Teachers Work to Maintain Momentum from Education Spring, Keep Schools’ Needs in Front of Voters


Earlier this week, Phi Delta Kappa released its annual poll of the public attitudes toward public schools. PDK’s new poll indicates that last spring’s walkouts by school teachers in six states—West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, North Carolina, Kentucky and Colorado—influenced public opinion.

Conducted in May, the poll uncovered unusual support for raising the salaries of teachers: “Among key findings in this report are the remarkable support for improving teacher salaries…. Two thirds of Americans say teacher pay in their community is too low; just 6% say it’s too high.  An overwhelming 73% say they would support teachers in their community if they went on strike for higher salaries, including about 6 in 10 Republicans.”  But fewer people say they would want their own children to become schoolteachers.

The CEO of PDK International, Joshua Starr thinks the poll reflects contradictory attitudes about public education: “On one hand, it’s the cornerstone of democracy…

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