Education Survey: Three Quarters of Americans Rate Federal Government’s K-12 Performance As ‘Fair’ or ‘Poor’

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The Associated Press

As both the House and Senate consider their respective rewrites of the federal No Child Left Behind law, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice finds that 77 percent of Americans rate the federal government’s performance in K-12 education as only “fair” or “poor.”

According to the 2015 Schooling in America Survey, one out of six respondents rank education as the “Number 1” issue facing America, yet only 20 percent of those surveyed said the federal government was doing a “good” or “excellent” job in K-12 education.

Friedman found as well that 86 percent of Americans don’t know how much taxpayer money is spent per pupil on K-12 education. The national average per pupil spending is about $10,700.

When public school parents were asked to rate their local public schools, 47 percent gave them a grade of “A” or “B,” while 34 percent gave them a “C” and 17 percent gave them a “D” or “F.”

In fact, more Americans, according to the survey, would prefer to send their children to a private school (41 percent) as opposed to public school (36 percent).

In an op-ed at Breitbart News Wednesday, presidential contender Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) urged Americans to tell their representatives to vote against the “Washington Machine’s” No Child Left Behind reauthorization.

Senate Democrats are plotting to pack that chamber’s bill with amendments to provide even more federal funding for preschool and other subsidies they say will help minority students and close the ever-elusive “achievement gap.”

“It’s time we abandon a failed Carter-era policy experiment and put money into our local education systems,” Paul wrote. “Sending it to the Washington Machine will only encourage more federal mandated testing and a failed one-size-fits all curriculum. No one in Washington knows who the good teachers are. No one in Washington knows what tests your kids should take or when they should take them.”

“Since the advent of the flawed and doomed ‘No Child Left Behind’ bill, too many in our party have fallen victim to the idea that Washington can solve all of our problems including educating our children,” he added. “This simply is not the case—in the past, present, or future.”