A recent poll by EdChoice and Morning Consult reveals some concerning trends in public opinion on K-12 education. Here are the main points:
1.Americans are not impressed with the pandemic responses of all sectors considered. Positive ratings of state governments dropped 5 percentage points in a month, small businesses 9 points, national media 7 points, schools 5 points, local media 6 points, the federal government 9 points, school districts 7 points and national and multi-national corporations 7 points.
2.Parents are less comfortable with children returning to in-person classes in the near future. About two-thirds of parents thought schools will not be safe until February or later. The share of school parents stating they are “Very Comfortable” or “Somewhat Comfortable” with their children returning to school dropped 11 points.
3.Positivity regarding homeschooling dropped. After an 18-point spike in significant favorability toward homeschooling in July, the fervor dropped 4 percentage points to 62 percent.
4.Parents are less confident about home-based learning. Three out of four parents felt at least somewhat prepared to get their child through remote learning, but fewer than two out of three do now. Additionally, parents want schools or teachers to provide curriculum and instruction for remote learning. Most parents believe school is the best place for their kid’s post-pandemic.
5.“Pandemic pod” participation is down, though interest remains. A pod is a group of students who gather online in a shared learning space. They are usually led by a rotation of parents or a paid tutor. Participating children remain especially likely to be younger, come from higher-income households and are enrolled in private or charter schools.
6.There’s overlapping interest in “pandemic pods” and tutoring. The same demographics are interested in tutoring for their children outside of regular school.
7.Americans are pessimistic about education. The share of respondents feeling positive about the direction of education fell by 7 percentage points for local and state education, and positivity about education nationally dropped 10 percentage points.
8.Support for all school choice policies remains high among parents. Whether it’s different learning options during the pandemic or access to new schooling types, families want choice. Parents consistently report more than 60 percent support for all types of choice, including charter schools, vouchers and education savings accounts (ESAs).
For more details on poll results and information on school choice go to www.edchoice.org.
• EdChoice is a nonpartison, nonprofit organization that serves as a clearinghouse of information related to school choice research and policy in the United States. –NAPSI