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Survey Reveals Deep Divide in American Views on Direction of Public K-12 Education

Survey Reveals Deep Divide in American Views on Direction of Public K-12 Education

Apr 8, 2024

Survey Reveals Deep Divide in American Views on Direction of Public K-12 Education

In a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and released on April 4, it was found that 51 percent of U.S. adults believe the nation’s public K-12 education system is heading in the wrong direction. The study highlights a significant gap in the perception of the education system's direction between Republicans and Democrats. Only 16 percent of respondents believe the education system is going in the right direction, while 32 percent are uncertain.

A deeper look into the political divide shows that 65 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning individuals think the system is on the wrong path, compared to 40 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners. Conversely, 23 percent of Democrats feel the system is going in the right direction, a sentiment shared by only 10 percent of Republicans.

Another survey reveals a stark view from teachers, with 82 percent indicating that the condition of public education has worsened in the past five years. Teachers attribute the decline to factors such as the political climate (60 percent), the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (57 percent), and changes in funding (46 percent).

Among the general public who believe the education system is faltering, 69 percent say it’s due to insufficient focus on core academic subjects. This opinion is held by 82 percent of conservative Republicans and 45 percent of liberal Democrats. Additionally, 54 percent of American adults suggest that teachers' personal political and social views in the classroom are contributing to the declining quality of education. This view is supported by 82 percent of conservative Republicans and contrasted by only 12 percent of liberal Democrats.

There's a sharp contrast in opinions on school funding and parental influence on curriculum. While 78 percent of Democrats cite lack of funding as a significant issue, only 33 percent of Republicans agree. Furthermore, 46 percent of Democrats believe parents have substantial influence on school curriculum compared to 13 percent of Republicans.

The survey's release coincides with increased calls from some Republicans to abolish the Department of Education, which they claim promotes indoctrination rather than education. Former President Donald Trump and several GOP presidential candidates, including Vivek Ramaswamy, Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, and Doug Burgum, have voiced support for this move, with Trump suggesting that education be returned to state control.

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) have also expressed similar views, with Massie introducing legislation in 2021 to terminate the department.

The survey's findings underscore a growing debate over the state of public education in the United States, revealing deep-seated concerns about its direction and the influence of politics on its operations.

Originally reported by The Epoch Times


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