School satisfaction drops across Wisconsin in latest Marquette poll



(The Center Square) – People across Wisconsin are losing faith in their community’s public schools.

The latest Marquette Law School Poll shows school satisfaction fell in all parts of the state, but Milwaukee saw the largest drop.

“Satisfaction with public schools has declined from the previous measure [last year]. In November 2023, 12% were very satisfied, 51% were satisfied, 25% were dissatisfied, and 10% were very dissatisfied,” the poll noted. “In June 2024, satisfaction with schools declined to 8% who are very satisfied and 44% who are satisfied, while 27% are dissatisfied and 20% are very dissatisfied.

That’s a 4% drop in satisfaction, and an 11% jump in the number of people who say they are “very dissatisfied” with the public schools in their community.

The numbers for Milwaukee Public Schools, however, are even worse.

The Marquette Poll says just 2% of people in the city are very satisfied with MPS schools, and 20% are satisfied. Forty-one percent of people in the poll say they are dissatisfied in Milwaukee Public Schools, and 37% say they are very dissatisfied.

That 37% number is 18% higher than any other school districts in the state, and 20% higher than the last time Marquette asked about school satisfaction in November.

People in Madison and the rest of the Milwaukee region are mostly sour on their schools as well, with just 8% saying they are satisfied and 19% saying they are very dissatisfied in both areas. The rest of Wisconsin has a slightly better view, with 9% saying they are satisfied, and the same 19% saying they are very dissatisfied.

One reason for the mass dissatisfaction is likely people’s perception of their communities’ public schools. ‘

The poll says just 6% percent of people think their schools’ reading scores have gone up, while 35% say they’ve gone down. It’s similar with math scores. The poll says 4% of people think their school’s math scores have gone up, while 43% say those scores have gone down.

The poll also shows that people believe absenteeism is up in their local schools, and the gap between rich and poor students is growing.

As for educational issues, the poll says half of people in Wisconsin think school choice has been a success, while more than half of people support Title IX’s success in getting girls athletic opportunities. More than half of those asked also support special education programs in public schools, and more than half support a return to phonics-based reading.

You can read the full Marquette Law School Poll here.

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