The majority of parents, both Democrat and Republican, are satisfied with the quality of education their children are receiving, according to an October report Parents Differ Sharply by Party Over What Their K-12 Children Should Learn in School from Pew Research Center.
The report summarizes the results of a survey of more than 3,200 K-12 parents across the U.S. that was administered between Sept. 20 and Oct. 2, 2022.
The survey found that Republican parents are more likely to believe that parents don’t have enough influence on what children learn in school and that school boards have too much influence on what is taught, according to the report.
Forty-four percent of Republican/Republican-leaning respondents said that parents did not have enough influence on what is taught in public K-12 schools (compared to 23 percent of Democrat/Democrat-leaning respondents) while 35 percent said they have about the right amount (compared to 39 percent of Democrats) and 8 percent said they have too much (compared to 19 percent of Democrats).
As for local school boards, 11 percent of Republicans said they don’t have enough influence (compared to 15 percent of Democrats), 35 percent said they have about the right amount (compared to 41 percent of Democrats) and 30 percent said school boards have too much influence (compared to 17 percent of Democrats).
The survey also revealed differing views on what schools should teach in regard to subjects like gender identity, slavery and sex education.
“At the same time, Republican and Democratic parents — including those with children in public schools — are equally likely to say they are extremely or very satisfied with the quality of the education their children are receiving (58 percent each) and that the teachers and administrators at their children’s schools have values that are similar to their own (54 percent each),” the report states.
Among other findings:
- Though most parents are highly satisfied with the quality of education their children are receiving, less than 40 percent “are extremely or very satisfied with the amount of input they personally have in what their children learn in school; the same share (40 percent) are somewhat satisfied, and 19 percent say they are not too or not at all satisfied with the amount of input they have.”
- One-in-five K-12 parents think their children’s school doesn’t dedicate enough time to core academic subjects such as reading, math, science and social studies.
- Roughly two-thirds of parents indicated that schools teaching students to develop social and emotional skills is extremely or very important.
- Parents of students in elementary school were more satisfied with the quality of their children’s education than parents of older children.
- Parents have varying views on whether public school teachers should be permitted to lead students in prayer.