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August 2012 Gallup Poll Ranks Quality of Education in U.S.


In August 2012 Gallup poll reflects the mixed feelings that many parents seem to have about education in America. Gallup asked a nationwide group of about 1,000 parents with kids in grades K through 12 to rank the quality of education that U.S. children receive in various schooling situations. The parents based their answers on what they had heard about, or their actual experience with, different types of schools.

Highest marks went to independent private schools — 80 percent of parents surveyed believed they offer an “excellent” education — followed by parochial schools (72 percent rated them excellent) and charter schools (61 percent). Public schools got a so-so 47 percent rating — beating out home-schooling by one percent.

But that’s not to dump on U.S. education — or fourth-ranked public schools. As the Gallup organization explains in the survey, “The relatively low rating for public schools is likely an extension of Americans’ broader dissatisfaction with kindergarten through grade 12 education in the United States.”

Gallup goes on to explain: “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.”

The survey also pointed out a brighter side to the rankings: “American parents are always far more positive when asked to rate their own child’s school,” according to Gallup.
The poll found that while parents may have certain beliefs about what type of schools are best, 75 percent of those surveyed are satisfied with their child’s own school. The same number — 75 percent — of parents of public school kids also said they’re satisfied with their child’s schooling.

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