AASA Statement on the 2013 PDK/Gallup Poll
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Alexandria, Va. – Aug. 21, 2013 – Daniel A. Domenech, the executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement today upon the release of the 2013 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools:
“According to the poll, there is significant lack of knowledge across the country when it comes to the Common Core State Standards. Nearly two of three surveyed have ‘never heard’ of the Common Core while a majority of those who say they’re familiar with CCSS, ‘neither understand it nor embrace it.’
“These findings suggest that school systems are not ready to implement this initiative. While the intentions of the Common Core are well founded, our districts need time to adequately address data collection issues, build the essential technology infrastructure, evaluate teachers’ use of the new standards and, as the survey illustrates, educate the community about them.
“AASA’s latest economic survey, released just last week, told us that schools are having to cut instructional staff, reduce professional development, increase class size and defer technology purchases as a result of the sour economy. Yes, we need a new set of national standards and assessments to raise the bar for public education but are America’s 13,000 school districts ready to move forward when adequate resources are woefully low?
“Today’s announcement suggests we need to be patient if we’re going to be successful in the end.
“The PDK/Gallup poll also shows that a majority of Americans feel that testing either hurt or made no difference in student performance in schools. This finding does not surprise me. Standardized tests currently in place do not measure independent thinking or creativity. They measure cognitive skills at the lowest levels — recall and knowledge. Teaching-to-the-test is leading to a loss of emphasis on subject areas that are not tested. Testing is a key component of the educational process but we must separate testing for the sake of informing instruction from testing purely for accountability purposes.”
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org. Follow AASA on Twitter at @AASAHQ or on Facebook. Information on AASA Children’s Programs on Twitter @AASATotalChild.