Who Will Help Parents in the Rescue Mission?

New Poll Shows the Nation’s Education System and American Families are in Crisis


May 10, 2023, Washington, D.C.– According to a new poll released today by the National Parents Union (NPU), parents are in wide agreement that the state of America’s education system is in despair. 

  • When asked, after learning about student performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (the nation’s report card), to describe how they feel about students still being behind academically after learning, 81% of parents labeled that a major problem, including 34% who say it’s a crisis.
  • Parents had a similar sentiment on mental health challenges among children with 76% of those surveyed agreeing it is a major problem, and again, 34% saying it’s a crisis. 

NPU also surveyed parents on the issue of student assessment and found that 69% support continuing to use statewide tests to understand how well students are learning compared to previous years, the strongest level of support since NPU began asking this question in its polls.. Just 26% of parents want to pause statewide testing. 

“The more parents learn about the state of America’s education system, the more concerned they become and for good reason… the kids are not alright”, said Keri Rodrigues, President of the National Parents Union. “Parents are sending a message loud and clear: We want more information, we want better, more accurate information, and we want a reimagined experience for our children that puts them on the path to economic mobility instead of teetering on the edge of educational disaster.”

Parents Provide Solutions

  • 64% say schools should do more to ensure college-bound students and students who choose a different pathway have equally good opportunities to prepare for their future while in high school
  • 62% say schools should do more to ensure all students with learning disabilities receive the support they need to get a high-quality education
  • 57% say schools should do more to have school schedules and calendars reflect research on how and when kids learn best
  • 56% say schools should do more to provide opportunities for additional learning time, such as after school or summer academic programs 
  • 53% say schools should do more to ensure all students have access to technology that supports their learning (e.g., laptops or other educational technology) 


Meanwhile American Families are Bracing for Recession

Only 41% of parents surveyed say they have money left over to save, invest, or afford non-essential things. Despite the struggles that tens of millions of American families are going through, Congress failed to address the issue by not reinstating the child tax credit, which remains popular across party lines. The Child Tax Credit would give eligible families monthly checks of $300 per month per child under the age of 6 and $250 per child ages 6-17.

  • 81% of parents overall support reinstating the child tax credit, including 71% of Republicans 
  • 86% of parents say the child tax credit would help their family’s financial situation, including 81% of Republicans

Ariel Smith, Senior Director of the NPU Center for Policy and Action, added, “If Members of Congress that blocked the Child Tax Credit from being reinstated want to know why their approval rating is a pathetic 16%, they should look no further than how they treat American families. The tax credit is a solution that is strongly supported by both parties and is proven to help keep families out of poverty. Inaction on such a measure is nothing less than punitive.” 


National Parents Union Survey

N=1,036 parents of public school students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade 

Sample from online web panels

Field Dates: May 1–3, 2023

Margin of sampling error: ± 3.9 percentage points

Click here for toplines. 



With more than 1,000 affiliated parent organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, the National Parents Union is the united, independent voice of modern American families. We channel the power of parents into powerful policies that improve the lives of children, families and communities across the United States. https://nationalparentsunion.org/