By National Coalition for Public School Options
A new national survey of African American parents reveals strong support for educational options in the Black community, especially for full-time virtual programs.
The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, surveyed 1,007 African American parents of K-12 students enrolled in public schools across the country on their thoughts related to their child’s education. Respondents were screened from a national panel of parents that self-identified as African American.
According to the findings:
- 75% of Black parents want the power to choose their child’s public school, regardless of geographic boundaries.
- 69% of parents believe their local school district should continue to offer virtual learning after the pandemic.
- Black parents are interested in education alternatives for their children. Even though they do not know much about them prior to taking the survey, African American parents have favorable reactions to “Learning Pods” (61%), “Education Savings Accounts” (84%) and “Tax Credit Scholarships” (82%).
- Even when faced with remote learning in the age of the Covid pandemic, nearly two-thirds of African-American parents rate the quality of education their oldest child is receiving this year as “excellent” or “good.”
In addition to the strong support for choice, the survey revealed critical work must be done to erase racism and disparity in education system:
- 81% of African American parents say their local public schools have caring and quality teachers, 75% say they have up-to-date technology, while 74% say they provide kids with a quality of education, and 73% of parents say they are safe. But throughout the poll, they expressed concern about funding levels and 52% believe majority white schools receive better access to educational materials.
- 70% of African American parents believe their public school should focus on hiring Black teachers to teach Black students but 67% do not personally believe it is all that important for their child to be taught by a Black teacher.
- More than 40% say they or their children have experienced racism in their child’s school district.
- 90% of African American parents say that issues regarding racism should be topics for discussion in classrooms, but 52% believe that the current K-12 education system is racist.
“The results speak for themselves; African American parents overwhelmingly want a choice in their child’s education” said Colleen Cook, President of the National Coalition for Public School Options. “Every option should be on the table for a more equitable education for all.”