Public School Principals Are Trusted by Public More Than Other Professions

The public has the most confidence in the way K12 public school principals, military leaders and police officers operate when it comes to caring about people, providing fair and accurate information to the public, and handling resources responsibly, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Some 84% of Americans think principals care about the students they serve “some of the time” or “all or most of the time”; 79% think police officers care about them at that level of frequency; and 73% have the same level of confidence in military leaders.

The public places somewhat lowerbut still relatively highlevels of confidence in religious leaders, journalists and local elected officials.

The survey states, "notable shares of the public give people in powerful jobs low ratings when it comes to behaving ethically, dealing with ethical problems in their ranks and admitting mistakes. Half or more of Americans think these influential people act unethically at least some of the time, ranging from 50% who believe this about military leaders to 81% who feel members of Congress act unethically 'some,' or 'all or most of the time.' Additionally, 77% believe this about the leaders of technology companies, and 69% think this about religious leaders."

"At the same time, a third or more of Americans think that unethical behavior is treated relatively lightlythat is to say, wrongdoers face serious consequences only a little of the time or less often," survey results found. "Indeed, majorities believe that members of Congress (79%), local elected officials (57%), leaders of technology companies (55%) and journalists (54%) admit mistakes and take responsibility for them only a little of the time or none of the time. Some 49% say the same of religious leaders."

Americans have the most confidence in K-12 principals, police and military leaders, and least confidence in members of Congress and tech leaders