Sunday, August 18, 2013

Why parents give high ratings to their child's school but not to American schools in general

Sent to the Fresno Bee, August 18, 2013
Reports of the results of the recent AP-NORC poll ("AP-NORC Poll: Parents back high-stakes testing," August 17), missed an important finding: 75% of those interviewed rated the school their child attends as excellent or good, but only 38% rated public schools in the US in general as excellent or good. 

An obvious explanation: Parents know a lot about the school their child attends, but their opinion of American education comes from the media. For decades, the media has been presenting a biased view. 

In a column accompanying the 2009 Gallup poll on education, which produced nearly identical results, Gerald Bracey stated it this way: "Americans never hear anything positive about the nation's schools ... negative information flows almost daily from media, politicians, and ideologues." 
In reality, American schools are doing quite well: When researchers control for poverty, American students' international test scores rank near the top of the world. 
I wonder how many of those interviewed know this?
Stephen Krashen

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