Americans Turn Thumbs-Down on Teaching Careers for Kids

  A 2020 piece by Allison Sadler in The New York Post listed Parents’ Career Wishes for Their Children:

  1. STEM: 39%
  2. Healthcare & Wellness: 33%
  3. Food: 26%
  4. Environment: 24%
  5. Accounting & Finance: 23%
  6. Business & Sales: 22%
  7. Construction: 21%
  8. Sport: 21%
  9. Agriculture: 20%
  10. Education: 20%

Yup! Education came in at #10.

And now, two years later, comes PDK International’s 2022 Public Attitudes Toward Public Schools, a poll of 1,008 American adults. The most notable finding: When asked if they want their child to be a teacher, 62% said NO! And that happens to be the highest number of folks going thumbs down on teaching careers for young people in the poll’s history.


  • 30% said poor pay and benefits.
  • 26% said the difficulties, demands, and stress of the job.
  • 23% cited a lack of respect.
  • 2% had other reasons.


** 54% gave their community schools and “A” or B.”
** 45% gave them a “C” or “D” or a “Fail.”


** 63% said they have “a good deal or good amount” of overall trust and confidence in their community teachers.


** 56% trust/have confidence in teachers “to appropriately handle” U.S. history.

** 50% said they have trust/confidence in teachers when it comes to teaching civics.

** 44% trust teachers to handle “how the history of racism” affects America today.

** 38% trust teachers to handle gender/sexuality issues.

Nevertheless, the article ends with this quote from Teresa Preston, director of publications at PDK International: “I think that’s very good news for education and for our schools.”

I’m just not so sure about that…

With my thanks and good 2022-23 school year wishes, Carol