WASHINGTON (TND) — As the school year kicks off, recent polling shows that the majority of Americans are dissatisfied with public K-12 education.
Just 42% of adults are completely or somewhat satisfied with U.S. education — a drop from 51% in 2019. This comes as new data reveals that some key scores declined during the pandemic.
Parents are fed up, students are struggling, and people are deeply despondent across the political spectrum,” said parent Nicole Neily.
Parents are concerned over the rigor of curriculum and teaching methods in U.S. education being outranked by other countries.
As students head back into the classroom for the new school year, data released from the federal government shows significant learning losses due to the pandemic. This year, average scores dropped in math and reading across many groups compared to 2020.
In-person learning is where we need to focus. We need to double down our efforts. I’m very concerned about those scores,” Cardona said.
Cardona says that while the scores are disturbing, they are not surprising and the country urgently needs to make sure students get the support they need.
Politics also play a role in the dropping rate of satisfaction.
Conservative activist group Project Veritas released an edited video of a Connecticut elementary school’s assistant principal speaking about his personal hiring practices, saying progressive teachers are savvier about delivering a democratic message.
You're teaching them [children] how to think. That’s it. It doesn’t matter what they think about. If they think about it in a logical, progressive way, that becomes their habit,” the former assistant principal, Jeremy Borland, is heard saying in the video. “Protestants in this area are probably the most liberal but if they’re Catholic, conservative, you don’t hire them.”
Boland has since been placed on administrative leave. Greenwich Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones said in a statement, "We do not support any opinions that promote discriminatory hiring practices based on race, religion, gender, or age in any way.”
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont also released a statement, saying “discrimination of any kind has no place in Connecticut, especially in our public schools.”
“If people who want to be in a classroom are being kept out of the classroom based on characteristics like political orientation and religion, well, that’s not again how we’re going to help our children, better serve our communities, or instill trust between families and school,” Neily said.