Survey suggests Americans support teachers, but not online education

Survey respondents are more positive regarding their own kids’ schools than they have been in the past 36 years.

New poll results from Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup reveal that the American public has an overall positive outlook on its children’s schools, although poll respondents seem to oppose online learning.

While those surveyed overwhelmingly support access to the internet and technology in schools (61 percent said it is “very important” for public school students to have access at schools), 59 percent oppose having high school students attend school for fewer hours each week if they are using computer technology to learn at home.

Despite this finding, 74 percent of respondents said that public schools should invest more in computer technology for instructional purposes, although that number is down from 82 percent in 2000.

Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform, said the PDK/Gallup poll results are somewhat misleading, because of the lack of context that pollsters provide.

“The public allegedly supports more technology use in schools but opposes online learning,” said Allen. “In reality, the poll does little to define it, inferring that such a notion is about learning at home, rather than learning in a fully integrated online environment supported by professionals.”

Survey respondents are more positive regarding their own children’s schools than they have been in the past 36 years, with 79 percent giving an “A” or “B” rating to the school their oldest child attends. Teachers received similarly high marks, with 69 percent of survey respondents giving them “A” or “B” ratings, up from 50 percent in 1985.

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