This year, as we developed our PDK Poll questions, protests at school board meetings were making headlines across the United States. Parents and activists were expressing their anger over COVID-19 policies, the availability of books they deemed inappropriate, the fear that critical race theory was infusing school curricula, and school policies and practices for addressing gender identities and sexualities. Of course, we know that the loudest voices are just that — the loudest voices. They do not necessarily represent the views of the wider community.
So, we wondered, how widespread is this anger and mistrust of public schools? This year’s PDK Poll attempts to look beyond the noise and find out what the public really thinks. And, by and large, the public gives high ratings to their local public schools and teachers. In fact, ratings for the public schools in their communities are at a five-decade high. And majorities of parents and nonparents alike trust the public school teachers in their communities overall.
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