Nearly Half of Californians Think K-12 Education Has Worsened, Poll Finds

Nearly Half of Californians Think K-12 Education Has Worsened, Poll Finds

A language immersion teacher, left, checks her students' work during a second-grade class at Broadway Elementary School in Venice, California on Jan. 31, 2013. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

5/10/2024

Updated: 5/10/2024

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A recent survey of Californians revealed that nearly half of respondents think the state’s K-12 public schools have gotten worse.
Nonpartisan research group Public Policy Institute of California surveyed more than 1,000 Californians on education from March 19 through March 25. According to its findings, 47 percent of those surveyed think the quality of education in the state’s K-12 public schools has gotten worse in the last few years.
Additionally, only 51 percent of respondents approve of the way that Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Supt. Tony Thurmond and the state Legislature are handling public education.
The survey noted that such approval has declined since two years ago, when 60 percent of respondents approved such in April 2022—and has hit a record low since the institute first asked the question in 2019.
Also, according to the latest survey, when it comes to the direction of the state’s public education system, Californians are divided.
The survey reported 47 percent of adults—and 50 percent of public school parents—say the system is going in the right direction, while about 49 percent of adults and 47 percent of public-school parents say it is not.
Those saying things are headed in the right direction has also declined from 57 percent in 2022.
However, an overwhelming majority of Californians—78 percent of all surveyed, and 72 percent of parents of public-school students—say that children in their local public schools fell behind academically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only about 17 percent say their children stayed on track, while 2 percent say they got ahead on school.
When it comes to local schools, only a few respondents said they would award their local schools an “A.”
Only 9 percent of adults and 10 percent of parents with children in public schools rated their local schools as excellent.
However, 34 percent of adults and 42 percent of public school parents said they would give their school a grade of “B” and 38 percent of adults and 34 percent of public school parents would assign a “C.”
However, many respondents said they believed their local schools did an excellent or good job preparing students for college.
Respondents were divided on their effectiveness in preparing students for careers and the workforce.
Five percent rated public schools’ preparation for such as “excellent,” while 46 percent said it was “good,” while 37 percent said, “not so good” and 3 percent said “poor.”
The poll was conducted online and has a margin of error of 3.9 percent.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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