Gallup: Public support for public education up slightly

By Caitlin Emma, POLITICO

The percentage of U.S. adults who rate public schools as “excellent” or “good” has increased by 7 percentage points since 2012, while those giving private schools high marks decreased by the same ratio.

That’s according to new poll results today from Gallup. Despite the slight change in public perception, 71 percent of U.S. adults still believe independent private schools offer the best education. That’s followed by religious private schools, charter schools, homeschooling and, at the very bottom, public schools.

Gallup conducted telephone interviews earlier this month with a random sample of more than 1,000 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 states and D.C.

Republicans and Democrats also diverge on charter schools, the poll finds. The percentage of Republicans who give charter schools high marks has held steady at 62 percent. But favorable views among Democrats dropped from 61 percent to 48 percent, “perhaps as charter schooling is becoming more closely tied to Donald Trump’s administration,” Gallup says. “His secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, is a longtime proponent of charter schools as a way to give parents alternatives to public schools.”

Poll results earlier this month by the research and opinion journal Education Next also found a significant drop in public support for charter schools — but equally among Republicans and Democrats.

Researchers said Trump alone didn’t contribute to the drop in public support, but increased scrutiny from elected Democrats, teachers unions and civil rights groups also played a role.

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