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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Public prefers private schools

Americans think private schools provide the best K-12 education, according to a new Gallup poll. Next in order are parochial, charter, home and public schooling.

While 71 percent think independent private schools provide an excellent or good education, only 44 percent give high ratings to public schools.

Parents with children in school hold similar views to adults without school-aged children.

Democrats are the most positive about public schooling, but still give top marks to private schools.

Democrats rate charters and public schools the same: 48 percent say they provide a good or excellent education.

Since 2012, public schools’ reputation has improved mainly among Republicans, only slightly among Democrats, Gallup reports.

Education Next‘s annual “school reform survey found sharp declines in public support for charter schooling, write Rick Hess and Amy Cummings in U.S. News. The dip in could be a blip, they speculate.

From 2000 to 2005,  public opinion on charter schools shifted “from skeptical to positive,” they write. In the next four years, polls showed “charter support outdistanced opposition” by 20 to 30 points. Support grew even stronger between 2010 and 2016 in the Ed Next and PDK/Gallup polls.

The sudden drop “could reflect the fruits of union advocacy, skeptical media coverage, an increasingly polarized educational environment, a backlash against Bush-Obama era school reform or hostility towards the Trump administration,” write Hess and Cummings. They suspect “a statistical blip.”

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