Survey: Parents Remain Fiercely Loyal To Public Schools

Rob Shimshock | Education Reporter

Despite private schools making a surge in the U.S., a majority of parents remain loyal to public schools, particularly those that their own children attend, according to a survey released Monday.

Americans expressed their opinions regarding public versus private schools, as well as funding dedicated to the latter institutions in the 2017 PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.

More than six in 10 public school parents that responded to the survey rated public schools in their neighborhoods with an “A” or “B,” while only 45 percent of non-parents did the same. When rating their own child’s school, 71 percent of public school parents scored it “A” or “B.”

Just over half of Americans surveyed disagreed with using public funds for private education, and only 42 percent of adults indicated that standardized test performance was extremely/very important when evaluating school quality.

“These and other results suggest that some of the most prominent ideas that dominate current policy debates — from supporting vouchers to emphasizing high-stakes tests — are out of step with parents’ main concern: They want their children prepared for life and career after they complete high school,” said Joshua Starr, who heads the company that commissioned the poll, in a press release obtained by The Washington Post.

Interpersonal skills, technology and engineering classes, and advanced academic classes ranked the highest among desired aspects of school quality, with 82 percent of survey respondents indicating that they found the former two elements extremely/very important and 76 percent of respondents pointing to advanced academic classes as being extremely significant in determining school quality.

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