Parents School Satisfaction
Are American schools making the grade? Half of those polled gave their local schools a grade of either an A or B according to the 2015 Gallup Poll but 23% of African Americans and 31% of Hispanic Americans reported a similar score. According to Gallup longitudinal research the overall rating has remained the same over the past decade.
When respondents were asked what is the biggest problem facing their schools the top response was “lack of financial support”.
So are schools making the grade? It would appear over the past 10 years the country feels schools are making the grade but when broken down by ethnicity a third or less non Caucasians believe so. Statistically other demographic, like Caucasians, responses are well above the average. So why are schools not making the grade in an equitable fashion? Moreover, what constitutes an A or B school in the minds of the respondents?
The respondents indicate a lack of school funding as the biggest issue facing their schools. The national landscape is full of lawsuits and dissention between legislators and school districts over this topic. Kansas is the “poster child” for this debate. The state has a history of school districts suing the state over adequacy and equity discrepancies. As this issue is being played out and politicized the students are impacted.
The Gallup Poll data should be reviewed and discussed in every Board of Education chamber across this country. They should collect local data and be asking what is the acceptable level of customer satisfaction? Once the bar has been set they need to map out resource allocation to achieve their goals. This won’t be an easy task but a necessary one. It might require shifting existing budget priorities, lobbying state legislators as well as seeking additional locally voter approved revenue sources. The “cost” of not doing this will be “paid” for by our students.