Poll: Majority of Americans Don’t Want Their Child to Become a Teacher

Politico Pro reports, more than half of Americans surveyed said they don’t want their child to become a public school teacher, citing concerns like poor pay and benefits.

That’s according to PDK Poll results released today. The poll on the public’s attitudes toward education has been conducted annually for a half-century and is sponsored by Phi Delta Kappa International, a professional association for educators.

A majority of respondents answered negatively about the profession for the first time in nearly 50 years that the question has been asked, PDK noted.

PDK surveyed a random national sample of 1,042 adults and an over-sample of 515 parents of school-age children in May 2018. Two-thirds of all respondents said teachers are underpaid — another record high for the survey — and about three-quarters said they’d support a strike for better pay.

Majorities of both political parties said they support teacher strikes for better pay, but Democrats were more likely to back a strike, with 87 percent saying they’d support one compared to 57 percent of Republicans.

Support for teacher strikes also fell along partisan lines in a separate but recent poll released by Education Next, a journal highlighting opinions and research on education reform. In that poll, two-thirds of Democrats said they support strikes, while just 38 percent of Republicans did.

PDK also queried Americans about school safety and released those results last month. Sixty-three percent of parents said they’re opposed to arming teachers and staff to bolster school safety — an idea the Trump administration backs. But parents are more likely to support arming educators if they’re required to log dozens of hours of rigorous training.

By Caitlin Emma