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Posts Tagged ‘Gallup’

CTE Research Review

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Research Image_6.2013The 46th annual “2014 PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes toward the Public Schools” is being released in two parts this year, with part one debuting Wednesday. The findings present a complicated picture of public attitudes toward the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), standardized tests and issues surrounding local control. This year’s topics were selected by an expert panel that included NASDCTEc member Katherine Oliver, Assistant State Superintendent at the Maryland Department of Education.

Making headlines were results indicating that support for CCSS is fading fast. This may be tied to misunderstanding of its purpose, as the study found that most Americans oppose public education efforts that they believe were created or promoted by the federal government and strongly support local control of what schools teach. While CCSS is neither a federal initiative nor designed to mandate specific curricula, the poll indicates that many Americans see CCSS as an example of federal overreach. According to the poll 56 percent say local school boards should have the greatest influence in deciding what is taught in public schools. Almost 30 percent of respondents indicated that state governments should have the greatest influence on what public schools teach.

Persistent across age, income and education levels, a majority of Americans also oppose using the CCSS to guide instruction, though opinion splits by political affiliation — Republican (76 percent), Independents (60 percent) and Democrats (38 percent). Nationally, just one in three people said they favored the standards, primarily because they will help students learn what they need to know regardless of where they go to school.

Each year, the study asks the public to grade the President’s performance in support of public schools. This year, President Barack Obama received the lowest grade since becoming president in 2009. Underscoring the deep divides over education in the country, respondents equally gave the President an A or B (27 percent) or a Fail (27 percent).

The study’s co-author and CEO of PDK International, William J. Bushaw, said policy makers are often faced with a tough reality when public opinion and public policy conflict, with the question being whether to modify the policy to align with public opinion or launch a communications campaign to better explain the new policy.

“To address higher achievement and greater equity, the United States needs standards of excellence, and there is wide agreement that the Common Core State Standards offer these standards. In this case, modifying policy is not a solution,” Bushaw wrote. “… Working together, education professionals through their associations, along with business and political leaders can work together to mount a nonpartisan communications campaign explaining to Americans why the Common Core State Standards are essential to the nation’s future and to the success of all children. Public support for the standards is declining — we need to fight for these standards since we are losing in the court of public opinion.”

Check back on September 17 for the second part of the 2014 poll with topics such as preparing students for college and careers, importance and affordability of college, preparing and evaluating teachers, support for reforming America’s schools, and student well-being.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Research
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Visiting the ECS 2014 National Forum on Education Policy

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Yesterday, the Education Commission of the States wrapped up its national forum on education policy in Washington, DC, and I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days attending sessions and meeting educators and administrators from all over the country.

While there, I met Debra McDonald, the Ohio Teacher of the Year, who teaches CTE at the Wayne County Schools Career Center. She told me about graduating from the same career center’s early childhood education program and how happy she was to be able to come back as a teacher.

Despite the increasing momentum driving Career Technical Education nationally, this year’s forum only featured one session dedicated to CTE and another on dual enrollment that touched on aspects of the field.  Both sessions, however, were heavily attended.

Another standout from this year’s forum was the plenary session, “Public Perception and Education Policymaking” with Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education. His presentation was filled with results from the myriad surveys Gallup has conducted in recent years, and made an effective case for the value of education – in particular, CTE. It’s worth revisiting those surveys as we go out into our communities to make the case for CTE.

All presentations from the forum, including Brandon’s, can be found here.

By Andrea Zimmermann in Public Policy
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New Poll: Employers Value Skills & Knowledge Over Institutional Prestige

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

mapToday Gallup and the Lumina Foundation presented the findings of two polls gauging employer and the public’s perceptions of America’s higher education system. The results, presented this morning at Gallup’s D.C. headquarters, found that a vast majority of employers value occupationally relevant skills, technical competencies, and knowledge gained through a postsecondary education much more than where a student went to school or what their major was. In fact, only 9 percent of employers reported that a job candidate’s alma mater was “very important” for their hiring purposes and a mere 28 percent reported that a candidate’s major was a “very important” factor in their hiring decision. Tellingly, 84 percent of employers said that the amount of knowledge the candidate has in a particular field was “very important” and 79 percent responded to the poll saying that applied skills were of the same value.

Overall the two polls, conducted in late 2013, provide five main insights:

These results have come as a surprise to many. A panel discussion followed the release of these findings which provided a forum for how best to redesign America’s higher education system to respond to these findings. Among the many proposals offered, greater employer engagement and an increased role for community colleges emerged as two important pieces to solving what Gallup has now termed the “work preparation paradox.” Panelists argued that community colleges are an underutilized bridge between colleges, high schools and the world of work and should be used more to promote access to other forms of postsecondary education outside of a traditional four-year degree.  Other recommendations for better employer engagement included providing more experiential learning opportunities to students and also increasing the role employers have in faculty professional development.

The full survey with further analysis from Gallup and the Lumina Foundation can be found here.

Steve Voytek, Government Relations Associate 

By Steve Voytek in News, Public Policy
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Gallup and Harvard Education Leaders Join CTE Foundation Board of Directors

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Tim Hodges, Director of Research for Gallup’s Education Practice, and William (Bill) Symonds, Director of the Harvard Graduate School of Education Pathways to Prosperity Project, have joined the Board of Directors of the National Career Technical Education Foundation (NCTEF). Hodges and Symonds bring to NCTEF their reputable experience in and longstanding commitment to quality education.

Dean Folkers, NCTEF Deputy Executive Director, calls Hodges and Symons “visionary leaders who are committed to charting a new path for education in America” who will help NCTEF’s work in supporting and pursuing high-quality CTE.

Under NASDCTEc, NCTEF develops and funds activities and programs that are designed to improve CTE.  NCTEF has focused significant efforts in support of Career Clusters ™ projects and efforts to increase the visibility and advance quality of CTE. As public members of the Board of Directors these leaders will advise and influence the policy and direction of the work NCTEF supports in CTE and Career Clusters™

Hodges consults with K-12 school districts and higher education institutions to lead research projects in strengths development, employee selection and engagement, and wellbeing.   Hodges experienced formal CTE through marketing and agricultural programs, and served in leadership roles for Career Technical Student Organizations as well.

Symonds is the primary author of a groundbreaking report – Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century – which was released in February 2011.  Since, he has been invited to speak about the report in more than half the 50 states. The report analyzes the reasons America has failed to prepare so many of its youth to lead successful lives as adults, and notably suggests supporting high-quality, comprehensive pathways, such as those used in CTE, that will lead students to a certificate or a postsecondary credential.

Erin Uy, Communications & Marketing Manager

By Erin in NASDCTEc Announcements
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