Recent Gallup Poll on Teacher Perceptions

In an “Update” published by the Gallup public opinion polling company titled “Teachers Favor Common Core Standards, Not the Testing,” some interesting data can be found regarding current teachers’ perceptions about some currently hot reform topics in education. These Gallup data include, as pertinent here, self-report data on how teachers feel about using students’ test scores to hold them accountable.

Here are what I see as the most interesting findings, again as pertinent here. For more information, however, do click here.

  • 76% of America’s public school teachers “reacted positively” to the primary goal of the Common Core State Standards (i.e., to have all states use the same set of academic standards for reading, writing and math in grades K-12).
  • 9% of America’s public school teachers were in favor of linking students’ test scores to teacher evaluations.
  • 89% of America’s public school teachers viewed linking students’ test scores to teacher evaluations negatively, and 2% reported having “no opinion” on the matter.
  • 78% of America’s public school teachers agreed that the tests to be used in general and also to hold them accountable for their effectiveness (e.g., using VAMs) take too much time away from teaching.

As one teacher who helped Gallup to interpret these findings put it: “The [Common Core] standards were positive until standardized testing was involved.”

As for linking students’ test scores to teacher performance, another teacher elaborated on this by stating, “Student populations are not spread evenly among teachers. Some students will have learning disabilities and some will have familial and environmental factors that do not allow them to progress at the same rate as others. If I have to be so concerned about a test score, I cannot address the needs of individual students.” And a Texas high school teacher concludes, “We must have different yardsticks for different student circumstances so teachers can focus on individual student growth.”

The teachers who participated in this survey research study included a random sample of 854 public K-12 school teachers, aged 18 and older, with Internet access, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

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