Brrrrriinnnnng! South Florida is officially back to school.
In a very timely fashion, Gallup's back with their annual research on American's views of our schools. As the headline suggests, there appears to be political overtures in our general opinion.
For starters, here's our collective view of our K through 12 schools:
- 47 percent satisfied with the quality of education
- 52 percent dissatisfied with the quality of education
What's notable is that that last time a majority of Americans were satisfied with our K-12 grade schools was 2004 (53 percent).
Could there be a partisan mix-up here?
- 51 percent of Democrats are currently satisfied with our education system ...
- ... As compared to 43 percent of Republicans
Taking a longer view, we see that there appears to be slight political trends.
Notably, the last time a majority of Republicans viewed our education system positively was during the Bush administration. During six of the eight Bush years, a majority of Republicans held a positive view. During that same time, a majority Democrats held a negative view.
Now for the facts.
There's a reason why a majority of Americans aren't satisfied with the state of K-12 education. They shouldn't be.
In 1980, at the origin of the Department of Education, the United States ranked second in the world in K-12 education.
Today, we're down to 17 and falling.
It's time for school choice.
In a supplementary Gallup survey, private schools easily performed exponentially better than public schools. Here were the ratings based on school type:
Percentage of adults who said the quality of the education is good or excellent:
But despite a majority of Americans disapproving of our K-12 education system, and public schools performing worst, we're still fighting an uphill battle for school choice.
It's reprehensible that the only people who're able to break free of the worst performing schools in lieu of the top performers are those with the economic means to do so. It's time for school vouches and school choice.
Parents should be able to use their tax dollars to attain the education they feel is best for their children. To suggest that unions and bureaucrats should determine the only choice you have has been failing us for long enough.
What do you think?