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  • Lack of Confidence in Public Schools at an All-Time High

    Gallup has just released its annual “Confidence in American Institutions” poll, which the company has conducted since 1973. This year’s results revealed that just 29 percent of Americans have confidence in our nation’s public schools.

    That number has declined from 33 percent since 2008 and is down from 58 percent in 1973. But does our lack of confidence in public schools make us un-American?

    Americans have always strived for the best. Our public schools are far from it. Across the country, just one-third of children are proficient in reading. In the urban centers, that number is tragically lower. In Chicago—where public school teachers, at the behest of the government unions, are set to strike in order to demand a 30 percent pay raise—just 15 percent of children are proficient in reading.

    Americans by and large also believe that individuals are better equipped than government to innovate and produce greatness and that markets work to lift everyone’s standard of living. Our monopolistic public school system fails that test, too.

    Because of pervasive assignment-by-zip code policies, students are “zoned” to their closet public schools regardless of whether they meets the students’ needs. As a result, public schools get a steady stream of students—and dollars—no matter how poorly they serve the public.

    And those dollars are considerable. Per-pupil expenditures in government schools have more than doubled in the years since Gallup began surveying public institutions. Yet quality remains low.

    So it’s no surprise that Americans increasingly seem to be looking to educational innovation outside the public school system as it sprouts up all over the country. Charter schools are now mainstream, state after state is implementing school choice options, and online learning is proliferating.

    Parents know they have an increasing number of quality education options for their children that extend beyond the hallways of public schools. The lack of confidence in public schools does not mean we have lost faith in the importance of education to improve outcomes or economic mobility.

    Instead, Gallup’s poll shows that Americans are increasingly gravitating toward Milton Friedman’s belief that public education doesn’t have to mean government-run schools.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Lack of Confidence in Public Schools at an All-Time High

    1. Todd says:

      Confidence is down because schools and many teachers have given up teaching and are now part of an indoctrination program for our children – Problem 1.

      Problem 2 is that many parents look at schools only as a public baby sitting service where their children go to for the day.

      Unfortunately, Problem 2 has to be solved before Problem 1 will be. Parents have to take an interest in their children's education. Parents are responsible for their own children's success throughout life. We have too many parents that are more interested in being their children's friends and not their parents, pushing their children to work hard, learn and develop life skills that will benefit them throughout their academic life and adult work life. I see it in my own relatives.

      America was made great by hard work and exceptional work ethics. We have a generation or two that has lost that ethic and do not want to work hard. Thirty and forty-year old adults whom still live with their parents (long-term – not just until they get back on their feet), or whom push their children on to grandparents to raise are simply pathetic.

      Until this is resolved, the NEA and liberal, progressive teachers will continue to transform our public schools into liberal indoctrination programs.

    2. Brian Bertha says:

      I totally agree with Todd's problem #1 as to Problem #2 many parents today spoil the heck out of their kids just as my generation spoiled them. Now they expect to continue or exceed their standard of living without expending any energy to do so after all its their right. As to responsibility there is no such thing anymore just blame some other group which will explain why you havent achieved your goals. It starts at home with chores and builds from there. No matter what the schools do the parents are the solution so start parenting.

    3. Steve S says:

      I wish I was in an industry where I could do a lousy job, have 3 months or vacation, and then blame parents for my failures but I actually want to be a productive human being instead of a union tool.

      Truth be told teachers are just glorified baby sitters who weren't smart enough or hard working enough in college to select a real major, and it is time they give a collective "thank you" to an overtaxed public that has tolerated their lousy performance for decades.

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