Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The American Public -- More Informed About NCLB and More Skeptical of Its Strategies; Press Conference Aug. 23 -

8/23/2005 10:01:00 AM

To: National and Assignment Desks, Education Reporter

Contact: Dr. Lowell Rose, 812-320-1835 or, or Molly Andres, 800-766-1156 ext. 2254 or

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A nationwide survey released today reports that an increasing number of Americans say they know a fair amount about the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. But the more they know about it, the less they like it. According to the 37th Annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, the public likes NCLB's goals but rejects the strategies used to implement those goals. The concern rises to the level where, if a large number of schools fail to make the mandated adequate yearly progress, the public is at least as likely to blame the law as it is to blame the school....

<>...When asked about ways to improve the public schools, the public consistently prefers change that comes through the existing school system as compared to seeking an alternative system. The public continues to oppose attendance at private schools at public expense and, while about half support the concept of charter schools, 65 percent stipulate that they not be created at the expense of the regular public schools, and 80 percent think that they should be held accountable in the same way as other schools.

The poll also finds that the public supports the use of growth assessments, believing that schools should be judged on how much students improve in a given year, not on the percentage of students passing the state-mandated test.

Another message for policy makers to heed is that the public makes a distinction between the "nation's schools" and "schools in the community," giving low grades to the former and higher grades to the latter. The strongest support comes from the 69 percent of parents who give an A or a B to the schools their own children attend.

A full report appears in the September 2005 issue of the Phi Delta Kappan and is also available at Contact Dr. Lowell Rose, PDK Poll Director (, 812-320-1835) or Molly Andres, PDK Marketing Director (, 800-766-1156 ext. 2254) for additional information.

More good news!

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