ERIC Number: ED433606
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Americans' Perceptions about Public Education.
This report examines Americans' attitudes, opinions, and perceptions about public education over the past three decades. The major conclusions are as follows: (1) Americans continue to value and have confidence in public schools. The more first-hand knowledge people have about the public schools, the more favorable their perceptions; (2) People are split on the question of whether the nation's schools are as good as they used to be; many people, particularly employers and college-level educators, think public schools are not as good as they can and should be; (3) There is widespread concern about the quality and performance of the nation's urban schools; (4) Public perceptions about what is wrong with education are complex and, in some cases, at odds with the facts; (5) Many Americans view public-school funding as neither adequate nor equitable, but few agree about the best way to finance schools; (6) Across a wide spectrum of interests and perspectives, there is a surprising level of agreement about the purpose of public education and about what it will take to improve schools; (7) Americans favor reforming the public-school system rather than dismantling and replacing it; and (8) Americans still trust teachers, principals, and school-board members to manage schools, but the public's trust is wavering. (Contains 18 references.) (RJM)
Descriptors: Community Attitudes, Educational History, Elementary Secondary Education, Longitudinal Studies, National Surveys, School Attitudes, School Community Relationship, School Effectiveness, Trend Analysis
ECS Distribution Center, 707 17th Street, Suite 2700, Denver, CO 80202-3427 (Stock No. SI-99-2; $5.00 prepaid, plus postage and handling). Tel: 303-299-3692; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.