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July 27, 2010

what parents (and other adults) want from schools

These are some interesting tidbits from a recent (June 2010) Public Agenda survey of 1,400 Americans, including 646 parents of kids currently enrolled in k-12 schools.

First, people are more concerned about behavioral issues than about academic "performance," as that is typically measured:

The most pressing problem in your local schools: parents all respondents
social problems and kids who misbehave 63% 56%
low academic standards & outdated curricula 27% 31%

Second, although people value basic writing and math skills, teamwork ranks higher on their list of priorities than scientific skills and principles.

Which of these are absolutely essential to learn in schools?: parents all respondents
basic scientific ideas and principles 60% 56%
being able to work in a team 80% 74%

Third, when asked what should be taught more or less in their own kids' schools, elementary school parents seem basically satisfied, but the most common request for more time is for computer and technology skills. I wish parents wanted more social studies, but that's second-to-bottom on their priority list, right above art. Middle- and high-school parents rank it a bit higher, above advanced science, advanced math, fine arts, and sports/gym.

July 27, 2010 11:58 AM | category: education policy | Comments



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