Pay Teacher More, But Don’t Give Them Tenure, Says New PDK Poll

PDK/Gallup Poll:

• A majority of Americans don’t support tenure for teachers: 59% of all Americans and 54% of public school parents oppose tenure. However, responses from black Americans differ: More blacks (47%) support rather than oppose tenure (32%). Republicans are less likely than Democrats to favor teacher tenure (15% versus 35%, respectively).

• 62% of public school parents said they trust and have confidence in the nation’s teachers. Republicans, however, are evenly split on the question, with 42% saying they do trust and have confidence in teachers, and 43% saying they do not.

• About half of U.S. adults said high-achieving high school students should be recruited to become teachers. But two in 10 Americans said they didn’t know what they believed on that question.

• About three-quarters of Americans said teachers should be required to pass board certifications in addition to earning a degree, a process that would be similar to professions like medicine and law.

• Teacher salaries in their community are too low, according to a majority of Americans. Republicans are less likely than Democrats to think these teacher salaries are too low (44% compared with 72%). No group said teacher salaries are too high.