AFT on the PDK/Gallup Poll on Investing in Teachers

WASHINGTON—Statement by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, on the 2014 PDK/Gallup Poll on teacher preparation and training:

“This poll should be yet another wake-up call to policymakers, who for too long have ignored the sentiments of parents and teachers on what it takes to meet students’ needs.
“We entrust teachers with great responsibility yet there’s schizophrenia in the treatment of the teaching profession. We recognize teachers’ importance in preparing students for college, career, life and citizenship, yet we don’t provide teachers with appropriate preparation and we ask them to do their jobs with less trust, less latitude and less support.

“This poll reaffirms what I have seen in my visits to schools and communities across the country: Parents trust teachers and want more investment in preparing and assisting teachers, yet those who make policy are not listening. They are starving schools of critical funding and pushing market-based, test-driven policies that create a system of winners and losers and ultimately fail our kids.

“The public’s frustration with testing has reached critical mass. Parents want data about how their kids are doing and educators and kids want feedback, but more and more those closest to the schools are fed up with standardized tests driving every decision affecting students and teachers. The poll numbers reflect the need for a new accountability system based on multiple and meaningful measures of student learning and teacher practice, and a rigorous teacher preparation program focused on the real world of teaching, which the AFT has been promoting for more than a decade.”