A new poll from PDK/Gallup finds Americans want better prepared teachers in the classroom, and a majority of respondents believe that teachers should have to pass tough certification exams similar to doctors and lawyers. As Politico reports:
Seventy percent of respondents said new teachers should spend at least a year teaching under the guidance of a certified colleague. …The results come as the Obama administration plans to resurrect an effort to regulate teacher prep programs.
Other findings from the poll suggest that among the respondents:
- 60 percent favor more rigorous entrance requirements for teacher training programs
- 61 percent oppose using student results from standardized tests as part of teachers’ evaluations
- 82 percent believe teachers’ performance is important for determining their salaries and bonuses
- 94 percent believe documented ineffectiveness is important for teachers’ dismissal
These results indicate that Americans want better for their children, but it’s not at all clear that most favor more government involvement. Americans have apparently had enough with standardized testing dictated by Washington, D.C.—from the Bush-era No Child Left Behind mandates to the onerous burden of Common Core national standards.
More rigorous admissions and certification standards, dismissing ineffective teachers, and rewarding effective ones makes sense. How—and as important, who—should determine policies relating to those activities should remain at the local level and far away from D.C. politicians and special interests.