Poll: Private schools best U.S. education option; public the worst

By Allen Cone  |  Aug. 21, 2017 at 12:07 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter

Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Independent private schools rate better than four other types of American educational institutions -- including public schools -- a new Gallup survey showed Monday.

The poll found that 71 percent of respondents rated independent private schools as excellent (21 percent) or good (50 percent).

The rating was somewhat higher than 63 percent positive rating for parochial or church-related schools, but far greater than the percentages for charter schools (55 percent), home schooling (46 percent) and public schools (44 percent).

Public schools had the greatest percentage saying they were poor (19 percent) compared with 15 percent for home schooling and 9 percent each for parochial and charter.

The overall rank order is the same as Gallup's only previous study on the issue, five years ago.

However, those who said public and private school educations are excellent or good went up by seven percentage points. The positive ratings of parochial education went down 6 points, and the ratings for charter schools and home schooling are statistically unchanged.

"Americans as a whole believe private and parochial schools do a better job of educating students than public schools do, something that might be remedied with the right federal or state public school education policies," Gallup's Lydia Saad said. "Another remedy may be expanding charter schools so that parents of children in failing public schools who can't afford private school have other options for their children."

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a longtime proponent of charter schools to give parents alternatives to public schools.

Among Republicans, 62 percent rate charter schools as good or excellent, compared with 48 percent of Democrats.

Democrats have grown less positive about the quality of charter schools than they were in 2012 (61 percent). Members of both parties rank private schooling as the most effective -- 76 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of Democrats.

"It is clearly a time of transition in education policy, with multiple efforts underway," Saad said. "These efforts have the potential to improve public schools, and therefore Americans' confidence in them."

The survey was conducted Aug. 2-6 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories