From teacher strikes to how best teach reading, these stats tell us a great deal about what’s happening to and in our public schools…

  1. A recent PDK survey of 556 teachers found that 55% said they’d be willing to strike for better salaries, and even more said they’d walk off the job to secure more dollars for school programs.

    PDK also randomly selected 2,389 adults and found that 70% said they’d back a teacher strike for higher pay, while 80% said they’d support a strike to help teachers gain more influence over academic policies.

  2. According to the U.S. Department of Education, during the 2017-18 school year, 45% of schools employed police with 33% wearing wear body cameras; 90% carried some sort of firearm; 91% carried such restraints as handguns and stun guns.

    Also, 42% engaged in what’s known as “restorative justice” and other alternate forms of discipline to avoid suspensions and removal to detention facilities. While 90% report using “social-emotional practices.”

    Meanwhile, 71% of schools reported such violent incidents as fights, threats, possession of a sharp object, and theft. Plus, 21% reported serious violent incidents including rape, attacks using weapons, and robbery.

  3. In the Quality Counts 2019 annual report which pulls together 39 indicators that include school finance, academic achievement, and socioeconomic factors, New Jersey came in #1, beating out always top-ranked Massachusetts by just a few hundredths of a point. Also at the top, Connecticut, Maryland, and New Hampshire—all coming in at the “B” range.

    At the bottom and all in the “D” range: Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and, finally New Mexico,m while, overall, the country as a whole came in with a “C” grade.

  4. Just 12 states mandate teaching students about the Holocaust; Pennsylvania is not one of them. Writes the editor of the Norristown Times Herald, “It’s hard to say never again regarding the Holocaust if we don’t ensure our children understand what Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime did during World War II. Hitler was an elected official.”
  5. A recent PDK poll of 2,400 adults, plus an over-sample of 1,000 parents and 550 teachers, found that 70% think civics should be a graduation requirement. Plus, 77% said students should have the option to take a comparative religion class, while 58% said they should be able to study the Bible.
  6. When an Ed Pulse survey asked which literacy practices are the most effective in improving early readers’ reading skills, 47% said it’s having strong phonics instruction, 28% indicate exposing students to complex texts, not just those at “just right” reading levels Just 24$ said having a high-quality curriculum based on state standards and new research.

With my thanks, Carol