There is a communication gap that creates a significant disconnect in how parents think their children are doing in school versus reality. In its second national survey, Learning Heroes found that 9 in 10 parents think their children are performing at or above grade level in math and reading — but results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the Nation’s Report Card, shows that only 1 in 3 U.S. eighth-graders are proficient in math and reading.
Parents have high hopes for their children’s education, the survey revealed: 74 percent expect their child to get a college degree, and 60 percent are confident their child will be well prepared for college coursework. But this, too, may be a misconception: Data from Complete College America show that 50 percent of students entering two-year colleges and 20 percent of students entering four-year colleges must take remedial classes.
Minority groups are most likely to believe in the importance of earning a college degree, according to the survey. In homes where Spanish is the primary language spoken, 92 percent of parents say getting a college degree is absolutely essential or very important, followed by 85 percent of all Hispanics, 75 percent of African Americans, and 64 percent of whites.
Parents rely more on their child’s report card (86 percent) than on annual state test scores (55 percent) to understand whether their child is on grade level. Two-thirds believe report cards provide a more accurate picture of achievement than standardized tests.
Learning Heroes commissioned the survey of more than 1,400 K-8 public school parents between March and April 2017. Conducted by Hart Research Associates, the online survey includes oversamples of Hispanics and African Americans. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points for all parents.