Faith in the nation’s public education system sits at a near-record low – especially among Republicans.
The news came last week, as the Gallup organization released a survey of public confidence in public schools.
The results weren’t pretty for educators. Just 28 percent of all respondents told Gallup that they have “a great deal or quite a lot of confidence” in public education.
That’s the second lowest rating in Gallup’s annual survey, which dates to 1973. Gallup’s record low was 26 percent in 2014.
Democrats, perhaps not surprisingly, continue to have great faith in public education, relatively speaking. Among those on the left, 43 percent have high confidence in public schools. According to Gallup’s data, that was the 10th highest total among Democrats since 1989.
Yet Republicans have almost zero confidence in public schooling.
In Gallup’s latest poll, just 14 percent of Republicans expressed great or quite a lot of confidence in public education.
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That clearly reflected GOP’s disdain for school districts’ pandemic shutdowns, mask mandates, and requirements to push the LGBT and “anti-racist” agendas on students.
have helped drive
Meanwhile, the gap between right and left on this issue has never been wider.
As Gallup reported, “Today’s 29-point gap between Republican and Democratic confidence in public schools contrasts with an average of seven points since the start of Gallup’s Confidence in Institution’s trend in 1973. Except for a 25-point gap last year, the previous high was 19 points in 2013, likely related to a partisan disagreement over the Common Core educational standards at the time.”
On the other hand, 50 percent of Republicans have no or very little confidence in public schools. That’s the highest level of dissatisfaction Gallup has ever recorded among GOP respondents.
The pollster also pointed out that in a different poll recently, just 1 percent of Republicans identified education as the most important issue facing the nation.
Yet while Americans’ confidence in public schools is near-bottom, it has been trending down for decades. The last time a clear majority expressed significant confidence in public education was the 53 percent Gallup noted in 1979.
As for independents, just 29 percent have great or a lot of faith in the system.
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