What Do Americans Think About the Nation’s Public Schools?
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Or is it? When it comes to our beliefs about how well our nation’s public schools are doing, the opposite seems to be true.
Every day, we’re hit with new stories that point out the failures of our public education system. People from all walks of life claim we’re suffering from a plague of bad teachers and call out for the need to impose more rigorous standards on educators – before they’re certified to teach and after they actually hit the classroom. Standards are being re-evaluated and replaced… with other standards. On one side of the street, the crowd is yelling that it’s a lack of funding which is holding our schools and students back. On the other side, there are protests that we’re already spending too much and not seeing any results.
Are our public schools really in that bad of shape?
In a recent Gallup Poll commissioned by Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK), when Americans were asked how they would grade the public schools in the nation as a whole, only 1% responded with an A rating. Although 47% of the poll takers did respond with a C rating, the combined total for A and B responses was only 19% while 30% gave the nation’s public schools a D or F.
Before reading on, stop for a moment and think about what grade you would have given our country’s public school system if you had taken part in the survey. Also, how would you grade just the schools in your community? Do you think your local schools should rank higher than the national average?