Most Americans Believe High Schools are Failing Key Objectives

Eighty-three percent (83%) of voters say it’s very important for high schools to prepare students to function as adults in society. But only 15% believe high schools are doing the job very well.

That’s according to a new national survey by ScottRasmussen.com that asked voters to rank six different possible objectives for American high schools and how well they think high schools are achieving those objectives.

Most voters (58%) believe that part of the problem is that our high schools expect too little of students. Only 20% think the schools expect too much.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) say it’s very important for high schools to teach the skills required to get a decent job. But only 16% say high schools are doing that very well.

Similarly, 77% say it’s very important for high schools to teach students personal finance and similar life skills. But only 16% say high schools are doing that very well.

Americans put preparing students for college lower on their set of priorities for high schools, with 61% of voters saying that objective is very important. But just 20% of Americans say the high schools are doing that very well.

Voters of all ages rate the importance of the six different high school objectives mentioned in the survey relatively the same, but Americans aged 18-to-34 tend to give high schools higher marks on how well those objectives are being achieved. Older voters tend to give the high schools lower ratings. (See crosstab results).

At 96%, nearly all Americans say our system of education is important, with 81% saying it’s very important. But 58% of voters say our high schools expect too little of students with just 20% saying they expect too much.

The effectiveness and purpose of high school education is never really out of the news in America, but it is in special focus and under debate during the current National School Choice Week.

The mission of ScottRasmussen.com is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us).

We release new polling data daily, including updates of the president’s Job Approval Rating and the Generic Congressional Ballot. Sign up to receive the latest numbers in our daily email update. You can also follow our work on Twitter and Facebook.

This national survey of 1,001 Registered Voters was conducted January 17-18, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). The Margin of Error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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