Despite the tall tales told by some about parents opting their children out of standardized tests en masse and folks marching by the millions against “high-stakes tests,” it appears that the average American parent is just fine with the amount of summative tests given to their sons and daughters.
- 61% of parents think their children “take an appropriate number of tests,” compared to 26% who think there are too many
- 72% want to make it easier to fire teachers who aren’t performing (with 56% saying classroom observation should be part of teacher evals)
- 75% believe standardized tests are a solid measure of student abilities, with 69% saying it is a good measure of schools’ quality
- 93% say standardized tests should be used to identify where students need extra help
And interestingly, for all of our hand-wringing over Common Core State Standards, more than half of parents say they have heard little or nothing about CCSS. When told about what CCSS was, half said it would improve things, 27% said it would have no effect, and only 11% said it would make things worse.
Such findings definitely don’t align with the tales being spun about the state of public education and our growing resistance to testing and CCSS, for instance. But then feeling fine about the current state of assessment just doesn’t make for a good story line or dozens of angry posters to a blog.
On Wednesday, PDK and Gallup will release their annual survey on public attitudes toward public education. Let’s see if they match up, or if we are telling AP one thing and PDK another.