Reston, VA—NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti issued the following statement on the release of the 2019 Phi Delta Kappa Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools:

“We are in a full-blown crisis, and it’s only getting worse. Half of teachers are seriously considering leaving the profession. They’re telling their own kids that an education profession promises only long hours in the context of a perpetual budget crisis and the need for a side hustle to make ends meet, and that they’ll be vilified as part of the problem. Those conditions aren’t corrected by the occasional Starbucks card on Teacher Appreciation Day. Our nation needs serious financial and social investments to build professional regard for educators and to make education a profession of choice. Not surprisingly, this same reality is reflected in the principal ranks. NASSP, in cooperation with the Learning Policy Institute, is in the middle of an intensive study of principal attrition. Preliminary results indicate 35 percent of principals don’t make it past year three of their tenure for many of the same reasons teachers cite.

“In addition, the American public is responding to a real problem of inconsistent discipline in schools. With minority students suffering the brunt of that inconsistency, it shouldn’t surprise us that black respondents are far more sensitive to it. It’s why NASSP was so vocal in its support for the Obama-era guidance that encouraged school leaders to examine their data, identify their own blind spots, and employ more restorative practices in place of suspension and expulsion—efforts for which there is broad public support, according to the poll. Secretary DeVos set those efforts back by withdrawing the guidance, but NASSP and other civil rights organizations will continue to promote them in practice.”


The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.