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Americans Are Increasingly Dissatisfied With K-12 Education

The past two years have been difficult for parents of school children. COVID-19-related school closures, mask and vaccination mandates, and teachers and administrators increasingly inserting wokeness into curriculum have motivated parents to speak out about the state of K-12 education.

And parents are less satisfied with the K-12 education than they have been in 20 years, according to a new poll from Gallup. In its annual survey of the state of education today, the pollster surveyed adults in general and parents in particular, and Americans have grown dissatisfied with K-12 education at a shocking rate.

“Americans have become less content in recent years with the quality of the nation’s K-12 education,” Gallup’s Lydia Saad reports. “The 42% who say they are satisfied today is the lowest measured in the past two decades by one percentage point and the second-lowest reading in Gallup’s 23-year trend. Americans’ satisfaction with schools was at a near-record high of 51% in 2019 before dropping slightly each year since.”

Gallup asked survey respondents to rank their views on education on a four-point scale, from completely dissatisfied to completely satisfied. A majority of adults express dissatisfaction with education, with 32% somewhat dissatisfied and 23% completely dissatisfied. Only 9% were completely satisfied.

It’s probably not surprising that, when Gallup broke down the results by party, Republicans are less satisfied with the state of K-12 education in America today than Democrats are. Only 30% of those surveyed who identify as Republican or lean Republican declared themselves satisfied with education, while just over half of those who are Democrats or lean Democrat say they’re satisfied.

But when parents faced questions about their own children’s education, the tune changed dramatically. An astonishing 80% of parents are satisfied with the education their kids are receiving, including 32% who are completely satisfied.

“There is no ambiguity about the source of the recent decline in public satisfaction with education, nationally,” Saad writes. “It entirely reflects reduced satisfaction among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents since President Donald Trump left office, while Democrats’ satisfaction has remained fairly stable.”

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