The issue that is probably the most troubling to parents is an over-emphasis on standardized testing, with 59 percent saying their child has experienced anxiety or worry about taking a state standardized assessment. In fact, most parents reject the bulk of the education reform agenda.
Here were some of the results of the poll, which a spokesman from Hart, a Democratic polling firm, said is nationally representative of parents with children in public schools, within a few percentage points:
*Fifty-eight percent of parents polled said they view public schools as the single most important institution for the future of their community and of their nation.
*The two biggest problems facing public schools are too much testing and too little funding — both at 32 percent. Third on the list is large class sizes (23 percent), fourth is lack of support for teachers (17 percent) and fifth, poor teacher quality (16 percent).
*Fifty-seven percent said testing has taken away too much time from teaching and learning.
*Sixty-four percent said standardized tests given by their state do not accurately measure student achievement.
*Sixty-eight percent of parents are satisfied with their children’s public schools, including 66 percent of parents with children in urban schools and 62 percent of parents with incomes under $50,000.
*Seventy-six percent oppose reduced funding for traditional public schools to increase spending on public charter schools.
As to the second question – Do reformers actually care want parents want when it turns out parents don’t want what they are offering? — it’s safe to say not so much.