WASHINGTON—Statement by AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools (www.pdkpoll.org):
"While our nation is divided on many issues, this poll makes clear that the American people are overwhelmingly united in trusting public school teachers, investing in our public schools, and making sure our nation's public school teachers are just as prepared for the classroom as doctors are for the operating room and lawyers are for the courtroom. And it's clear that the American people are more leery of our nation's infatuation with testing than the policymakers who require it.
"Instead of the incessant demonization, marginalization and shaming of teachers, school districts, administrators and elected officials should be partnering with teachers on ways to bolster teaching and learning. The American people are calling out for us to work together on what actually helps children learn and grow. The AFT is answering that call by advancing solution-driven unionism that unites those we represent and those we serve. And the AFT's Quality Education Agenda tracks the public's support for more rigorous preparation for prospective teachers, more comprehensive approaches to narrow the achievement gap, and greater community engagement to address all of the needs of all our students.