Faith in Public Schools Hits Record Low
According to a recent Gallup poll, American confidence in public schools is at the lowest point in forty years.
Of those polled, only 29% said they had a "great deal," or "quite a lot of confidence" in the nation's public schools. That number represents a drop of five percentage points since 2011. Polling numbers from 1973 (when the survey was first conducted) showed that 58% of Americans had significant confidence in public schools.
It would be truly fascinating to see a regional breakdown of polling data (meaning South Carolina) on perceptions of public school quality. Based on the widespread low test scores, low graduation rates and significant achievement gap, we would guess that they are quite low (even compared to the national numbers).
Parents, taxpayers and employers get it: In spite of massive funding, public schools simply aren't meeting the learning needs of individual students. Somehow, "education advocates" and many politicians remain blind to anything but a "more money, more time" approach to dealing with state schools.
Institutional resistance to any change is typified in the aggressive opposition shown by many politicians and "education" groups (SCASA, SCSBA, SCEA) to a student-focused school choice system. School choice works in other states, and is popular with parents. Why would an education advocacy group ever oppose something demonstrably sucessful at accomplishing the goals they claim to support?
It's about money and influence. Not doing what works best for students.