Monday, September 03, 2007

What Americans Think about Their Schools Hoover Inst. Education Next
Last week the Fall issue of Education Next came out with this survey co-sponsored by Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance. Not surprisingly, it asks Americans questions about issues of concern to Hoover, and gets answers much more favorable perhaps than if the same topics had been broached by, say, the NEA.

Still, there are encouraging things. One is that Americans are willing to pay for education, they just want their money's worth. We observed this first hand last weekend, seeing a beautiful new campus for Appalachian Vinton County Schools, pop. 13,519, median income, $32,089. Another is that they think schools can do better, that classroom size will help more than increased teacher pay, and that charter schools could definitely be part of the solution. Only 30% oppose merit pay for teachers, 33% oppose hiring teachers without formal credentials, and less than 35% oppose vouchers or tax credits to private schools. No one asked about online, interactive storytelling.

What do you think of your local school? If you're like most Americans, it is better than average! Garrison Keillor would be so proud!

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