Survey: Americans Want K-12 Schools To Prioritize Practical Skills, Not College Prep
A recently published survey asked respondents to rank their K-12 educational priorities. The results were startling: Americans rank preparing students for college near the bottom of the list. This wasn’t always the case. Before the pandemic, college preparation ranked 10th in a list of 57 possible priorities. Now, it ranks 47th. This shift appears to be part of a larger trend, one where Americans increasingly want individualized education that focuses on instilling practical skills in students.
The Purpose of Education Index was published by Populace, a nonpartisan think tank. The survey results show an increased desire to individualize education and instill positive character qualities in students. According to the survey, the most important goal for K-12 education should be that it provides students with practical skills, critical thinking skills, and character.
In its surveys, Populace measures respondents’ privately held opinions as well as their perceptions of what others believe. The Purpose of Education Index revealed some startling gaps between respondents’ opinions and what they believed the opinions of others would be. While respondents ranked college preparedness near the bottom of their list of priorities, they assumed that it would be the third most important goal for others. And while respondents ranked character development, student’s ability to choose courses based on interest, and student’s ability to learn at their own pace as the 3rd, 9th, and 13th most importan
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