What Do Americans Really Think About U.S. Education?

There’s always chatter about how schools in the US are failing or succeeding. About how test scores are too low compared to other students around the globe. About how standardized testing is right or wrong, good or bad for our students. About how schooling (or unschooling) should really work. But what we talk about less often is how we feel about individual subjects that are taught in school. 

The handy infographic below takes a look at how Americans rate the importance and usefulness of certain school subjects in their current lives. It ranks the subjects from most to least useful, then breaks down the answers by education level and gender. Did algebra really ever help you? Or science?Keep reading to learn more.

Evaluating School Subjects

Which subject has been most valuable in your life?

  • Math – (34%)
  • English/Literature/Reading (21% – down 3% since 2002)
  • Science – (12% – up from 4% in 2002)
  • History – (8%)
  • Business/Finance/Accounting – (4%)
  • Geography and Psychology  - (3%)
  • Economics,  Art/Music/Theater, and ‘other’- (2%)
  • Foreign Languages/Language Arts, Home Economics, Theology/Religion, and all – (1%)
  • The expressed value of Math declines with each additional level of schooling
  • Conversely, English and Science’s perceived value increased with additional schooling
  • Men tend to value math more than women
  • Women value English and psychology more than men

evaluating education

1 Comment

  1. Esther

    April 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    This may take into account how school subjects have helped in the work place, but what about considering how the study of History and the Arts makes us better human beings!

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