Saturday, October 4, 2014

DPE Poll Reveals Wide Support for Public Schools - Criticism of "Reform"

For a while now, discussion of public education has deferred to the DFER's (Democrats for Education Reform) who have aligned themselves with corporate interests and business-model reforms like increased standardized testing and test-based teacher accountability. The DFER's are led by Ed Sec Arne Duncan - a school administrator who has no teaching credentials - and Bill Gates - a billionaire computer programmer who has no teaching credentials. Together, Duncan and Gates have enabled the views of the Chamber of Commerce to drive education reforms like Common Core and PARCC/SmarterBalanced Testing. All of this "reform" has been grounded in the belief that "public schools are failing" and "American students are falling behind the rest of the world."

But there is a new voice from the Democratic Caucus, supporting traditional public education.

The Democrats for Public Education (DPE) just released a poll showing "overwhelming support for public education." America schools are not failing, and the public does not blame union teachers and tenure for the problems that plague our poorest schools. In fact, most parents have very positive views of their schools, with 80% rating their kids' schools "good to excellent." This poll mirrors the standard disgruntled American habit of "hating Congress but loving our congressman." Interestingly, most Americans cite socio-economics as the primary cause of poor schools - either through inadequate funding or low parental involvement. Both ways are about a lack of money.

Other interesting results:

  • Only 3% of Americans blame education's problems on "bad teachers."
  • Nearly 60% believe there is "too much" standardized testing
  • Only 27% have a negative view of "tenure" and most support due process for teachers
  • Many Americans have little to no understanding of charter schools

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