Poll: Parenthood Trumps Partisanship in Views on Student Debt, School Choice and Career Readiness Education
Eighty-three percent of parents say student debt is a serious problem; favored solutions include broader exposure to future career opportunities and increased opportunities to earn college credits in high school.
“The U.S. education system has been home to some of the fiercest political fights this century, but when it comes to their own kids, parents speak with a unified voice,” said Dr.
Only 12% of parents strongly agreed that the K-12 school system is doing enough to prepare students for a career after graduation. The percentage declines with age, as younger parents (ages 18-29) were more likely to strongly agree (21%) than older parents (ages 45-54, 6% strongly agree), who presumably have children closer to graduation.
89% of parents said it was very (54%) or somewhat (35%) important to have multiple school options for their children. The results were virtually identical for Democrats (52% / 38%), Republicans (56% / 36%) and Independents (53% / 32%).
83% said student debt was a serious (34%) or very serious (49%) problem, with Democrats leaning slightly more toward very serious (55%) than Republicans (45%).
92% of parents agreed that giving high school students more exposure to future career opportunities and experiences before they enter college would help alleviate student debt. A similar number (91%) said schools should give students more opportunities to earn college credits before graduating.
- 90% of parents think improving the quality of K-12 education in the U.S. should be a very big (49%) or big (41%) priority for the current administration.
“A staggering number of job openings are going unfilled right now, in career fields that are critical to the economy and can support a family,” said Dr. McAlmont. “And yet we still have a K-12 education system that pushes kids into debt-filled futures without nearly enough guidance and exposure to those opportunities.”
Only a quarter of parents think companies are definitely (7%) or probably (20%) doing enough to help schools prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s careers. A broader vision for Career Readiness Education includes connecting students to companies that can offer first-hand experience. It’s an opportunity to learn important soft skills like punctuality and professionalism, while also developing a personal vision for the future.
This poll was conducted between