As Hispanic Heritage Month begins and we kick off the new school year, it is a great opportunity to learn more about how Hispanic parents feel about different aspects of K-12 education. Over the next four weeks, we will examine Hispanic parents’ perspectives on different questions surrounding education. To paint as complete a picture as possible, it makes sense to start with a macro, big picture type of question: How do Hispanic parents feel about the direction of K-12 education?
Since early 2020, EdChoice and Morning Consult have been conducting a monthly survey of a nationally representative group of American adults aged 18+, with an oversample of parents with children. Oversampling school parents provides an opportunity to gain insight into the opinions of different demographic groups of school parents.
Overall, Hispanic parents feel optimistic about the direction of K-12 education. This question is broken down into three parts, examining K-12 education at a national, state, and local level. Analyzing the crosstabs of the August 2023 survey, 43 percent of Hispanic parents believe K-12 education is headed in the right direction nationally. Optimism among Hispanic parents increases when looking at K-12 education at the state and local level, with 50 and 53 percent, respectively. Compared to school parents on average, Hispanic parents feel more optimistic about the direction on K-12 education at the national (+3) and state (+1).
There is still plenty of room for improvement, however. According to a new polling report of Hispanic parents released in July 2023 by National Parents Union and UnidosUS, 61 percent of Hispanic parents want big changes or a complete overhaul of the U.S. education system.
While over half of Hispanic parents feel good about the direction of K-12 education locally, they are slightly less optimistic than school parents on average (-2). Interestingly, Hispanic parents were 5 points more optimistic about their local K-12 education than school parents in August 2021 and 7 points more optimistic in August 2022. In August 2022, most notably, nearly two-thirds (63%) of Hispanic parents felt local K-12 education was headed in the right direction.
That represents one of the highest levels of optimism we have observed in our polling across all demographic groups with a statistically significant sample size. Something to keep an eye on, perhaps, is the 10-point drop in local optimism from Hispanic parents in the span of a year.
Furthermore, the percentage of Hispanic parents saying local education is on the wrong track has increased 9 points (22% to 31%) from August 2021 to August 2023, but this still remained lower than overall school parents at both the national and local level.
Overall, the three-year time series data shows Hispanic parents have been one of the more optimistic demographic groups when judging K-12 education across all levels. That said, it’s worth keeping an eye on the decrease in local K-12 education optimism from last August. Understanding the perspectives of different groups of parents is key when having informed conversations about a deeply personal experience like K-12 education. And we look forward to digging deeper into the attitudes of Hispanic parents towards K-12 education over the next few weeks.