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September 3, 2014

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Nevadans are least likely in U.S. to say teachers are well-respected

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Paul Takahashi

Ronzone Elementary School teacher Billie Ann Watanabe teaches a lesson in a portable classroom, one of 20 on the central Las Vegas Valley campus. Across the Clark County School District, there are more than 1,200 portable classrooms serving about a fifth of all elementary school children.

Nevada has a relatively low percentage of residents who say their teachers are well-respected, according to a Gallup poll released today.

The public opinion company conducted telephone surveys with at least 600 adults in every state between June and December 2013, asking them whether they believed teachers in their city are well-respected.

The majority of Nevadans — 62 percent — said they believe their teachers are well-respected. However, that percentage was the lowest in the nation.

The Silver State was joined by Louisiana (63 percent), New Mexico (65 percent), North Carolina (66 percent) and Mississippi (67 percent).

Wyoming had the highest share of residents nationally who believe their teachers are well-respected: 89 percent.

Wyoming was followed by North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa (87 percent); Montana and Alaska (86 percent), Kansas (85 percent) and South Dakota and Maine (84 percent).

Gallup researchers found that states where residents are most likely to say teachers are well-respected tended to have higher opinions of their public school systems, better economies and higher school funding levels.

Researchers also found that states where residents are least likely to say teachers are well-respected tended to have lower opinions of their public school systems, worse economies and lower school funding levels.

Earlier this week, Gallup found that Nevada has the second lowest share of residents nationally who have a positive opinion about their public schools. Less than half of Nevadans — 42 percent — believe the quality of their K-12 education system is “excellent” or “good.”

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