What Does America Think Of School Choice?

This is the second of three guest posts for The Arkansas Project blog.

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For my second education reform article, as part of National School Choice Week, I want to address national trends. What is happening in school choice across the country today?

The Center for Education Reform, a leading advocate for choice programs, recently released their latest survey: America’s Attitudes Towards Education Reform. It found that Americans overwhelmingly support choice in education.

Here are a few highlights from the survey:

  • Out of all education reform terms tested, “School Choice” tops the list — 74% of Americans support school choice.
  • 81% of respondents in the 25-34 age range are more favorable towards school choice than the average respondent at 74%.
  • Support for school choice is tri-partisan: 79% of Republicans polled support school choice, along with 73% of Democrats and 71% of Independents.
  • 73% of those who believe a child’s current school is working well for them support school choice. Support for school choice is strong (87%) among those who say a child’s school currently isn’t working for them.
  • Men are more favorable toward school choice than women at 77% compared to 72% respectively.
  • Differences in region are prevalent in regards to favorability of school choice: Suburban residents are the highest supporters at 79%, while 69% of those in rural areas support school choice. Urban residents fall between suburban and rural dwellers at 72%.

These survey results are great news for the choice movement. Not only is choice a multi-party issue, but three-fourths of the country currently supports school choice with an even stronger support of the younger, soon-to-be parents generation.

The moral of the story: perseverance and constructive activism work. The support for school choice is evidence of that. Supporters of choice have established lasting relationships with both their communities and legislators. This is how reform moves along the process. The people are demanding choice and lawmakers are responding accordingly by breaking down established educational barriers. School choice is “increasingly viewed as an issue that cuts across racial, ideological, and party lines.”

Advocates are showing that if parents are put in the driver’s seat, they will choose good schools for their children based on their needs, not government’s. This is the driving force behind innovation, quality, and opportunity.