Americans' Commitment to Quality Teaching in Public Schools

Jennifer Leischer

The Teaching Commission
April 2005

The latest Teaching Commission poll takes the temperature of both the general public and teachers with regard to its primary concerns: boosting and changing teacher compensation, raising standards and increasing accountability, and improving professional development and training. Overall, the poll finds broad public support for such initiatives, including a compensation system that provides "larger increases for teachers who improve student achievement, raise teaching standards, and increase accountability for teachers." However, only 16 percent of adults identify teacher quality as a main problem facing public schools, and in their own schools, 64 percent rate the quality of teachers as "excellent or good," a figure at odds with well-known data on out-of-field teaching and related matters. The survey captures the great challenge facing education reformers: many folks agree that those schools need improvement while insisting that my school is doing just fine. To read the complete findings, click here.