Americans have given public schools a failing grade.
A recent poll has shown that only 28 percent of U.S. residents have “a lot of confidence” in public education.
Conducted and published by Gallup, the poll deems this lack of confidence as a “near all-time low.”
What’s more, this increase in a lack of faith can be seen across both major parties: While 43 percent of registered Democrats express having confidence in the public education sector, that number has been in decline since 2020 (and has generally been more down than up over the past five decades).
Only 14 percent of Republicans, on the other hand, have such confidence, with 29 percent of Independents admitting to the same sentiment.
“Today’s 29-point gap between Republican and Democratic confidence in public schools contrasts with an average seven points since the start of Gallup’s Confidence in Institutions trend in 1973,” reads the poll. “Except for a 25-point gap last year, the previous high was 19 points in 2013, likely related to partisan disagreement over the Common Core educational standards at the time.”
However, Gallup notes that criticism with concerns to schools has certainly become more politicized: Debates regarding certain aspects of schools’ curricula—such as critical race theory and gender theory—came to a head during the pandemic and into current times.
“Closer to 40 percent of Americans were confident in public schools most years from 1989 to 2006,” states the poll. “Before that, half or more said they had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence, except for a short period from 1981 to 1983 when confidence dipped lower.”
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