5th Annual PEPG/EdNext Survey: Readers Weigh In

The fifth annual survey conducted by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and Education Next magazine on a wide range of education policy issues uncovered growing divisions between teachers and the general public.

Education Next readers took the survey. See if their responses resemble those of the general public below.

Teacher Salaries Question: According to the most recent information available, teachers in the United States are paid an average annual salary of $54,819.

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Official Survey Results:

Teacher Salaries

Teacher Benefits Question: Some argue that teachers around the nation should be required to pay from their salaries 20 percent of the cost of their health care and pension benefits, with the government covering the remainder.

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Official Survey Results:

Teacher Benefits

Teacher Tenure Question: Teachers with tenure cannot be dismissed unless a school district follows detailed procedures. Some say that tenure protects teachers from being fired for arbitrary reasons. Others say that it makes it too difficult to replace ineffective teachers. We want to know what you think of tenure.

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Official Survey Results:

Teacher Tenure

Merit Pay Question:

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Official Survey Results:

Merit Pay

Teachers Unions Question: Some people say that teacher unions are a stumbling block to school reform. Others say that unions fight for better schools and better teachers. What do you think?

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Official Survey Results:

Teachers Unions

Vouchers Question: A proposal has been made that would use government funds to help pay the tuition of low-income students whose families would like them to attend private schools.

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Official Survey Results:


Charter Schools Question: As you may know, many states permit the formation of charter schools, which are publicly funded but are not managed by the local school board. These schools are expected to meet promised objectives, but are exempt from many state regulations.

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Official Survey Results:

Charter Schools

Digital Learning Question: Another proposal has been made to allow high school students across the country to receive credit for state-approved courses taken over the internet.

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Official Survey Results:

Digital Learning

Common Standards Question: For holding schools accountable, should all state governments adopt the same set of educational standards and give the same tests in math, science and reading?

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Official Survey Results:

Common Standards

Testing and Accountability Question: Some have proposed that the federal government continue to require that all students be tested in math and reading each year in grades 3-8 and once in high school.

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Official Survey Results:

Testing and Accountability

School Spending Question:

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Official Survey Results:

School Spending

Class Size Reduction Question: Reducing average class sizes by 3 students would cost roughly the same amount as increasing teacher salaries by $10,000.

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Official Survey Results:

Class Size Reduction

Economic Integration Question: Should school districts across the country take the family income of students into account when assigning students to schools

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Official Survey Results:

Economic Integration

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