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Back to the Future: Baby Boomers Keeping the Faith in Public Education

How do members of the Baby Boom generation, who graduated from public high schools, view their own high school days in comparison to those of their children? To find out, a nationally representative sampling of 1,000 baby boomers with at least one child who is currently attending or recently attended a public high school, were asked to reflect on and compare their own high school experiences with their perceptions of how their children are faring in school today.

Among the highlights from these telephone interviews:

  • Boomers reported a great deal of satisfaction with their high school education.
  • Almost half of all those surveyed give today's public schools a grade of "C".
  • The majority believe children today receive a better education than they did.
  • The boomers were more satisfied with their own high school teachers than with high school teachers today.
  • The majority of boomers would go back to high school if given the chance.
  • Problems that were major when boomers were in high school remain major problems in high schools today.

The telephone survey of 1,000 boomers currently between the ages of 39 and 57 was conducted in July 2003 by Marketing and Research Resources Inc. All analyses were conducted by AARP's Knowledge Management - Strategic Issues Research staff. The report was written by Curt Davies and Jeff Love, both of AARP Knowledge Management - Strategic Issues Research. (12 pages)

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