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San Francisco, U.S.A. — American voters recognize that the U.S. is falling behind other countries when it comes to education and want their political leaders to make education a higher priority, according to a national opinion survey released on August 21 by The Center for the Next Generation.
The Center for the Next Generation’s “Survey of American Voters’ Attitudes on Education and Global Competitiveness” found pessimism about the state of U.S. education. Despite giving leaders low marks on education, voters say restoring America’s leadership in education and increasing investments in education should be a top priority for the next President, the next Congress, and their states’ governors.
Emphasizing voters’ pessimism about America’s education landscape, a majority of voters (52 percent) think that the next Bill Gates will come from another country and 47 percent think the scientist who cures cancer will come from another country.
A strong majority of voters across party lines say they would be willing to pay more in taxes and reduce spending in other areas if the funds were dedicated to K-12 education programs. Voters’ willingness to personally pay more comes from a strong belief that the U.S. should be a world leader in education and that it is critical that the U.S. keep up with other countries.
“In a country renowned for its science and technology prowess, it is telling so many Americans think the next Bill Gates or the person driving the next cancer breakthrough won’t come from the U.S.” said Matt James, President of The Center for the Next Generation. “But that doesn’t mean they’ve given up. Voters want our political leaders to invest in education to ensure we properly educate and prepare the Next Generation to be successful in today’s global economy.”
Key findings from the nationwide survey of voters include:
To view the poll, visit: www.tcng.org/competition-that-matters
The survey was released in conjunction with a Center for the Next Generation and Center for American Progress joint report, “The Competition that Really Matters: Comparing U.S., Chinese and Indian Investments in the Next Generation Workforce,” which finds that China, India and several European countries have made it a national priority to dramatically improve educational outcomes of their students while the U.S. has been far less ambitious.
The report finds that in an era when the Next Generation will be expected to compete for jobs in a global economy, America’s commitment to education is waning while the growing economies of China and India are investing more than ever. The study underscores how America’s global competitiveness is being threatened by a lack of focus on preparing our Next Generation for what is an increasingly global market for jobs, industries and economic sectors.
To view the report, visit: www.tcng.org/competition-that-matters