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What Americans have said

What teachers said: How do you assess school quality?

In addition to the traditional PDK poll of Americans, PDK convened online focus groups with public school parents and public school teachers, thanks to funding support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. These comments are drawn from those two groups.

A day in the life of the school is a better assessment. Walk into a classroom, view the learning, view the attention, view the teaching skills, then ask questions of the learners about what they like and dislike, ask from the bottom of the faculty all the way up to the top their likes and dislikes of the school.

Zach, 24, White high school teacher in suburban Pennsylvania

Report cards would be better if they had more information about how the student was doing socially and their overall growth towards proficiency, not just a grade based on grade-level proficiency.

Anna, 27, Black early elementary teacher in urban Minnesota

Standardized tests are bogus and pointless. They are brutally long, boring, not engaging. Students and proctors alike zone out. The questions aren't always fair, either.

Jennifer, 35, Hispanic kindergarten teacher in rural New Jersey

I’m not a huge fan (of state report cards). Measures like this are cheap, easy to communicate, and politically viable. But I don’t think they communicate nuance. They create a system where schools become dogmatic over a few variables that could be used to determine success.

Jed, 35, White middle school technology teacher in rural Washington

I would much rather meet with parents, but report cards are not all bad. They are good indicators of a child's academic standing in your classes.

Colleen, 41, Black high school teacher in suburban Georgia

I would prefer face-to-face meetings because I spend two to four hours on report cards anyway.

Andrea, 28, White middle school art teacher in urban Massachusetts

I would be very much in favor of face-to-face meetings.

Brian, 30, White high school teacher in suburban Texas

State exams are culturally biased, as some of these students have never experienced or can't relate to some of these questions.

Julio, 47, Hispanic upper elementary teacher in urban Arizona

I'd rather have a system where the curriculum, assignments, assessment data, etc., are posted online in a user-friendly system, and updated in real time to reflect current student data. I’d be open to meeting with parents in person as I know that’s important for a lot of folks.

Jed, 35, a White middle school technology teacher in rural Washington

School report cards are often misleading. For example, evaluating a wealthy suburban school and then applying the same criteria to a Title I school is completely illogical. Too many of these evaluation processes and standardized tests do not take into account the different learning circumstances of a diverse range of students.

Tim, 50, White middle school special education teacher in suburban Virginia

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