Betsy DeVos Charters

AFT Poll: What Parents Think About Public Education

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A new poll of parents, commissioned by the American Federation of Teachers and carried out by the independent and respected Hart Associates, finds that American parents do not share Betsy DeVos’s dim views about their public schools. Parents want better public schools, not school choice.

Big takeaways from the parent poll:

· Parents want good neighborhood schools over increased choice of schools

· More investments in traditional public schools, rather than diverting funds to charters/vouchers

· The biggest problems parents have with schools is inadequate funding, too much testing, bigger class size, and lack of support for teachers. DeVos’s agenda is at the bottom of the polling results in every way.

The poll of 1,200 parents of public school students includes African-American parents, Latino parents, and parents in 10 major cities: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and San Francisco.

The results are the latest in a series of polls released this summer and fall on people’s priorities for public education. Gallup released a survey last week showing support for public schools was up by seven points compared to 2012; PDK’s annual poll showed deep support for public schools and investments in wraparound services such as mental health services and after-school programs and resources to prepare students for successful lives and careers and strong opposition to funding vouchers for religious school; and the Education Next poll showed public support for charter schools fell by 12 percentage points over the past year

And then there is that nettlesome fact that the states with voucher plans have few takers. In Louisiana and Indiana, only 2-3% of students apply for vouchers for private and religious schools, and some of those students already attend nonpublic schools.

Hello, Betsy: Pay attention to the nearly 90% of American students who attend public schools.

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