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Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: Gallop poll

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September 18, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Americans back teacher ‘bar’ exam, divided on school change

The question of how best to train, and evaluate, teachers has become a proverbial third rail in the politics of education.

Should their pay be linked to students’ academic performance? Their own advanced-level studies? Or to time on the job?

Answers to these questions have tended to electrify school-watchers of every political stripe. But Wednesday, Gallup released a new poll that shows a surprising degree of unanimity: 81 percent of respondents — Democrats, Republicans, Independents and public school parents  say they favor a national certification exam for teachers, similar to that required for doctors and lawyers.

(Such a standard  the National Board Certification — already exists, though it is voluntary and only 3 percent of teachers actually take it, Gallup reports.)

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