PAA founding member Helen Gym on PDK/Gallup poll parent results

PAA founding member Helen Gym, of Philadelphia’s Parents United for Public Education, was an analyst and commenter for the newest Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll showing some of the strongest public support in decades for public schools and teachers while rejecting many of the current education reform practices like high stakes testing, vouchers, and de-funding of schools.
Helen’s comments, to be found on p. 23 of the PDK/Gallup poll report, are as follows:
As a public school parent in Philadelphia, I’m not surprised the 2013 PDK/Gallup poll on education indicates a significant gap between parents and education policy makers. Overwhelmingly, parents give high marks to the schools their children attend; 71% give them an A or B, the highest percentage in 20 years. We don’t fear for our child’s physical safety in school. We want to see our children progress at an individualized pace, we value extracurricular activities, and we believe the biggest problem facing public schools is financial support.
But contrast these beliefs with education policies that are stripping away art and science education, extracurricular activities, and critical supports like librarians, counselors, and aides. Our national agenda endorses homogenized, test-driven curricula, limiting teachers’ collective bargaining rights, and misplaced fearmongering about safety in schools. Parents said they are more concerned about the actions of other students (80%) than armed intruders (14%). Parents’ top priority for securing schools calls for more mental health services. But where is that reflected in the agenda of our legislators?
Parents overwhelmingly believe in public schools. We want financial support and smaller class sizes. We want a focus on teaching and learning, not just test scores. Since education policy  makers say parent support is a top indicator of school success, they would do well to act on what parents are saying.
Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Misc

Comments are closed.