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Americans flunk public schools

Kevin Jennings, a homosexual activist, now is in charge of the “safe schools” program for public schools across the U.S.

Editor’s note: This is another in a series of monthly “WND/WENZEL POLLS” – polls conducted exclusively for WND by the public opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.

The U.S. public school system is failing dismally, according to a new WorldNetDaily/Wenzel poll that reveals “barely half believe the public schools are providing students a comprehensive basic education.”

“The American public education system is in deep trouble and faces an uncertain future,” Fritz Wenzel of Wenzel Strategies wrote in his analysis of the results.

“At a time when world technological developments are emerging at an ever-increasing rate, U.S. adults appear skeptical about the immediate future of school curriculum and the willingness of students to keep pace,” he said.

The survey was conducted Sept. 23-26 using an automated telephone technology calling a random sampling of listed telephone numbers. The survey included 30 questions and carries a 95 percent confidence interval. It included 820 adult respondents. It
carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

“The Little Book of Big Reasons to Homeschool”

It was done in conjunction with the WND Freedom Index, which this month revealed that President Obama has fractured the Democratic Party, with more and more people supporting his agenda strongly, and more and more providing strong opposition to his plans.

According to Wenzel, “A major problem, the [education] poll shows, stems from the curriculum. Just 29 percent said they think schools are teaching appropriate subjects, while 50 percent said they believe the public schools are dabbling in topics in the classroom in which they have no business.”

He said the current system has significantly stronger support among Democrats, who split on that question 38 percent to 38 percent. Republicans and independents, on the other hand, were in another majority.

“Four times more Republicans than not think public schools are spending time on improper subject matter: Sixty-five percent of Republicans think the public schools teach improper subjects, while just 15 percent said they think the subject matter is proper,” Wenzel’s analysis said.

Among independents, 47 percent said they think some topics in public schools are improper, while 35 percent said they are appropriate.

There also is a strong racial divide regarding public schools. Fifty-nine percent of white respondents said public schools are venturing into inappropriate subjects. That opinion was shared by 30 percent of blacks and 14 percent of Hispanics.

“Because of the very localized nature of public school district, this may be the result of geography and the different curricula that can be taught in a big city school district and a suburban school district just a few miles away,” he said.

Curriculum wasn’t the only subject to get blasted by parents and others.

“Half of all respondents – 50 percent – said they think American kids are falling short internationally because they are lazy, a belief that is shared by slightly more women (53 percent) than men (48 percent),” Wenzel’s analysis found. “Another 40 percent said that it is bad U.S. curriculum that is to blame for the poor international performance of U.S. kids. Just 7 percent said they think American schoolchildren score poorly on tests, compared with kids in other nations, because students in other countries are smarter.”

The most positive number in support of public education in the survey was the revelation that 53 percent think public schools provide students with a good basic education.

“We didn’t even ask about advanced topics – other polling on the topic convinced us there was no point in going there,” Wenzel said. “The most alarming result of these polling questions, taken as a group, is that the two most glaring problems identified by respondents stem at least in part from a single factor – the unwillingness of parents to involve themselves in the educational lives of their own children and the school system that has custody of them for most of the school day.

“Activist parents can certainly motivate their children to apply themselves in and outside the classroom, and collectively they can force curriculum change on their local district. Realistically, the trend is headed firmly in the other direction.”

Wenzel, president of Wenzel Strategies public opinion research and media consulting company, formerly was associated with Zogby International. He spent 25 years as a news and political reporter for major metro dailies.

If you are a member of the media and would like to interview Fritz Wenzel about this story, please e-mail.

See detailed results of survey questions:

Do you currently have children living in your home who attend elementary, junior high or high school?

Thinking about public education today, would you say you do or do not have confidence in the nation’s public schools?

Do you think the public schools are providing American children with a comprehensive basic education?

Do the public schools do an adequate job on teaching civics, the Constitution and American history?

Do you believe the public schools are teaching only those subjects that are appropriate, or are they dabbling in areas in which they have no business?

American children continue to be ranked lower than children in many other nations when it comes to the core subjects of math, science and language arts. Please choose which of the following reasons best reflect why you think this is the case.

Should public employee unions, including teachers unions, be banned by Congress?