New Your State School Boards Association

Poll: School board members favor Obama’s education reforms

by Brian Butry

FOR RELEASE:  March 25, 2009

CONTACT: David Albert
 (518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell

School board members are lining up behind key provisions of President Barack Obama’s call for improving the nation’s education system, according to the most recent “Pulse Poll” from the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA).

Nearly seven in 10 board members polled said they supported a longer school year and national standards. Of the 534 respondents, 69 percent said they supported the president’s call for a longer school year and 66 percent of respondents said they were behind the Obama administration’s push for national standards.

“School board members know our children are no longer competing solely against one another or students from other states,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “Today our students are being measured against their counterparts in Japan, China, India and Europe. Supporting national standards is one way to ensure our students are on the same playing field as those around the globe.”

On March 10, President Obama proposed five areas of reform: investing in early childhood initiatives, encouraging better standards and assessments, recruiting and rewarding outstanding teachers, supporting charter schools and providing Americans with access to higher education.

Kremer said board members realize that along with federal education standards, a longer school year may be necessary to compete with other nations.

“American students typically receive 180 days worth of instruction in a given year,” said Kremer. “This pales in comparison to how long students in other countries spend in the classroom. Simply put, if we expect our children to compete for jobs and help the United States remain prosperous, we need them to spend more time learning.”

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