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Teachers Get High Marks from Parents

One priority parents mentioned in the education poll is the need to close the digital divide, to ensure students have access to computers and the internet. (shangarey/Adobe Stock)
One priority parents mentioned in the education poll is the need to close the digital divide, to ensure students have access to computers and the internet. (shangarey/Adobe Stock)
May 6, 2020

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- This is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and a new poll shows overwhelming approval of the way teachers, principals and school staff members are handling the pandemic.

With schools closed by the COVID-19 crisis, educators have adapted by teaching from a distance, preparing grab-and-go meals for students and finding ways to keep families connected to schools.

Rich Askey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, said an 88% teacher approval rating shows parents really value their public schools.

"It's demonstrated by how much parents are partnering with the teachers and helping with the learning," he said. "So, it's a group effort to make sure our kids are as successful as possible."

The poll, conducted by the National Education Association, showed high levels of support across party lines, among both men and women and in every region of the country. Askey notes that teachers aren't the only public-school professionals receiving high marks from parents.

"Eighty-four percent approve of their children's school principals, and 81% approve of the school support staff, such as bus drivers or cafeteria workers," he said. "This is a real community that's coming together to face this crisis."

When asked about other concerns, more than 80% of parents said keeping their children's education on track was second only to the health of their family and friends.

Teacher Appreciation Week has been celebrated every year since 1953. Askey says it's important to acknowledge that even now, during a global health crisis, Pennsylvania educators always put their students first.

"Teacher Appreciation Week gives us all a great opportunity to thank our educators for stepping up in this pandemic," he said, "and for what they do all year 'round, to make sure that our kids succeed."

The poll results are online at nea.org.

Disclosure: Pennsylvania State Education Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Early Childhood Education, Education, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA