Where We Are Now: 12 Things You Need to Know About Public Opinion and Public Schools

Where We Are Now: 12 Things You Need to Know About Public Opinion and Public Schools

Quick, name the top concerns of public school students, teachers, and parents. Standards? Accountability? Wrong, says a new report from Public Agenda, a nonprofit opinion research firm. Drawing on a decade of research on public thinking about public schools, the organization's Where We Are Now: 12 Things You Need to Know About Public Opinion and Public Schools (36 pages, PDF) finds that teachers are discouraged about uninvolved parents, administrators are besieged by red tape, and everyone is worried about the unruly, disrespectful, and sometimes violent atmosphere in schools. Nevertheless, the report, which was funded by financial services company Washington Mutual, does show strong support for the standards movement, and all groups — even students themselves — admit that testing forces kids to work harder in school.