Education survey reveals 'head-scratching' results [Excerpts]
The survey -- conducted by Ellison Research -- asked Americans to rate the overall quality of education students get from public schools, home schooling, charter schools, and three types of private schools: non-religious, Catholic, and Christian.
On a five-point scale, the average rating a public school education received was 3.0. Next came home schooling with an average rating of 3.14, and then charter schools with an average rating of 3.41. Private Christian schools received an average rating of 3.69, with Catholic schools receiving an average rating of 3.74. The highest-rated schools were private non-religious schools, with an average rating of 3.86.
Ron Sellers, president of Ellison Research, says he was surprised at how Americans perceived home schooling. "Even the non-religious American, and even the politically liberal American, had views of home schooling that were very similar to how they viewed public schools, or slightly better," he notes. "So one of the surprises of the study was the fact that home schooling is becoming more of an accepted form of education in the U.S."
Another surprise, says Sellers, is the fact that while public schools received lower ratings, many people feel as though public schools better prepare children for real life.
"Americans, oddly enough, believe that kids get a better overall quality of education outside of public schools -- they get a better education on the basics such as reading and math and science outside of public schools," he says of the study results. "But who prepares students best for life after graduation? Public schools." That, he admits, was a "bit of a head scratcher."
[TBC: Public perception continues to rate public schools at better for preparing students "best for life..." But what does that mean? Another commentator noted the following: " ‘In many instances, [public school students] are quite certain of the correct choice and, in the absence of group pressure, would choose correctly 100 percent of the time. In contrast, when they conform, they are conforming despite the fact that they know the correct answer.’ If 35 percent of the students conformed to group opinion in unambiguous matters and in direct contradiction of the evidence seen by their own eyes, how much more must we fear blind following in ambiguous circumstances, in situations where the morality is unclear or debatable, or in situations where there exists a legitimate or charismatic authority?" (Sarah McCarthy, "Why Johnny Can’t Disobey,"http://www.brianwilson.net/pages/whyjohnny.html). In other words, public schools are better at bringing individuals into conformity regardless of right or wrong.]