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All About PDK’s “The Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.” Annual Poll

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The Annual PDK poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools typically provides insights into how a limited number of Americans think about a limited number of issues in public education. This is the famous poll that reveals how Americans grade their own schools (with most parents giving their own schools As & Bs, just like their Members of Congress).

Across the country, however, there are much bigger issues than polls plaguing our schools. More than sixty percent of US students are not proficient in any core subject. As we ponder the PDK survey results, be sure to acknowledge that without great schools for all students.

THE 49TH ANNUAL PDK POLL IS BEING RELEASED AUGUST 28TH, 2017 AT 7PM. CER WILL OFFER A SPECIAL REPORT ANALYSES AT THAT TIME.

IN THE MEANTIME, HERE ARE SOME OF OUR ANALYSES FROM YEARS PAST.


2013 – Poorly Designed Survey Misrepresents Public’s True Attitudes on Education Reform

Phi Delta Kappa International, in conjunction with Gallup released their 45th annual poll for 2013 on “The Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.”

For years now, conductors of the PDK-Gallup poll have asked respondents an array of misleading questions, giving a false perception of how Americans view the many dimensions of public education.

Whereas other polls and surveys conducted over CER’s 20-year history demonstrate overwhelmingly positive support for programs that provide parents more choice and ensure schools are held to higher standards, PDK-Gallup polls have typically demonstrated lower support thresholds for the same programs.

So it came as no surprise that the 2013 PDK-Gallup poll again featured poorly designed questions, leading to a misrepresentation of how the public feels about school choice, charter schools and other issues related to education reform.

68 percent of those sampled favored the concept of charter schools, but other polls show even higher rates of support when respondents are given a full and accurate definition of how charters actually work.

Conversely, the poll recorded low support for school vouchers, which was likely to happen when respondents were asked the poorly crafted question: “Do you favor or oppose allowing students and parents to choose a private school to attend at public expense?”

This supposed low support comes at a time when between 85-89% of black voters on recently released state polls overwhelmingly support school choice and why more states are answering the call for Parent Power through legislation.

As CER President Jeanne Allen pointed out in 2012, the phrase “at public expense” creates the illusion that parents seeking more and better opportunities for their children are not part of the “public.”

“Gallup asked if respondents favor parents being able to choose a private school ‘at public expense,’” Allen said.

“But parents who use scholarships to move a child from a public school (failing to meet their needs) to a private school (that will meet those needs) are certainly part of the ‘public!’ They are targeting funds designated to educate their child to a school that will actually do so.”

Here are a few highlights of CER’s Analysis of PDK from just this past decade:

2012 – CER analysis of PDK-Gallup poll:

https://edreform.com/2012/08/cer-president-jeanne-allen-released-the-following-analysis-of-todays-pdkgallup-poll/

2011 – PDK/Gallup Poll Call for Facts:

https://edreform.com/2012/01/2011-jeanne-allen-memo-pdk-gallup-poll/

2006 – CER WEIGHS IN ON PDK: WE’RE SORRY WHAT WAS THE QUESTION

https://edreform.com/2006/03/were-sorry-what-was-the-question/

2004 – PHI DELTA KAPPA/GALLUP ANNUAL EDUCATION POLL: SCHOOL CHOICE AGAIN FALLS VICTIM

https://edreform.com/edreform-university/resource/phi-delta-kappagallup-annual-education-poll-school-choice-again-falls-victim-2004/

2001 – ANTI-REFORM GROUP RELEASES ANNUAL EDUCATION POLL

https://edreform.com/edreform-university/resource/anti-reform-group-releases-annual-education-poll-2001/

Check out EdReform University’s library on Polls & Surveys for more information.

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