Schooling in America affects every person in this nation and yet everyone involved, whether it be on the policy and reform side of things or those actually in the schools, are not correctly informed about the other side. The policy makers and reformers are not in the classroom and those in the classroom don’t understand the topics and reforms in K-12 education. The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice attempts to bridge this gap of understanding by publishing an annual survey that measures public opinion, awareness, and knowledge of these topics. The Center for Education Reform (CER) interns had the pleasure of attending the presentation of the poll results at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and had the amazing opportunity to see our very own Kara Kerwin, president of CER, on the panel and see her in action.
The results of the survey revealed many interesting statistics, but what struck me as the most important was the public’s opinion of where the direction of K-12 education is going and the rating of the federal government’s performance in K-12. Both results showed that Americans have a negative view of the education system. Americans are almost twice as likely to say that our education system has gotten off on the “wrong track” and the majority of them give a negative rating to the federal government’s handling of K-12 matters. Just from these two questions it is easy to see that something must be done to improve K-12 education. The general public has different preferences for schooling than the actual schooling that occurs. If given the choice, many would change the type of school they attend, so why not find a definitive way to give the public this choice?
Everyone believes that something needs to change in education and that we all