Report show mixed results for education reforms

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, August 22, 2013

Americans have a decidedly mixed view of the education reforms now sweeping the nation, supporting moves to open up public schools to more competition — and yet wary of ceding too much control to market forces.

That’s the message that emerges from a trio of new polls on public education. Taken together, the polls out this week capture a deep ambivalence:

— Parents want a degree of choice in education; they continue to back charter schools. But they’re increasingly skeptical of voucher programs that use public funds to help families pay private and parochial school tuition.

— Parents are fine with high-stakes testing; in large numbers, they agree that kids should be held back a year or denied a high school diploma if they can’t pass state exams. Yet they’re less certain about tying teachers’ salaries and performance evaluations to student test scores.

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