In a recent national poll released today, the American public said public education is the number one issue local leaders should address, edging out health care, the economy and fears of terrorism at the local level. I don’t think this is surprise to most of us!
The poll was released at the launch of Give Kids Good Schools, a campaign aimed at helping the public improve America’s public schools. Give Kids Good Schools is sponsored by Public Education Network, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to quality public education for all children. But the way we ‘improve’ our schools is a key issue.
The same poll indicates that 84 percent of the American public believes the quality of public schools has stayed the same or declined over the past five years. The poll of 1900 adults was conducted by Lake Research Partners and has a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percent.
“When it comes to the importance of improving our public schools, Americans do get it,” said Wendy D. Puriefoy, president of the Public Education Network. “They want to make a difference, but they don’t feel like they know what to do. Give Kids Good Schools will offer the American public the information and power they need to make public education a priority on Election Day and every day.”
Give Kids Good Schools is a multi-year campaign that intends to build a constituency of Americans who will use their voices and votes to achieve the goal of quality public education for all children. A new Web site, GiveKidsGoodSchools.org, will help the public stay informed about issues that impact public schools and provide ideas for taking action to improve public schools in the community. The Web site will be a central resource for information, facts and materials about public schools and will provide easy to use materials such as:
- FAQs About Public Schools: The Web site includes answers to commonly asked questions about public schools in the U.S.
- How is My School Doing? A partnership with SchoolMatters.com will allow individuals to find information about their local school districts on our site.
- Tips to Start Public School Conversations: Questions to ask school boards, principals, teachers and students are provided.
At the heart of the campaign will be Give Kids Good Schools Week, to be held October 16-22 this year. During this week, PEN’s constituency of Local Education Funds (LEFs) and other partners will help to engage the public at the local level in grassroots activities. Community conversations, education forums, and other locally-driven events will provide opportunities for individuals to take action and discuss new ideas about
what communities can do to give kids good schools. At GiveKidsGoodSchools.org, individuals can find out what is happening in their state or they can use online toolkits and materials to plan their own event or show their support during the Week.