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NCLB Outrages

Public Attitudes Toward the Public Schools

Here is Michael Martin's summary of the PDK/Gallup Poll. You can make good use of this in your letters to editor and op eds.

* 67% of parents graded their local school an "A" or "B" in 2007 compared to 64% in 2006.

* 60% agreed "most public school students leave high school adequately prepared for college."

* The "biggest problem" facing schools is lack of funding.

* 40% had a negative view of NCLB, while only 31% had a favorable view

* Those claiming no opinion on NCLB declined from 69% in 2003 to 29% in 2007 with 27 of that 40 point change becoming negative.

* 48% are concerned that NCLB is reducing the teaching of "science, health, social studies, and the arts."

* only 27% supported "finding an alternative to the existing public school system."
* only 39% supported vouchers for private schools.

* two-thirds of the public and 70% of public school parents opposed having "private profit-making corporations" run local schools.

* 59% of the public and 57% of public school parents opposed having local mayors take over schools.

* 52% of parents felt "there is too much emphasis on achievement testing" in 2007 compared with only 32% in 2002, and 16 of that 20 point change previously felt it was "about right."

* 62% said that the current emphasis on standardized tests was a "bad thing" because it encouraged teachers to teach to the tests. Only 39% of parents were concerned about this in 2003.

* 82% prefer a measure of student improvement, rather than whether students pass a test, as the be

* 73% said they were "not willing" to have their child attend a virtual high school over the internet.

* 85% said it was important for children to learn a foreign language (but not necessarily in school).

* 79% think that English Language Learners should not have their scores counted in measuring school performance until after they pass an English proficiency test.

* 78% of public school parents said that Special Education students should not be required to meet the same academic standards as other students.

— Michael T. Martin, Research Analyst, AZ School Boards Assoc.
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