Turning the proverbial school lunch tables, we gave Americans the opportunity to grade their public K-12 education system. Well, well, well Mrs. Stuart, look who’s failing to meet their potential now!
It's report card season and the American K-12 public education system ought to be checking the mailbox every day before its parents get home—the system gets a failing grade with 42% satisfied, 34% dissatisfied, and 25% still studying for the exam. Yet, a majority (65%) of Americans agree that the education system is in crisis. With so many Americans seemingly satisfied with a crisis, we’re starting to wonder if we oversampled guidance counselors.
While students today have faced myriad new challenges trying to adapt to constant changes throughout the pandemic, the most pressing issues facing the public education system (as measured through a MaxDiff experiment) have been around longer than most high school students have been alive! Longer than Maggie Simpson has been a baby! Longer than Tom Brady has been an NFL quarterback! Longer than this joke!
Recent coverage of education-related issues paints Republicans as trying to introduce more parental control over school curricula and policies and Democrats as peddling critical race theory in every homeroom. Yet, Americans actually share a lot in common in their critique of the problem du jour in our schools, with surprisingly more similarities than differences.
Democrats and Republicans alike cite the shortage of qualified school staff, lack of job skills training, and student violence as the most pressing issues currently facing the K-12 public education system.
If only schools taught socioemotional skills (the 3rd and 5th most pressing issue for Republicans and Democrats, respectively), we might actually be able to talk to one another without partisan earmuffs (on sale now for three easy payments of $19.99) and see that we have the same priorities for the future of the public school system. Then again, these earmuffs sure are cozy and all my friends are wearing the same ones!