Poll Finds Dissatisfaction With Public Education Near All-Time Low

Trust in American institutions of various types has decreased substantially in recent years. One recent survey found that the nation’s grade-school public education system is no exception.

According to the results of a new Gallup poll, only 42% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the institution, which is nearly 10 points lower than it was just three years ago. Pollsters found that 32% were “somewhat dissatisfied” and 23% were “completely dissatisfied.”

Overall, the current level of dissatisfaction with public education is the second-lowest registered since pollsters began asking the question. Much of the growing concern appears to be linked to the conservative backlash against the so-called “woke” ideologies behind classroom lessons in schools across the country.

As Gallup wrote in its report, “there is no ambiguity about the source of the recent decline in public satisfaction with education, nationally.”

Between 2017 and the latest polling data, satisfaction with the public education system among Republicans has dropped from 46% to 30%. On the other hand, Democratic satisfaction has remained relatively steady at about 50% or slightly above.

Broken down by specific issues, pollsters found that 15% of those surveyed said that “poor or outdated curriculum” was a source of dissatisfaction. Another 12% cited concerns that U.S. schools are not keeping up with those in other developed nations.

Other concerns included low teacher pay, overcrowded classrooms, inequality, and a perceived failure of educators to teach basic skills and knowledge.

With 23% of respondents citing a lack of resources as a problem, the issue ranked as the most common. Just below it was a combination of concerns — political-, gender-, and race-related — that education had become influenced by leftist ideologies.

A number of Republicans have addressed such complaints, including a push by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to give parents more rights related to their children’s education.

When he signed the bill into law in March, the governor declared: “Parents’ rights have been increasingly under assault around the nation, but in Florida we stand up for the rights of parents and the fundamental role they play in the education of their children. Parents have every right to be informed about services offered to their child at school, and should be protected from schools using classroom instruction to sexualize their kids as young as 5 years old.”