Poll finds charter parents more satisfied with schools than district parents
- EducationNext surveyed a nationally representative sample of parents whose children are in the traditional public, charter and private school sectors, assessing parent satisfaction with a range of metrics and its level of variance.
- Researchers report charter school parents are more satisfied with teacher quality, school discipline, expectations for student achievement, safety, and instruction in character or values than their counterparts whose children are in district-run schools but less satisfied than those whose children go to private schools.
- Charter school parents are also happier with the racial and ethnic diversity in their schools than district parents, though their views tend to vary more widely when it comes to teacher quality, and the vast majority of parent respondents from all sectors report being satisfied with their children’s schools.
According to EducationNext researchers, district-operated schools serve more than 80% of the U.S. student population, private schools serve about 10%, and charters serve 6% — though their share is growing the most quickly. In many major cities, the charter school sector has begun to carve out a significant share of the K-12 education sector, creating greater competition for both district-run and private schools.
Understanding local families is a critical first step to better serving them. National data like the EducationNext survey can be helpful, but finding ways to assess the desires of parents and children in a school’s attendance boundaries will always be more powerful than transposing data from other places. This local information can become a primary driver in improvement and recruitment efforts.
- EducationNext What Do Parents Think of Their Children’s Schools?
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