Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Idaho version of how much people like public schools

Two months ago I blogged about survey results that reported only 11% of those in Nevada "would send their children to public schools if they had other options."

Bryan Fischer reports that only 12% of Idaho parents would choose public school if had a choice:

"A poll commissioned by the prestigious Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and co-sponsored by the Idaho Values Alliance found that only 12% of Idahoans would chose a "regular public school" if they had a full range of options.
Even more striking, this figure drops to just 4% among Idahoans age 36-55, who are the chief consumers of public education services in Idaho."

As Bryan points, out this is devastating.

You can download the report by Paul DiPerna of the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice.

Here is a selection from the executive summary:


Nearly half of Idaho voters are not satisfied with the state’s current public school system—47 percent rate Idaho’s public school system as “poor” or “fair.” If we exclude the one out of five voters who are undecided, this proportion jumps to 59 percent.

Two out of every three likely voters (67 percent) say Idaho’s level of public school funding is “about right” or “too high.”

Idaho voters value private schools, charter schools, and homeschooling. When asked “what type of school would you select in order to obtain the best education for your child?”, Idahoans prefer private schools (39 percent) over other types of schools. Charter schools (25 percent) are the second most desired option. About one out of five respondents (21 percent) would prefer to homeschool their child.


Again, these kinds of numbers are devastating. In the United States few parents are content and happy with public schools. They don't see that as positive service. Most parents feel trapped in being forced to send their children to public schools, or pay again for the education of their children by sending them to private schools.

There have been a few instances in history when a ruling power walked away when enough people said they had enough. For example England freed India when Gandhi preached peaceful civil disobedience. This eventually resulted in the birth of the Indian nation.

Maybe at some point enough people will say they have had enough and the public school system will change. Who will be our Gandhi?

Technorati tags: parenting, children, public school, public education, education


Mrs. C said...

I'm sad to say, but I don't think any sort of dismantling of public schools will be a peaceful ordeal if it ever happens.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I think people need to vote with two of the most powerful tools they have: their feet and their wallets.

I'm not entirely surprised by the Nevada stats, Henry. Just dismayed, that's all.

Crimson Wife said...

I would love to see the numbers for California. I know that the state has one of the highest percentages of K-12 students enrolled in private schools in the country. I read somewhere that in the city of San Francisco it's roughly 1/3. How many more families would like to flee the government-run schools but simply can't afford either private school tuition or the foregone 2nd income to homeschool?

Henry Cate said...

Mrs. C: I wish I could anticipate what was going to happen with public schools. My fear is they won't go away for decades.

adsoofmelk: You are right that people do vote with their feet and wallets. Currently public schools exist every where, so I don't know where to go.

Crimson Wife: I believe the Nevada and Idaho numbers reflect the United States as a whole. There may be slight differences, but I don't believe that California would have a much higher number for people parents who would put their children in public schools, if they had options.

Dreamscrapper said...

Sadly, the problems in public schools begin with the fact that government officials with absolutely no qualifications as educators are dictating to trained education professionals what and how to teach. There is no government control over a private school. Second, public schools are legally bound to provide education for any student who walks through their door. There is no entrance exam like there is for a private school. There's no application process, like there is for a charter school. They cannot be "kicked out" of the school, except under the most egregious of circumstances. That means that, in general, the populations are very, very different between public and private schools.

Until the government is willing to let teachers teach, things will only get worse. If private school or homeschooling were an option for me. That is what I would be doing since my child will start kindergarten next year. Unfortunately, finances prevent me from going that route.

Crimson Wife said...

Dreamscraper- actually, you've bought into a myth promoted by the teachers' unions and other anti-voucher folks. The overwhelming majority of private schools do *NOT* practice selective admissions and enroll virtually all the children who apply. Also, they expel less than 1% of their students on average. So the success of private schools can't be ascribed to differences in admission and retention policies...

Henry Cate said...

"Second, public schools are legally bound to provide education for any student who walks through their door."

In California public schools often bumps a lot of children to alternative schools. We've known a couple children who were in alternative schools. The education was almost non-existant.

The average Catholic private school gets half the money and does a better job than the corresponding public schools.

Public schools have many problems. As I've written before public education has become a Gordian knot. I don't see a simple solution. Thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of people have tried to improve public education. Unfortunately over the last thirty plus years public education has continued to decline.

Anonymous said...

The book 'NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education' explains why all the efforts to 'reform' the public school system have failed.

In short, public education in America is run top to bottom by socialists who got most of their 'methods' and 'policies' from Joe Stalin's school system in the former USSR. The book demonstrates those facts - in excruciating detail - using the public statements of the NEA itself and its founding and controlling members.

Public education in America was and is designed to fail, on purpose, to achieve 'social change' in accordance with a Marxist socialist 'progressive' agenda.

No matter how much money gets spent, no matter how many new laws and regulations are proposed... it just stays the same or gets worse. Why? Because there is no reforming an ideologically driven socialist political force, like the NEA.