Poll: 55% of Canadians Say K-12 System Going in Wrong Direction

CALGARY, AB: A new poll commissioned by think tank SecondStreet.org found that 55% of Canadians believe the K-12 public education system has gone in the “wrong direction” over the past 20 years – up from 51% last year and 32% in 2020. The poll was conducted by Leger between May 3-5 and also examines what’s driving Canadians’ concerns.

“These new polling numbers should be of concern for school boards and provincial governments,” said SecondStreet.org President Colin Craig. “Clearly, Canadians have serious concerns with discipline issues, what schools are prioritizing in terms of lessons and new teaching methods, to name a few. The question now becomes, what is the school system going to do about it?”

Highlights from the research include:

  • 55% of Canadians believe the public school system has gone in the “wrong direction” over the past 20 years. Only 25% indicated “right direction” while the rest didn’t know.
  • Canadians who believe the system has gone in the “wrong direction” are most concerned about discipline and accountability (82% say “wrong direction”), schools’ priorities in terms of lessons (74%) and how subjects are taught – new ways of teaching math, reading, etc. (60%).
  • Even if respondents said the system overall was heading in the right direction, they were still likely to have some concerns. In seven categories such as “discipline and accountability,” “content related to sexual education and gender,” etc, all respondents were more likely to say six of seven categories have gone in the wrong direction. 
  • Canadians were more likely to say that students were off school too frequently for teachers’ professional development time (43%) than they were to say “just the right amount” (36%).

To see SecondStreet.org’s policy brief, which includes the poll results – click here.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

You can help us continue to research and tell stories about this issue by making a donation or sharing this content with your friends. Be sure to sign up for our updates too!