Parents, lawmakers, and education reform.

Position:Schools - Brief Article - Statistical Data Included

As education reform is debated by lawmakers in Washington, the sixth annual national survey by Horace Mann Educators Corporation reveals that American parents of schoolage children have a different set of concerns than those which are addressed by the proposed legislation. Lawmakers cite low student achievement as the catalyst for education reform, but parents argue that there are more critical issues facing their local schools. When asked about the biggest challenges for schools in their area, 62.8% of parents named insufficient funding; 49.2% said overcrowding; 47.8% cited an inadequate number of teachers; and 43% named low student achievement.

Seventy-seven percent do not believe lawmakers in Washington can solve those problems. Just 4.3% believe Federal legislators should have ultimate responsibility for the performance of local schools. Thirty-eight percent said parents should have that...

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