Parents Support School Choice

June 30, 2014

A national survey conducted by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice shows that Americans are generally pessimistic regarding the direction of public K-12 education, reports Education Next.  

According to the new education policy survey:

  • Six out of ten parents said that the education system is on the "wrong track."
  • Seventy-eight percent of Americans gave their local private schools a grade of "A" or "B," while just 45 percent gave their public schools an "A" or "B" grade.
  • Given the choice, 40 percent said that they would send their child to a private school, 37 percent to a public school and 10 percent to a charter school. Eleven percent preferred to homeschool.
  • Almost two-thirds of those surveyed supported the scholarship tax credit (STC) program and school vouchers. Support for both was even higher among low-income, black and Hispanic respondents.
  • Three out of four survey respondents rated the government's handling of K-12 education as "fair" or "poor," and only 22 percent rated it as 'good" or "excellent."

The survey also asked about Common Core. First, it described the standards: "The objective of the Common Core State Standards Initiative is to establish similar academic standards and comparable tests across all states for students in grades K-12. The standards were initially developed by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers. States and districts have adopted the common standards and tests in association with the U.S. Department of Education incentives. In general, do you favor or oppose the "Common Core"?"

The responses in the Friedman survey were more negative than responses towards Common Core have been in previous polls:

  • A WSJ/NBC poll that did not mention the government's involvement with Common Core found 59 percent supported Common Core while 31 percent opposed it.
  • But in the Friedman survey, support fell to 50 percent and opposition increased to 41 percent.
  • For parents of school-aged children, 49 percent opposed Common Core.

The survey is further evidence that parents want more educational choices for their children, not government mandates.

Source: Jason Bedrick, "Americans Want Choice, Not Government Mandates," Education Next, June 27, 2014.

 

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