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What Americans Think about Public Education

October 27, 2016
  • What Issues Divide Americans?

    Americans are divided on many issues in education. For example, in 2016, 39% of people say there should be national standards, while 51% say state governments should determine what students know. (This was a change from the previous year when 41% of people said the federal government should set standards, compared to 43% who favored state governments.) 

    The same proportion of Americans favor using tax dollars to help children attend private schools as oppose the idea. It is important to note, however, that public responses about vouchers differ depending on the way the question is asked and who is asked. For example, Hispanic families are more likely to favor vouchers than white families, and Democrats are more likely to favor them than Republicans. 

    About the same percentage of respondents with school aged children told PDK that the new state standards changed what’s being taught for the better and for the worse (with 49% seeing an improvement and 47% seeing a decline).