Less than 1 in 5 Americans Give Nation’s Schools High Marks

Written By: Robert Cox

We’ve been writing about the various ways the government, including school district administrations and school boards, like to produce rankings where they rank themselves. Not surprisingly they generally give themselves high marks. The consumers of their product — parents — are apparently not as gullible as that.

82% of adults gave American schools a C, D, or F with just 18% giving U.S. school an A or a B according to a new Harvard study on parental attitudes towards education. It is well worth the read.

One of the studies authors, Paul E. Peterson, published an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal.

Yesterday President Barack Obama delivered a pep talk to America’s schoolchildren. The president owes a separate speech to America’s parents. They deserve some straight talk on the state of our public schools.


This survey, sponsored by Education Next and the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) at Harvard University, was conducted by the polling firm Knowledge Networks (KN) between February 25 and March 13 of 2009…The combined sample of 3,251 respondents consists of 2,153 non-Hispanic whites, 434 non-Hispanic blacks, 481 Hispanics, and 183 members of other ethnic groups; 709 public school teachers and 948 residents of Florida; and 1,694 self-identified Democrats and 1,265 self-identified Republicans.

One of the stats that jumped out was spending-per-pupil:

…when it comes to actual dollars spent per pupil, Americans get the numbers wrong. Those polled by Education Next estimated that schools in their own districts spend a little more than $4,000 per pupil, on average. In fact, schools in those districts spend an average of $10,000.

In New Rochelle we can only dream of living in a District that spends $10,000 per pupil, less than half of what we spend here to fund no-show jobs, theft, school board members that submit expense reports more than seven times what other school boards in the area spend.