Press Release

AFT’s Weingarten Responds to Latest PDK Poll Showing Broad Public Support of America’s Public Schools

Public gives highest ratings in five decades to their local public schools

For Release:


Sarah Hager Mosby

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement in response to the results of the 54th annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, which demonstrates broad support for public schools and trust in their community’s public school teachers.

“This year’s PDK poll results confirm what we hear as we visit communities in every corner of this country: Parents trust their children’s public school teachers and support their local public schools. It is yet another fact from people on the ground, as compared with the smears and propaganda that some politicians traffic in. We know what’s true: When educators and school staff and parents and caregivers work together, we have a better chance to meet the needs of kids—to get back to the basics and help them find some joy in learning and develop important life skills in the process. And it is encouraging that parents support teachers in teaching civics and honest history, so young people can reckon with our past, understand our present and create a better future.

“The poll also both underscores educators’ commitment to their students and highlights the real challenges we’re facing as a profession, including staff shortages, a lack of respect for the profession, ongoing concerns about safety, and educator diversity. We’re rolling up our sleeves to deliver on the promise of our public schools, making them safe, welcoming places where parents want to send their kids, educators want to work, and students can truly succeed.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.