Americans Agree: Public Schools Need More Funding, Less Testing

For anyone fighting for fair and adequate school funding, take heart: Americans across the political spectrum agree that lack of financial support is the biggest challenge facing our public schools.  

The annual PDK/Gallup poll was released this week, giving advocates and organizers an important glimpse of public opinion on major education issues. Americans' top concerns are lack of resources, too much standardized testing and overall discontent with the direction of federal education policy. 

36 percent of public school parents cited lack of resources as the biggest challenge, compared to just 10 percent who said "difficulty getting good teachers," and 9 percent each for "concerns about education standards" and "lack of discipline/use of drugs/fighting & gangs." Importantly, both Democrats and Republicans prioritized school funding over these other issues. 

Americans generally like their local public schools, giving them a B grade on average. They had less faith in public schools nationwide, with over half giving the nation's schools a C. The survey respondents also worry about what's going on inside their local schools: 60 percent oppose the use of Common Core State Standards and 54 percent say standardized tests aren't helpful. 

The poll also found that Americans are split when it comes to the direction of the federal government's education policies. 39 percent of respondents gave President Obama a C grade on education issues, and 27 percent gave him an F. 56 percent of Americans feel that local school boards, rather than state or federal governments, should have the most influence on what schools teach. 

Check out the full survey (complete with interactive graphics) here.