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Americans Find Public Schools to be the Worst

According to a new Gallup poll, Americans consider public schools to offer the worst education available. The national survey conducted the first of August shows that parochial and church-related schools, private independent schools, charter schools, and home-schooling all rate higher than public schools.

Gallup interviewers asked respondents: “I’m going to read a list of ways in which children are educated in the U.S. today. As I read each one, please indicate—based on what you know or have read and heard—how good an education each provides children: excellent, good, only fair, or poor. How about: public schools, parochial or church-related schools, independent private schools, charter schools, or home-schooling?”

Only 5 percent said that public schools give children an excellent education.Another 32 percent said public schools give children a good education. But this combined 37 percent who said public schools give children an excellent or good education was the lowest among the different types of schools Gallup included in its survey.

Private schools ranked the highest with Americans with 31% saying that independent private schools provide an excellent education and another 47% saying they provide a good education. Combined, 78% of Americans believe that private school provide or good or excellent education.

Parochial and church-related schools ranked second, with 21% saying they provide an excellent education and 48% saying they provide a good educationfor a combined 69%.

Charter schools camenext with 17% saying they provide an excellent education and 43% saying they provide a good educationfor combined 60%.

Home-schooling came in fourth, with 13% saying it provides an excellent education and 33% saying it provides a good education for a combined 46%.

Public schools finished in last place.

19% of Americans believe that public schools give students a “poor” education. Only 2% said independent private schools and only 5% said parochial and church-related school, and charter schools offer poor educations.

The Gallup survey was based on a random sample of 1,012 American adults and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage point. Of the 1,012 surveyed, 236 said they were parents of a child who will be attending school in grades K through 12 this school year. (This small sub-sample had a margin of error of +/- 8 percentage points.)

Among the parents sending their children to school in grades K through 12 this year, 83% said they were sending their child to a public school, 9% to an independent private school, and 2% to a parochial or church-related school.

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