Top 15 Findings from the 2015 Schooling in America Survey

With the close of another school year and a boom of expansive school choice programs in 2015 comes curiosity about the progress of K–12 education in the United States.

Is it advancing? Is it going well? How might it improve?

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice’s recently released 2015 Schooling in America Survey aims to tap public opinion to answer those questions and more. Check out the top 15 key findings from the full report here!

1

2

How many people rank education as the No. 1 issue facing America?
One out of six

 

3

How do Americans rate the federal government’s performance in K–12 education?
Fair/Poor Good/Excellent 77% 20% 2

 

4

Do Americans roughly know how much we spend per pupil on K–12 education?
The national average per-pupil spending amount is nearly $10,700. Do Don’t 3 14% 86%

 

5

How do public school parents rate their local public schools?
A or B C D or F 4 47% 34% 17%

 

6

Which school type do Americans say they would prefer their children attend? 5 vs. actual enrollments:
PRIVATE SCHOOL PUBLIC SCHOOL CHARTER SCHOOL HOME SCHOOL 41% 36% 12% 9% 9.4% 83.8% 4% 2.8% PRIVATE SCHOOL PUBLIC SCHOOL CHARTER SCHOOL HOME SCHOOL

 

7

What do Americans think about school vouchers before hearing a definition?
6a Favor Oppose 39% 26%

 

8

After hearing a definition of school vouchers, do Americans’ opinions change?
6b Favor FavorOppose Oppose 61% 63% 33% 30% General Public School Parents

 

9

How many Americans are unfamiliar with the concept of school vouchers? Our estimate:
35% 7

 

10

What are Americans’ top two reasons for supporting vouchers?
8 1. 2. Access to schools having better academics (38%) More freedom and flexibility for parents (28%)

 

11

What is the top reason people say they oppose school vouchers? 9 57% said because they “divert funding away from public schools”

That statement assumes the only destination for funding should be public schools, which could be why our opponents use such phrasing. We believe education funding should follow students.

 

12

What do Americans think about education savings accounts (ESAs)?
10 General Public School Parents 66% of split-sample respondents said ESAs should be universal 62% Favor 63% Favor 28% Oppose 27% Oppose 10% Don’t Know /Refused 10% Don’t Know /Refused

 

13

What do Americans think about tax-credit scholarships?
11 Favor FavorOppose Oppose 60% 61% 29% 27% General Public School Parents
14

What do school parents think of testing?
12 48% of school parents say kids spend 16 days or more—nearly one in 10 days of the school year—on standardized testing 47% of school parents say the amount of time spent on standardized testing is “too high”

 

15

When it comes to state government intervention in schools with low student performance, how many Americans rate each of these solutions as useful for families?
13 said supply vouchers/scholarships said convert them to charter schools said replace personnel said close the school 41% 26% 25% 18%

 

16

What do Americans think about Common Core State Standards?
14 General Public School Parents 50% Favor 47% Favor 40% Oppose 46% Oppose 10% Don’t Know /Refused 7% Don’t Know /Refused Strongly Favor Strongly Oppose 19% 24%

 

17

How do education interest groups influence voters with their endorsements of political candidates?
15 POSITIVELY NEGATIVELY VS. Teachers’ Union Teachers’ Union Parent Advocacy Group Parent Advocacy Group 46% 25% 50% 16%

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