As education continues to push its way through other issues to stay at the top of American voters’ minds, a recent survey found that parents are unhappy with the radicalized public education system and want to see reforms that foster a good life beyond school-age years.
American Compass and YouGov surveyed 1,000 parents of all political parties and classes between Nov. 1-9, 2021, and found they largely preferred for public educational institutions to prioritize helping “students develop the skills and values needed to build decent lives in the communities where they live.”
While respondents said they still want schools to “help students maximize their academic potential and pursue admission to colleges and universities with the best possible reputations,” the parents of 12-30-year-olds largely agreed that an approach that reaches far beyond the walls of a classroom will be more beneficial.
When it came to what kind of educational content could deliver the futures that parents wanted for their children, Republicans expressed the desire for curriculum to “emphasize America’s history and accomplishments, instilling a common set of civic values and a shared American identity” by a margin of 64 percentage points. Democrats, on the other hand, claimed they care more about curriculum that will “emphasize America’s ideals and failures to achieve them, encouraging students to discover their own values and identities” by a 26-point margin.
“The Republican response is also notable for the strength of opinion, with 65% saying that common values and identity are ‘much more important,’ by far the highest share to choose an option as ‘much more important’ of any question in the survey,” the survey noted.
While parents as a whole said they wanted more educational options for kids, including those that point to opportunities outside of higher education (which 64 percent of GOP parents said “encourage radical values and political views”), 60 percent said they would choose for their child to be happily married with children over building a career and staying well off without children.
“Across political parties, parents aspire first and foremost for their children to have happy families of their own. But whereas the margin is 8 percentage points for Democrats and 16 points for Independents, it is 48 points among Republicans,” the survey noted. “This holds likewise for young adults themselves, with young Democrats splitting evenly between preferring to be financially well-off or happily married with children.”