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Millennial Viewpoints on Education

A new generation with great expectations

As the oldest edge of the millennial generation—those born between 1981 and 1996—enter their mid-thirties, many millennials now have children who are public school students.

The Walton Family Foundation and Echelon Insights wanted to better understand what these millennial parents think about today’s public schools, what expectations they have for how schools educate their children and what should be done if schools do not equip students with the skills needed for success.

The new report Millennial Parents and Education details how millennial parents across the country feel their schools are performing and what they think schools should be doing to provide students with critical academic and life skills. We sought parents’ opinions on ways to measure school and student performance. And we learned their views on how schools should be held accountable.

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By Kristen Soltis Anderson

Millennial parents have high expectations for schools and want them to provide kids with core academic skills – and more. They view schools and teachers as being their partner in the work of raising their children to be self-sufficient, independent, confident young adults.

And when a school isn’t living up to expectations, millennial parents are open to making changes within a school or giving those children a chance to get that quality education elsewhere.

Read More
December 6, 2018
What do millennial parents expect from public schools?
December 4, 2018
Millennial parents expect a lot out of their kids’ schools. We wanted to know how education has changed since millennial parents themselves were in school. We asked our focus groups, “Is millennial parenting different than the way you were raised?”
December 4, 2018
Millennial parents care not only about their kids’ academic skills but career and life skills. We asked our focus groups, “What is the purpose of a public education?” and “What skills do you expect your kids to have upon graduation?”
December 4, 2018
Millennial parents use many different criteria to judge if their kids are getting the skills they need. We wanted to learn how millennial parents are evaluating if their kids are being properly prepared for the future. Grades? Conversations with teachers? Test scores? A combination? We asked our focus groups, “What are the important things you look at to measure how much your kid is learning?”
What do millennial parents think of public schools?
December 4, 2018
We found that millennial parents are open to a wide range of methods to hold schools accountable for making sure students are learning properly. We were interested in who millennial parents believe should be held accountable when a school is not living up to that responsibility. We asked our focus groups, “What should happen if a school is consistently failing?”
December 4, 2018
We know millennial parents use a variety of ways to measure their kids’ success in school. Next, we wanted to know how millennial parents evaluate the schools themselves. School culture? Test scores? Extra-curriculars? We asked our focus groups to sketch out what criteria they use to judge a school.