Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Public Schools: Fantasy vs. Reality

Once again we get a chance to see that, in fact, America's public schools are not so bad after all. Every year the PDK/Gallup poll of attitudes toward public schools reveals the big disconnect between fantasy (public schools are bad) and reality (public schools are good).

If you ask Americans what grade they would give the nation's public schools in general, 77 percent say they would give them a C, D, or F. But if you ask Americans what grade they would give public schools in their community, a much smaller 48 percent would give them a mediocre or failing grade. And if you ask people who really know what public schools are like--parents with children in public school--the percentage who would give their local school a grade of C, D, or F falls to just 22 percent.

Bottom line: the 77 percent majority of the people who actually know what they're talking about would give the public school their oldest child attends a grade of A or B. This figure is not only impressively high, but is up from 64 percent two decades ago. The next time you hear someone carrying on about the poor quality of the nation's public schools, keep this in mind.

Source: PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes toward the Public Schools 

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