Americans’ Trust in Teachers Has Declined, New Poll Finds

Americans’ trust in K-12 teachers is declining, according to an October poll from Ipsos. The survey found a drop of six percentage points since 2019, with 57% saying they trust teachers compared to 63% two years ago.

Chris Jackson, senior vice president and head of polling at Ipsos, blamed the political firestorm over COVID restrictions and Critical Race Theory.

“When you get that into the classroom, teachers end up bearing the brunt of it because they’re on the frontlines,” he told K-12 Dive. “When that happens, basically everybody loses.” 

Democrats are more likely to trust teachers than Republicans at 71% vs. 56%. However, Democrats experienced a larger six-point decline in confidence. In 2019, 77% of Democrats said they trusted teachers compared to 59% of Republicans. That suggests other factors, including months of school closures, have also played a role.

Overall, teaching remains a highly trusted profession. And trust among political independents has actually grown since 2019. Still, after the enormous challenges of the past two years, teachers are likely to find these numbers discouraging.