A recent poll asked American voters what they think about their educational system. It found that, while many Americans are dissatisfied with their school systems, the majority are willing to spend more money to improve them. And if they can increase funding, they are fairly confident it will result in more students learning. In fact, the majority of Americans support a number of school reforms, including high-stakes student accountability and merit pay for teachers. But they are divided on whether or not they think that high-stakes tests should be required for high school graduation.
The survey also found that Americans’ attitudes toward education have changed. More than half of voters feel that our educational system needs major changes, while only 31% believe it’s working fine. Even so, Americans’ attitudes toward education aren’t universal. While the majority of parents who surveyed said they would vote for a Democrat to improve it, they were just as likely to favor a Republican-controlled legislature.
While most Americans believe that public education is the equalizer of all Americans, eight in ten recognize that the educational system in the United States is unequal. And their education experience varies along racial and ethnic lines. Despite these unintended consequences, most Americans view education as a way to improve themselves. It’s clear that the educational system isn’t perfect, but it’s the best thing Americans can do for themselves.