|Confidence in Public Schools Hits New Low|
|posted by: Alix | June 21, 2012, 05:17 PM|
Everyone seems to be aware that the crisis in public education is getting worse. Despite a record level of spending in America, students from 16 countries are outperforming their American counterparts. To top it all off, 50% of teachers in the classroom today will be retiring in the next ten years. This is not the recipe for a well-educated public—and stakeholders are taking notice.
According to a new Gallup poll conducted earlier this month, Americans are losing faith in public schools like never before. Just 29% of those questioned in the nationwide poll said they had a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in public schools. Four in ten had some confidence while the remaining thirty percent expressed little or no confidence. The results are troubling and represent a steep decline in public confidence since the 1970s.
When Gallup first measured confidence in public schools in 1973, a solid 58% of citizens reported having confidence in the country's public education system. Since then, that statistic has steadily tracked downward. The current approval rate is down 5 percentage points from last year and is now under the previous low point of 33% approval in 2007 and 2008.
On the heels of this poll and other startling statistics about how badly our education system falls short of expectations, a moving installation of empty classroom desks was on display on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., yesterday. The 857 empty school desks represent the number of students nationwide who are dropping out of school each hour of every school day.
The emotional scene was presented by the non-profit organization College Board to call upon presidential candidates to make education a prominent issue in the 2012 campaigns and to put the nation's schools back on track.
Click here to read AAE Executive Director Gary Beckner's statement on the upcoming election and about renewing our national focus on education.
What do you think should be done to restore confidence in schools and combat the drop-out problem?