For Immediate Release
Charles Butt Foundation poll results show surge in ratings from public school parents, drop among non-school parents
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AUSTIN, TEXAS – In the third year of polling Texans’ attitudes toward public education, the Charles Butt Foundation found a dramatic increase in confidence in public schools and teachers by parents with 68% giving their schools either an A or B rating, up from 61% in 2021. However, the percentage of non-parents (Texans without children in school) giving an A or B rating dropped from 56% to 48%. The 20 point gap between parents and non-parents reveals a significant difference in perception between those with daily experiences with their public schools and those with less direct connection to schools.
“Parents with children in public schools not only recognize the difficulties faced by schools and educators over the past two years as they navigated uncertainty, but also are more supportive of their schools now than before the pandemic,” said Shari Albright, president of the Charles Butt Foundation. “In fact, Texas parents’ ratings of public schools and teachers are the highest in the history of our poll, and that is a message of rising confidence in our schools and teachers that stands counter to much of the rhetoric and many current headlines.”
Texans overwhelmingly support students acquiring critical thinking, problem solving, and interpersonal skills. They value extracurriculars and educational technology, workforce training, health and mental health services, and pre-Kindergarten. Texans rated several offerings of public schools highly, including critical thinking and problem-solving skills (92%), self-management, interpersonal skills, and decision-making skills (SEL) (91%), and preparation to succeed in the workforce (91%). Texans also overwhelmingly support extracurricular programs like sports, music, arts, and clubs (97%) and offering pre-Kindergarten classes for any student whose family wants it (90%)
Nearly three-quarters of public school parents report their child has a sense of belonging at school. Poll data found parents, when given other options, would prefer to keep their child in their current public school, if the parent reported their student experienced a higher sense of belonging (89% with strong sense of belonging v. 77% with weak sense of belonging). A sense of belonging also correlated with higher ratings for teachers (88% giving A/B grades with strong sense of belonging verus 72% with weak sense of belonging), and higher ratings for public schools (84% giving A/B grades with strong sense of belonging versus 61% with weak sense of belonging). A full 80% of public school parents would choose to keep their child in their current school even with other options available.
Texans trust teachers. They trust teachers much more than the STAAR tests to assess student learning. They trust teachers much more than elected officials to make decisions in the best interest of students. More parents believe their child’s report cards are a source of good information about their child’s progress (80%), versus STAAR test scores (51%).
Texans still see the pandemic as a major challenge for schools and teachers. Parents report positive and negative impacts on students. While citing several major challenges for teachers, such as training on pandemic learning models (83%), Texans recognize how schools have adapted and responded with practices and programs that positively impact on their students.
Other notable poll results include:
The poll was started in 2020 by the non-profit Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation and is now commissioned by the Charles Butt Foundation. The poll is conducted by Langer Research Associates, an internationally recognized probability-based survey research firm and producer of the ongoing ABC News/Washington Post poll. The poll covers nine distinct areas: the role of public schools, pursuing school quality, belonging and inclusion, rating the schools, attitudes toward teachers, testing and accountability, equity barriers and school funding. For complete poll results visit CharlesButtFdn.org/2022TXEdPoll.
The Charles Butt Foundation is pursuing a more equitable and prosperous future for all Texans through education and community partnerships. The Foundation is working toward a future in which all Texas children and families live in vibrant communities supported by a world-class education system. To learn more, visit CharlesButtFdn.org.
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