Resources > Schools & Curriculum > Report Card 2024: New Perspectives from Students on U.S. Schools

Report Card 2024: New Perspectives from Students on U.S. Schools

For the second year in a row, America’s students grade their schools as falling short of excellence.
June 25, 2024
Two students talking together in the library with two more students working with each other behind them.

The Walton Family Foundation collaborated with Gallup to conduct its second annual Student Report Card survey. More than 2,000 students across America graded their schools on 11 key areas that are directly related to a student’s school experience, including quality of teaching and career preparedness. According to the students surveyed, U.S. schools are averaging a 2.60 grade point average (GPA), the equivalent of a B-. This shows a lack of improvement from last year’s results of a 2.68 average GPA.


America’s schools can do better than a B-.


Gallup finds that U.S. students continue to rate schools the lowest in their performance in categories related to career readiness, addressing students’ unique learning needs, and sparking excitement for learning. Household income is a driving factor in students’ grading, with only 20% of low-income students giving their school an A compared to 31% of their peers. 

Students are shedding light on where they think America’s schools are falling short. It’s time to prioritize and utilize their feedback to find bold, innovative solutions that move us closer to delivering an A+ education. This will set the next generation up for long-term success and purposeful futures.

The graphic shows that the overall grade students gave their schoos was a B-. In all categories, students rated their schools between a B aand C+.

As new technology changes how Americans work and live, integrating modern tools into schools is critical to preparing the next generation for their futures.

These discrepancies reveal the need to ensure all students — regardless of family income or zip code — see the advancements in tools and technology in their schools. This ensures that no child falls behind because of a lack of investment.

Using technology in new ways has the potential to enhance the classroom learning experience and ensures students are well-prepared with the skills to succeed in life after high school. Only 50% of students graded their schools with a B or above on teaching them skills relevant to their futures, leveraging new technology in classes and teaching students to use it. Schools must seize the opportunity to bring those grades up. 

Graphic with a blue background and white text that says

Despite significant areas for school improvement, students recognize the key role teachers play in shaping positive education experiences.

Teachers across the country are making a positive impact on students’ experiences and supporting them in building strong foundations for their futures.

We must celebrate and empower educators who embrace creative approaches to teaching. We can do this by providing them with the tools and resources to develop a curriculum that meets the needs of today’s students. Investing in our teachers is investing in student success.

Graphic with red-orange background with white text that says:

As the world and workforce rapidly transform, our schools need to adapt to meet the unique needs of Gen Z.

Fifty-one percent of students give their school a C or below in making them feel excited about learning. America’s schools can do better in providing students with individualized learning based on their interests and learning styles. Students also grade schools harshly in preparing them for lives beyond high school, including helping them figure out what type of careers they would like to explore.

By using and uplifting innovative approaches that match student aspirations, schools can make learning more relevant and exciting. They can also help students navigate their career paths and propel them toward a purposeful and fulfilling future.

Graphic with a yellow background and white text that says,