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Friday, October 27, 2017

Students Need Skills, Not Standardized Tests

A new survey by Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International found that the American public wants schools to teach their children career skills and to limit standardized testing. A majority of Americans also oppose using public funds to send students to private schools.

According to the 2017 Poll of the Public’s AttitudeToward the Public Schools, 82% of respondents support job or career skill classes, even if it means spending less time on traditional academics. More than 85% said schools should offer certificate or licensing programs that help students land jobs after graduation, while 82% said technology and engineering classes should be part of the curriculum.

However, just 42% said standardized testing was important and 52% oppose school voucher programs. That figure rises to 61% when religious schools are mentioned.

“These and other results suggest that some of the most prominent ideas that dominate current policy debates—from supporting vouchers to emphasizing high-stakes tests—are out of step with parents’ main concerns,” said Joshua P. Starr, CEO of PDK International, which has conducted the survey since 1969. “They want their children prepared for life and career after they complete high school.”

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