Reviews | Who is unhappy with schools? People without school-aged children.

nestled in an article from the New Yorker by Jill Lepore about the spate of school board wrangling over just about everything was one statistic that caught my eye. Despite all the ink that has been spilled lately on the clashes masking, critical race theory and which books to assign (or ban), American parents are generally satisfied with the education of their children. Lepore explains:

In “Making Up Our Mind: What School Choice Is Really About,” education experts Sigal R. Ben-Porath and Michael C. Johanek point out that about nine out of ten children in the United States attend public school and that the overwhelming majority of parents — about eight in 10 — are satisfied with their children’s school.

Although I’m pretty happy with my kids’ public school, I’m surrounded by parents who are mostly happy with their kids’ public schools, and when I was a kid I went to a public school where my parents were basically satisfied, I was still surprised that the number was so high.

I would have thought the latest parent satisfaction numbers might be lower because of all the pandemic chaos. Corn according to Gallup, which has tracked school satisfaction annually since 1999, in 2021, “73% of parents of school-aged children say they are satisfied with the quality of education their oldest child is receiving.” More parents were satisfied in 2021 than they were in 2013 and 2002, when satisfaction plunged into the 60s, and in 2019 we were at a high point of satisfaction – 82% – before the coronavirus pandemic. Covid does not deal a heavy blow to schools.

Digging deeper into Gallup’s numbers, it was revealed that people who seem to harbor negative feelings about American schools don’t have children attending them: overall, only 46% of Americans are satisfied schools. Democrats, “women, seniors, and low-income Americans are more likely than their counterparts to report being satisfied with K-12 education,” Gallup found. My guess is that it’s kind of like the Congressional adage: people tend to like their own reps (that’s why they fire them year after year) but tend to have a low opinion of Congress as a whole .

Survey conducted by the Charles Butt Foundation shows a similar dynamic in Texas, a state where the book bans were well publicized and an anti-criticism race theory bill was enacted in December. The third annual survey, which surveyed 1,154 Texas adults, found:

The proportion of public school parents giving their local public schools an A or B grade has risen 12 percentage points in two years to 68% in the latest statewide survey of public education. produced by the Charles Butt Foundation. In contrast to the increase among parents, there is a drop in school grades among those without a child currently enrolled in K-12 schools. Forty-eight percent of non-parents now give their local public schools A and B grades, up from 56 percent a year ago.

This does not mean that our education system, as a whole, works perfectly. He can improve in so many ways, especially by serving the students of the schools with higher poverty rates and those with physical disabilities and learning differences. But that means we have to take stories with a grain of salt when they portray the American education system as a fact-free zone, no longer focused on teaching the basics, that parents flee or should significantly or lastingly flee. . .

Reviews | Who is unhappy with schools? People without school-aged children.

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