The Parent Report Card Reveals High Levels of Anxiousness and Uncertainty Around Academic Preparedness, Mental Health Support & Preparation for the Future in Schools

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Annual National Parents Union report card survey finds less than half of public school parents believe their child is definitely ready academically for the next school year; concerns persist among parents regarding mental health resources in schools and future economic mobility for their children

Boston, MA, June 13, 2024– A new poll, The Parent Report Card, released today by the National Parents Union, demonstrates the uncertainty parents are feeling regarding their child’s experience in school as the academic calendar year comes to a close.

Less than half (48%) of the parents surveyed say their child is definitely prepared academically for the next school year, and among middle school parents (grades 6-8), that number drops to 43%. Additionally, overall, 31% of parents report that their child’s school did NOT tell them what skills are needed in order to be academically prepared for next year. And 29% say the schools did not provide information about the ways parents could help children prepare for next year.

Further, the percentage of students ACTUALLY prepared academically for the next school year is likely quite low as data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows, for example, that in 2022 just 26% and 29% of eighth grade public school students were performing at or above math and reading proficiency levels, respectively.

The NPU poll also found that nearly a third of all parents (31%) gave schools a “C” or worse when it came to providing resources to support students’ mental health.

A sizeable percentage of parents of high schoolers also graded schools poorly on issues related to their child’s future and economic mobility:

  • 34% graded schools “C” or worse on teaching children practical skills they will need as an adult
  • 31% graded schools “C” or worse on preparing children for a future career
  • 30% graded schools “C” or worse on preparing children for college

National Parents Union President, Keri Rodrigues says, “Every year, schools struggle to understand why parents aren’t doing more to help their kids be prepared for the next year – and policymakers struggle to understand why there is such a major disconnect between parents and school performance. We can’t take action to help our children to prepare if we are kept in the dark and aren’t given the information we need to help them succeed – especially during the summer.

It’s unacceptable that less than half of us parents believe our children are definitely ready for the next school year – and our lack of confidence should be a clear sign that we have a major problem. When schools are failing to honestly communicate with parents, schools are failing kids.”

National Parents Union Survey

N= 1518 parents of public school students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade
Sample from online web panels
Field Dates: May 7-11 2024
Margin of sampling error: ± 2.8 percentage points
Click here for toplines.


With nearly 1,500 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.