Despite a very vocal minority, the vast majority of the U.S. believes that teachers have done a great job during the pandemic, according to Justin Reich, director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab.

He shared this conclusion based on poll after poll that found public satisfaction with schools regardless of who is conducting the survey. An NPR poll recently found that “by wide margins – and regardless of their political affiliation – parents express satisfaction with their children’s schools and what is being taught in them.” The survey found that 88% of respondents agree “my child’s teacher(s) have done the best they could, given the circumstances around the pandemic.” And 82% agree “my child’s school has handled the pandemic well.”

There is even often majority agreement on topics such as required masking in schools or other COVID mitigation efforts, according to a report by Tech & Learning. A National Parents Union survey conducted in January asked parents how they felt their school had handled the Omicron surge and more than 70% of respondents said they had handled it well.

According to Reich, no matter how the question was asked, supermajorities of Americans are satisfied or very satisfied with their local public school and their teachers.

Despite clear support for teachers and schools in polls, if you scroll through Twitter or consume only right- or left-wing leaning media, you might come away believing that faith in schools is at an all-time low. This inaccurate impression likely arises for a couple of reasons, according to Reich.

There’s a disconnect between the way many people view the work their local public school is doing and education as a whole. And second, the Republican party that has latched on to some disaffection with school, Reich says. This helps create an imbalance in which those critical of schools are far louder than the supporters.

Reich believes more can be done to let teachers know that their communities are behind them. He frequently tweets pro-teacher polling numbers and thinks educators should be made more aware. He also believes the public can do more to show its support – like volunteering in schools and attending board meetings to voice their support.