A lot of discussion about schools centers on culture war political issues, like teaching racism or discussing gender.
But a national poll by NPR and Ipsos out today finds that those issues are not the main concerns for most parents of school-age kids.
A large majority of parents reported being happy with their children's schools and what's being taught there.
Anya Kamenetz from NPR's Education desk is here to tell us all about the results.
So what are parents saying about schools?
Yeah, so this poll follows up on one that NPR commissioned a year ago from Ipsos about how the pandemic is continuing to affect the nation's students.
And we found some real bright spots, as we keep coming back from the worst of the pandemic, and there's also a few curveballs here.
So on the good side, compared to 2021, more parents are saying their child is ahead in school, and fewer say they're behind,
and that's true whether we asked about math, reading or social skills, mental health and development.
In fact, a growing number, almost half of parents agree with the statement - the pandemic has not disrupted my child's education at all.
So that sounds really encouraging, though is there any truth to that?
You know, I should say that this rosy view is a bit at odds with what we know from test scores and attendance.
A lot of children do have learning to catch up on.
Still, this kind of thinking is in line with a whole lot of polling that goes back decades.
Parents do tend to express concern about education as an abstract issue, but when you zoom in closer, they're happy with their own kids' school and, even more so, their kids' teachers.
So in our poll, 88% said, my kids' teachers did the best they could during the pandemic, given the circumstances.
And more than 4 out of 5 said, my kids' school has actually handled the pandemic well.
Wow. Now, Republican governors like Ron DeSantis of Florida, Glenn Youngkin in Virginia, they've turned parents' rights into a major political talking point.
Did your poll find a lot of interest in that?
Not really, no.
So more than three-quarters of respondents agreed - my child's school does a good job keeping me informed about the curriculum, including potentially controversial topics.
We asked about gender and sexuality, race, U.S. history, patriotism,
and in each of those cases, it was fewer than 1 in 5 parents who told us, yeah, I'm concerned;
the school's teaching these topics in a way that is not consistent with my family's values.
And a much larger group, about 1 in 3 in each case said they didn't know.
In other words, maybe not a lot of detailed conversations going on about this at the dinner table.
What about the partisan divides?
I mean, are these controversies something that Republican parents maybe are particularly concerned about?
So we did hear from parents like Christine in Wisconsin.
She asked not to use her last name because she says she's afraid of her children being retaliated against.
You know, there have been snarky comments about white privilege.
She also doesn't approve of her son, who's in high school, being asked things like...
What pronouns do you prefer to use to refer to yourself?