Public school parents less satisfied with their schools than parents in other learning environments

Private school, homeschool, and charter school parents are more satisfied with their children’s schooling experiences compared to public district school parents, according to EdChoice’s national 2021 Schooling in America survey conducted June 4-July 8, 2021.

Seventy-two percent of private school parents are “very satisfied” with their children’s school as are 63 percent of homeschool parents compared to 31 percent of public district school parents. Overall satisfaction is also highest among private and homeschool parents, with 92 percent of private school parents “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” and 87 percent of homeschool parents feeling the same about their children’s learning environment.

When asked to grade their schools, parents are more likely to give the private and charter schools in their area an “A” or “B” grade, compared to local district schools.

For private schools, 74 percent of parents rated them an “A” or “B” in both 2020 and 2021, which was a huge increase from parents’ views in 2019, with only 49 percent of respondents giving that school type a high grade. More parents assigned the charter schools in their area an “A” or “B” in both 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019 — 42 percent in 2020 and 59 percent in 2021. Parents assigning their public district schools the A/B grade decreased from 51 percent in 2020 to 45 percent in 2021.

While the survey didn’t ask polltakers what factors went into grade determination, it is likely school closures, distance learning, and possibly curricula/academics influenced parents’ views.

American Experiment’s Thinking Minnesota Poll asked Minnesotans in both March 2020 and December 2020 to assign a letter grade to indicate the achievement of public schools. Forty-nine percent of respondents gave the schools an “A” or “B” in December — a full 10 percent decline from March. Six percent assigned “F” grades to the schools in December, which was twice the number in March.

Many Minnesotans are, for the first time, taking a serious look at and pursuing alternatives to underperforming public schools and getting more engaged in their children’s education.