An advocate for school choice is not surprised that a new
Gallup poll shows Americans think children educated in private
schools receive excellent instruction, while they're not so
enthusiastic about public schools.
Jeff Reed of the The Friedman Foundation for Educational
Choice is not surprised by the findings. Given
private schools' reputation of providing high-quality
education, he says more states should provide access
to those schools through voucher and scholarship programs.
"I think people recognize that, although there are a lot of good
public schools out there, I think that people realize that the
public schools by and large are not giving us the results that we
need in order to be competitive in our global economy," Reed
Meanwhile, the increasing number of private school
enrollment actually enhances public school performance.
"There's been a number of studies that look at the results, the
academic outcomes of public schools affected by school voucher
programs, and what those studies have shown is that when the
voucher becomes available, when students suddenly leave those
public schools, that creates an incentive for public schools to
improve," he explains.
78 percent of those surveyed give independent, private
schools a rating of "excellent" or "good." Only 37 percent of the
rated public schools get that kind of feedback.