NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

School Moms Not Happy with U.S. Public Education System

May 14, 2013

U.S. education has become less and less competitive with the rest of the world, and U.S. citizens are beginning to realize the inadequacies of American education. In fact, 61 percent of K-12 school moms believe that U.S. public schools have "gotten off on the wrong track," says Paul DiPerna, research director at the Freidman Foundation for Educational Choice.

U.S. school moms not only believe that education has gotten off on the wrong track, but believe that the government has acted poorly in handling educational matters.

  • Only 26 percent of Americans feel that K-12 education is going in the right direction.
  • When asked to "rate the federal government's handling of matters in K-12 education," about four out of five school moms (79 percent) say "fair" or "poor."

Based on this information, it is clear that the general consensus of school moms is that the U.S. education system is failing to live up to the expectations of mothers. The dim view of government-provided K-12 education is not exclusive to mothers -- nearly three quarters of all Americans surveyed, regardless of whether they have children, view it as being fair or poor.

  • Just 15 percent of middle-income Americans give the federal government a "good" or "excellent" rating, which is lower than low-income adults (24 percent). No more than one-quarter are positive within any of the three observed income groups (low, middle, high).
  • Young adults (27 percent) are more favorable toward the federal government than middle-age (18 percent) and older adults (15 percent). Young adults are also significantly less likely to express negative responses, though more than six of 10 give negative ratings.

Based on open-ended survey responses, neither school moms nor non-parents know how much is spent per student in America's public schools. There is pervasive low awareness about public spending on K-12 education among American adults in all observed demographics. Seven out of 10 Americans (70 percent) either underestimate educational spending per student, or they cannot give an answer or even guess.

Source: Paul DiPerna, "Schooling In America Survey," Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, May 8, 2013.


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