A majority of parents want to direct their children’s education rather than rely on their local school system, according to a recent education survey.
Survey results, released Wednesday by Tyton Partners, in collaboration with Walton Family Foundation and Stand Together Trust, are based on a poll of thousands of parents and over a hundred K-12 education suppliers nationwide. They were asked questions about what parents want for their children’s education.
Here are three key findings from the survey.
1. Most parents want a “student-centric” education.
Most parents are “seeking a student-centric education experience,” according to the report:
- 52% of parents prefer to “direct and tailor” their children’s education;
- 79% of parents believe learning shouldn’t just happen in the classroom but that it “can and should happen everywhere;”
- 51% of parents believe that “personal interests and needs” should drive their children’s educational experiences.
Parents were also attracted to a more personalized education. When asked what features they value most when considering alternative schooling options, the most common answer was programming based on their kids’ interests. Parents also said they want personalized academic support, innovative approaches to learning, and flexibility.
2. Most parents are interested in new K-12 experiences.
Seven in 10 parents say they are interested in new educational experiences for their kids, both in and out of school.
The results identify two main subgroups within that 70%: The first group (48%) is “open-minded,” meaning they are interested in changing their child’s education but have yet to act. The second group (22%) is “activated,” meaning they are interested in pursuing education opportunities and are ready to take action.
When these parents were asked what educational options they’ve explored, 44% of parents said they are now considering or would consider homeschooling; 31% said the same for virtual schools and 30% for private schools.
3. For many parents, the choices they want are not yet available to them.
Although interested in exploring new educational opportunities for their kids, many parents need help to bridge the gap between reality and vision. According to the data, they face three main obstacles: information, costs and educational options.
The report calls for policymakers, K-12 suppliers, and school choice advocates to address this gap and give parents more opportunities to direct their children’s education by increasing availability, awareness, affordability and accessibility to “student-centric educational offerings across the K-12 ecosystem.”
“It is clear now more than ever that parents want an education centered on the needs of their child, yet there is continued work that needs to be done to bridge the gap between aspiration and reality,” Tyton Partners said in a press release.
“It is incumbent upon the K-12 system of policymakers, system leaders, and suppliers to introduce new experiences, choices, and outcomes into local school districts and catalyze the growth of programs outside of school and across all demographics.”