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Home » Press Releases » New Gallup Poll Reinforces Need for School Choice

New Gallup Poll Reinforces Need for School Choice

August 21, 2017

Statement by Jeanne Allen, Founder and CEO

Gallup International released its education poll on Monday, August 21, which found overwhelming support for private schools over traditional public schools, 71-44 percent respectively.

Jeanne Allen, CEO and founder of the Center for Education Reform commented on these results, pointing out that the latest Gallup results demonstrate a need to have a broader discussion about how to best serve individuals students:

Monday’s results are startling and demonstrate the need to ensure more students have access to additional education options. Once again, Americans are not satisfied with a one-size-fits all, 19th century approach to educating our children.

They know all children are wired uniquely, and they want opportunities to determine how best to serve their children.  Data from NAEP and PISA continue to validate shortcomings of our traditional education system and the latest Gallup adds to a long series of indications that the public knows we can do better as a nation, and that the best education for each child often varies dramatically from what is provided in the mandated school zone.

With the annual back to school ritual upon us, it’s time for a much broader national discussion, away from the teachers’ unions us-vs-them mentality. In a day and age when we have unprecedented access to knowledge and innovative solutions across the globe, it’s sad that each year our nation harbors a uniform school system that relegates most students to a school in their neighborhood, regardless of whether it works for the child.

The American appetite for innovation and opportunity exists in education as it does for every other sector.

It’s time to demand that we provide our school leaders the flexibility from contracts and labor demands to deliver the best, and to permit a wide variety of new learning opportunities – whether private, charter or other – to work to meet the needs of all kids. Not only does the public want it, but it’s the right thing to do.

The Gallup survey found overwhelming support for private schools over traditional public schools; with 71 percent of respondents saying private schools provide an excellent/good education while only 44 percent said the same of public schools.

Further, the Gallup poll found support for private schools and dissatisfaction with traditional public schools was bipartisan, illustrating the serious and all-encompassing concern with the nation’s traditional public school system.

Positive Rating of U.S. School Types by Party ID

                                                                Republican         Democrat

Independent private schools:                    76%                           68%

Parochial/religious schools:                       71%                           56%

Charter schools:                                        62%                          48%

Public schools:                                          39%                          48%