50 Years of American Voices

2007

Author:
Lowell C. Rose and Alec M. Gallup

The 39th Annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools

“The growing disapproval of NCLB reflects the law’s failure to fulfill the public’s desire to improve achievement for all students. Schools have the chance to fill this void by embracing NCLB’s goals and continuing the effort to bring them to reality.

“The flawed strategies used in determining adequate yearly progress (AYP) are causing NCLB to lose favor.

“The public is growing disenchanted with the increased amount of standardized testing. This poses a challenge for school people who need to gear instruction to standards and individualize instruction as much as possible; some additional testing is required for both accountability and diagnostic purposes.”

What was happening in American education?

2007: The Utah legislature passed legislation creating the first statewide universal school voucher program, meaning it was available to any student in the state with no limitations on student eligibility. A petition effort successfully placed the legislation on the state ballot for voter approval. In November 2007, the ballot measure was rejected, and the new voucher program was never implemented. Utah’s existing special needs voucher program was not affected by the vote.

March 2007: Immigration accounts for virtually all of the national increase in public school enrollment over the last two decades. In 2007, there are 10.8 million school-age children from immigrant families in the United States.

What else was happening in the United States?

March 2007: The number of immigrants (legal and undocumented) in the United States reached a record high of 37.9 million in 2007, according to the Census Bureau. Overall, nearly 1 in 3 immigrants are undocumented.

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds up an iPhone at the MacWorld Conference in San Francisco on Jan. 9, 2007. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

April 16, 2007: A lone gunman shoots and kills 32 students and professors at Virginia Tech University before taking his own life.

June 29, 2007: The iPhone goes on sale and sells 270,000 during the first weekend.

July 21, 2007: The final book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is released.

December 2007: The subprime mortgage crisis begins as home prices drop and mortgage-backed securities fail. The U.S. economy officially begins the longest, deepest recession since the Great Depression.

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A foreclosure sign tops a sale sign outside an existing home on the market in northwest Denver in this Aug. 29, 2007, photo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


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We welcome your conversation about the poll results and the other information we’ve assembled here. What did we forget? What do you remember about this year? How do you think the events of this year influenced the responses to our questions?