Our New Report on Millennials’ Views on the State of Education

Studying the attitudes of millennials has always been one of our specialties here at Echelon. Today, we’re excited to release our latest deep-dive into the millennial generation, looking at their views on America’s public education system.

Millennials — those born in the 1980s and 1990s — are increasingly becoming parents of public school students themselves, and make up the bulk of new teachers. Many recall their own experiences as students in the public schools as well. We traveled the country speaking to millennials who had recently graduated from the public schools, who had become public school teachers, and who had children of their own in the public schools.

Our report, supported by the Walton Family Foundation and FREOPP, draws on a survey and series of focus groups looking at millennial beliefs and attitudes about our K-12 system. Among our key takeaways, we found:

  • Millennials believe that our public school system needs big changes, and think that creativity and flexibility are important to ensuring every student has a school that meets their needs.
  • While they are not deeply familiar with the concepts like “school choice” or public charter schools, they are open to giving parents greater influenceover where their children go to school, and to let public charter schools operate in a different way than traditional public schools.
  • At the same time, they are divided on what the main purpose of public schools should be, and are less open to sweeping changes in how teachers are evaluated and compensated.

We’re excited to share this report with you and to continue our work to understand America’s largest generation.