Sixty percent (60%) of Americans with children in elementary or secondary school say most school textbooks are more concerned with presenting information in a politically correct manner than in accuracy.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 28% of adults with children in the schools disagree and think most textbooks are more concerned with accurately providing information.
Among all Americans, regardless of whether they have children in the schools or not, 27% say accuracy is paramount, while 55% disagree and believe most textbooks are more concerned about political correctness. Eighteen percent(18%) are undecided.
Thirty-one percent (31%) of adults say most school history textbooks portray American history accurately. But 43% say most U.S. history textbooks are not accurate, and another 26% are not sure.
Again, those with children currently in elementary or secondary school are even more skeptical. Just 28% think most school textbooks portray U.S. history accurately, while nearly half (49%) say they do not. Twenty-three percent (23%) aren’t sure.
When asked who should have the final say on what textbooks are used in the classroom, 34% of Americans say teachers, but 24% say parents should have the final say. Fifteen percent (15%) prefer giving the final say on textbooks to local government. Nine percent (9%) each designate federal and state governments as the final word.
Among those with children in the schools, 28% say teachers should have the final decision on textbooks, but just 21% say that decision should be made by parents.
Sixty-one percent (61%) of all adults say parents, if they don’t approve of the textbooks selected by a school, should be allowed to transfer their child to another school that uses other textbooks. Twenty-seven percent (27%) disagree, and 12% are not sure.
But only 29% say that if all public schools in a district use textbooks that are unacceptable to parents, the district should make arrangements for those students to attend an acceptable private school. Fifty-three percent (53%) oppose that idea. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided.
While those with children in the schools feel even more strongly that students should be allowed to transfer to another school in the same district, 51% oppose the private school option.
President Obama says U.S. children need to spend more time in school to make them more competitive with students from other countries, and 49% of Americans think the president is right. Thirty-seven percent (37%) disagree and don’t think American kids need to spend more time in school.
Fifty-five percent (55%) say the government does not spend enough money on public education.
Fifteen percent (15%) of voters say ensuring every child has a complete and competitive education is the president’s top budget priority, placing it fourth on the list of priorities he outlined a year ago after cutting the deficit, health care reform and new energy development.