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About 82 percent of people surveyed say that it is important for high schools students to develop interpersonal skills, be cooperative and respectful of others and 42 percent said standardized tests were a “highly important” indicator of school quality, according to a national poll.

Those were some of the finding of the 2017 PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. A total of 1,558 people were surveyed across all 50 states.

Other findings were: 82 percent of people supported focusing on building students’ job or career skills even at the expense of traditional academic subjects; 86 percent said schools should offer licensing programs and; 80 percent said technology and engineering classes were a very important element of school quality.

An interesting finding was that people were likely to value their local school but be more critical of public schools nationally. Forty-nine percent of people surveyed rated their local school as “A” or “B.” However, only 24 percent of those surveyed rated public schools nationally as “A” or “B.”

PDK also polled New Yorkers and broke out the results. Fifty percent of those surveyed gave their local public schools the top two grades compared with 27 percent.

Seventy-two percent of New Yorkers surveyed said they expect their children will go to college compared with 61 percent nationally.

A total of 51 percent of New Yorkers oppose vouchers to allow students to go to private schools compared with 42 percent who support them.

Another interesting tidbit is that despite all the hoopla over standardized tests, 24 percent of New York parents surveyed said they believe the state tests accurately measure how well their child is learning compared with 19 percent nationally.

To read more about the report, visit



Reporter for The Post-Star, covering the city of Glens Falls, town and village of Lake George and northern Warren County communities.

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