The latest Gallup poll shows Americans rank homeschooling higher than they do public schools.
Public schools get a relatively poor rating, even though the vast majority of American children are educated in public schools. The poll finds 83% of parents with children in grades kindergarten through 12 saying their oldest child attends public school, compared with 9% who say private school, 4% home school, and 2% parochial school. The poll did not assess the percentage of children attending charter schools, a relatively new type of school.
Parents of school-aged children generally rank the various school types in the same order, although they are somewhat more positive about the quality of public school education — 47% say it is excellent or good — than the broader adult population (37%).
While they’re unhappy with schools in general, parents tend like their children’s schools. Should we blame it on the media?
Americans are much more inclined to believe students in private, parochial, or charter schools receive a high-quality education than to say this about students in public schools and those who are home schooled. Americans in general are not highly satisfied with the state of public schooling in the United States, although that is probably not a commentary on their own child’s school and schools in their local area because Americans have historically been quite satisfied with each of those. Rather, Americans may just have a general sense that U.S. public education is not where it needs to be, perhaps due to news media reports that American students lag behind students in other countries in basic academic skills.
It could be that media reporting confirms what many people observe in the workplace and elsewhere – poorly educated young people. Meanwhile, the pervasive negative media reporting on homeschooling does not seem to have affected the public’s views according to this survey.