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Gallup Poll Finds American Students “Not Success-Ready”

A recent Gallup Business Journal story warns readers that “most…students in the U.S. aren’t success-ready”.

The April 10th article cites data from Gallup’s fall 2013 State of America’s Schools report, which surveyed 616,203 public school students in the 5th through 12th grades. Only 33% of the survey’s respondents were deemed “success-ready”, meaning that they were “hopeful, engaged, and with thriving well-being.” (source)

It’s important to note that while the Gallup pole provides valuable insights, it was only completed by a small percentage of the total U.S. student population. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), approximately 55 million Pre-K through 12th grade students were enrolled in public and private schools in the U.S. in the fall of 2011. Assuming that the same number of students was enrolled in the 2013 school year, the approximately 600,000 students polled by Gallup represent only about 1.1% of the total student population in America.

If the NCES’s projections are accurate, more students were enrolled in public and private schools in the U.S. in 2013 than in 2011, lowering the Gallup poll’s percent representation of American students a bit more. It should be pointed out that the Gallup poll also only represents public school (not private school) students.

Still, the State of America’s Schools report offers an intriguing perspective on how prepared (or not) our children are for the future: It’s not common to see student success measured in qualitative, personal terms like “hope” and “engagement”. According to Gallup, “The primary application of the Gallup Student Poll is as a measure of non-cognitive metrics that predict student success in academics and other youth development settings.” (source)

Perhaps the most fascinating insight offered by the Gallup poll is that when a student has a teacher who makes him or her feel excited about the future, that student shows significantly higher rates of hopefulness and engagement in his or her own education.


To learn more, download the State of America’s Schools: The Path to Winning Again in Education report from Gallup’s website or read the story in the Gallup Business Journal that we’ve cited here.

Image via Getty.

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