A closer view of the recent 2015 Parents Attitude Survey conducted by Education Post is incredibly instructive and quite surprising. Conventional wisdom, largely promoted by protectors of the status quo, tells us that parents are generally opposed to testing and accountability. The facts tell us that this is false.
Let's take a look at the major results of this survey.
While 87% of parents support giving teachers appropriate respect, support, and resources, 84% of parents want to remove ineffective teachers from the classroom.
Further, 75% of parents support holding teachers and principals more accountable for student achievement. And 59% of parents are willing to have hiring, firing, and tenure decisions based on a variety of metrics, including test scores.
68% of parents believe schools and teachers can overcome obstacles faced by our nation's most vulnerable children, so we should focus on improving schools serving students in poverty.
With the balance of parents saying they're not sure, 44% of parents believe standardized tests are positive, as against 30% who believe they're negative.
66% of parents believe either that standardized tests are not stressful for their children or that they are, but their children are able to manage the stress. 29% believe these tests put too much stress on their children.
65% of parents want tests to be used to identify students that need help, but only 36% of parents believe tests are being used for this purpose.
It's clear parents know the value of and support testing and accountability. But they want these tools to be used properly and effectively to improve student learning.
One has to wonder how much better off our students would be if educrats and their enablers would try to make accountability work better, as parents want, rather than spending hundreds of millions of dollars and vast amounts of energy trying instead to tarnish and kill it.