kitchen table math, the sequel: survey: best type of schooling

Thursday, March 11, 2010

survey: best type of schooling

Forty-seven percent (47%) of all adults rate public schools as the best type of schooling for students. Thirty-five percent (35%) say private schools are best, while just nine percent (9%) think home schooling is the best way to go.

In August 2004, 42% of Americans said public schools provide the best education for children, but just as many (43%) said they offer the worst education.

Among those who now have children in elementary or secondary schools, support for public schools is even higher at 52%. Thirty-three percent (33%) of these adults think private schools are the best type of schooling for students, and five percent (5%) favor home schooling the most.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of these parents rate the performance of their child’s school as good or excellent, down nine points from September 2008. This includes 40% who say their children’s schools are excellent, but that’s a seven-point drop from the earlier survey. Just three percent (3%) now say their child’s school is performing poorly.


Those who earn more than $75,000 per year view public and private schools equally in terms of which is the best type of schooling.

Women are twice as likely as men to view the performance of their child’s school as excellent. Younger parents have a much higher appreciation of the schools than those who are older.

45% Say Parents Less Involved

I wonder if it's meaningful that more people said public schools are best today than in 2004. I haven't seen other surveys showing that confidence in public schools is rising - ?

Women twice as likely as men to view their child's school as excellent: jibes with my impressions.

And: only 52% of those who currently have children in public schools think public schools are the best type of schooling? Five per cent of parents with kids currently attending public schools think homeschooling is best?*


Of course, that perception fuels overspending on houses in areas with nominally high performing schools.

* Approximately 11% of US children attend private schools. (pdf file)


Catherine Johnson said...

It's interesting.

We are now spending at least $30K (maybe $32K) per pupil all told. (I had been underestimating the figure because I didn't realize the district doesn't include tax certs in the budget.)

The other day I asked a friend how many people would take a voucher and leave for private school if we offered them.

She said "50%."

Of course, maybe the real figure is 28%.

Crimson Wife said...

I suspect the drop in support for private schools has to do with the current economic downturn. Fewer people today can afford pricey private school tuition than 5 years ago.

I personally wouldn't be able to vote in this survey as I think there is no "best" type of schooling, just what's best for the individual child. In general, I think private and homeschooling do a better job than the government-run schools but it can really vary.

Allison said...

Catherine, that's not what the poll says. it says

it>Among those who now have children in elementary or secondary schools, support for public schools is even higher at 52%. Thirty-three percent (33%) of these adults think private schools are the best type of schooling for students, and five percent (5%) favor home schooling the most.

not among those with public schooled children, just among those with children in any k-12 school.

Anonymous said...

Hi Catherine
What is a tax cert?

lgm said...

Satisfaction is relative. In my area, the newcomers are thrilled with the schools. Those coming from NYCity neighborhoods think intact windows, sports fields & actual playgrounds are awesome. The bonus that their children can have remediation and double period classes instead of being left behind can't be beat. Those coming from second and third world countries are thrilled to have free education and all the services.

Jim said...

I would like to see that broken out by states and districts. I image that faith in the public schools is high where public schools are relatively good at teaching children and that support for private schools and homeschooling is high in districts and state where the public schools are failures.

Catherine Johnson said...

Allison - good catch. Thanks.

Hang on - I'm going to fix the post, then come back.

Catherine Johnson said...

lgm - you're on Long Island?

I think I keep getting you mixed up with a commenter from upstate NY -- ??

Parents new to the system often have a honeymoon period. We sure did.

Catherine Johnson said...

Dee - a tax cert is a tax certiori. I don't know if all states have them.

I don't completely follow the law here, but roughly it's a lawsuit a property owner files because he believes he is being taxed too high for the value of his property.

In New York, when a property owner wins a tax cert the school district (and town) have to pay back the extra taxes that were collected -- AND that taxpayer's share of the taxes then get shifted to everyone else.

Ed and I are concerned that we are now in a downward spiral of tax certs breeding tax certs.


property owner number 1 files a tax cert & wins
town & school shift that owner's excess taxes to other property owners
those other property owners at some point are overtaxed, too, so they file tax certs and win

Maybe it's not a downward spiral.

Maybe it's a merry go round.

Meanwhile, the school district refuses to acknowledge the fact that the tax base is declining (lower assessed values, etc.)

The school's belief system is: more is more.

The school wants more ***always*** no matter how far enrollment drops and no matter how many tax certs are filed and won.

(The board has been settling tax certs rather than forcing people to go to trial. I have no idea whether they've been correct in that strategy.)

lgm said...

Ah, yes. Our board is reading the text cert situation and is very scared. But not scared enough to be the district that does a salary roll-back. The taxpayers have been vocal demanding a freeze plus a roll-back.

I'm in the Hudson Valley. One of those districts where people from NYC move to b/c of commuting ease, housing prices, and sports. One of the biggest problems I see is no sense of community - it's a giant mosh pit with 'I got mine (at your expense)' being the goal.