New Poll: Parents Declare it’s Time to Tear the Education System Down!


More than half of parents nationwide say the education system in the U.S. needs major changes or a complete overhaul


Boston, MA— According to a new poll released today by the National Parents Union, 57% of parents say the K-12 public education system in the United States needs either major changes or a complete overhaul. The survey comes just a few weeks after the release of NAEP scores, which showed U.S. students experienced devastating setbacks in both math and reading.
Despite that troubling data on academic progress, more than a quarter of all parents (27%) still have not been offered the opportunity to have a private conversation with their child’s teacher to review how the school year is going.

The poll also found that nearly four-in-ten parents say their children need more academic support for their school than they are receiving now. When asked what schools should do to help students who are struggling academically, 58% of parents said they want schools to offer tutoring, 49% want after-school programs, 43% online educational resources and 32% want summer school programs. Only 11% want the school year to be longer.

Yet, parents are not necessarily being asked by schools to weigh in on how any additional federal funding they have received should be used. Just 23% say their children’s school has asked for input and 64% responded that they have not been given the chance to provide feedback. And if schools are spending the extra funding, parents overwhelmingly (61%) are not seeing or hearing about it.

Keri Rodrigues, the co-founder and president of the National Parents Union explained, “It baffles me that the NAEP and state student achievement scores don’t seem to have been a wakeup call for schools. The dismal results should have been met with widespread communication to parents so they could better understand how their children are doing and what resources are available to help their children get back on track and excel in school. Schools are sitting on billions of dollars while parents are desperate to get their kids the academic support they need. The federal funding wasn’t meant to be some sort of savings account, it was meant to surge resources since we are in a state of emergency. Given the current conditions in schools for millions of underserved families across the country, it’s time to tear this thing down and build a more sustainable, more equitable system that values the input of parents and that puts kids first, not special interests.”

Parent Power

  • 66% of parents support allowing parents to use a portion of education funding allocated for their child to send their child to whatever school best meets their needs, whether it’s a public, charter or private school.
    Education as a Civil Right
  • 74% of parents support changing laws to establish a right to quality public education as a civil right in the same way that the right to vote is, meaning the government would be obligated by law to provide every child access to a quality education, and that the government could be challenged in court if that right is infringed.
    Test Taking
  • 51% of parents whose children took statewide exams last school year said they received information about areas their child did well or skills they need to work on.

Field Dates: October 29-31, 2022

1,017 parents of public school students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade

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The National Parents Union is a network of highly effective parent organizations and grassroots activists across the country that is united behind a set of common goals and principles to channel the power of parents. Our family advocates improve the quality of life for children across the United States and define the education conversation.

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