prepackaged multiple-choice assessments every three weeks, and refuse to slow down in a never-ending quest to demonstrate my effectiveness as an educator.

§ Editors note- In my opinion GlobalScholar can demonstrate effectiveness of educators while still allowing teachers to encourage creativity.

· There is almost a 50 - 50 split when asked if there should be national standards, but if the wording is changed to one set of expectations for all the split changes to 60 - 30 for standards.

§ Editors note – I’ve found that standards, like most committee generated statements, tend to get too bloated to be of real use in schools. They are also better suited for skills and not concepts so only measure one part of the learning landscape.

· American are highly supportive of high school students taking college-level courses and earning college-level credits while still in high school.

§ Honestly why hold students back if they are successful, but not ready to leave home for college.

§ Americans believe the most accurate picture of academic progress is provided by examples of student work.

§ Editor’s note – pretty much the opposite of NCLB and the focus on standardized testing.

§ 80 % of the public feel that school performance should be measured by improvements shown during the year.

For more in-depth information I highly recommend visiting the poll online and even comparing it to polls in previous years.

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