Every Major School Reform Issue is Hotly Debated, Bitterly Divisive

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A recent Rasmussen poll tells us that American voters have little confidence in our K-12 schools. A mere 18 percent believe that most high school graduates have the skills they need for college. (Sixty-one percent believe they don’t have the skills and 21 percent aren’t sure.)

Lacking the skills to succeed in college is a big-time problem for both the individual and society. In fact, it’s problem enough to threaten a nation. High school graduates who aren’t prepared for college also aren’t prepared for the workplace, personal responsibility, civic duties or any of the other challenges they’ll face in this increasingly fast-paced, complicated, competitive, technological world.

To be fair, the perception that our schools are failing is hardly new. The annual PDK/Gallup poll tells us that, in 2012, only 19 percent of respondents gave our public schools a grade of “A” or “B.” Twenty years ago, that number was 18 percent.

Is this lack of confidence in our K-12 schools deserved? What do the numbers tell us? And where do the solutions lie?

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