2018 Report

Quality of Education in Your Community

Elementary schools and higher education institutions are rated the highest by area residents, with roughly three-quarters saying they are or good or excellent. That percentage is significantly higher than the just over two-thirds of residents rating area middle and high schools positively. A little over half of area residents rate day care quality and after-school programs as good or excellent. However, day care affordability is viewed positively by only a little over one-third of Kansas City metro residents.

Digging deeper on education reveals many of the same patterns as for community issues in general (see Rating of Community on Issues). Like community issues, ratings of institutions tend to be positively related to age, education and income across all levels of education, except for day care affordability which faces high levels of dissatisfaction across all demographic groups. The same racial hierarchy of satisfaction also emerges, with a significantly higher proportion of whites than blacks rating their educational institutions as good or excellent while the proportion of Latinos, Asians and other minorities giving positive ratings falls in between those two extremes. Importantly, though, these racial disparities in education system ratings seem to be diminishing. In particular, between 2018 and 2019 the percentage of blacks rating their elementary schools good or excellent rose from 41 percent to 55 percent while the percentage for middle schools rose from 28 percent to 47 percent, both of which were statistically significant improvements. The percentage of blacks rating their high schools positively also improved, from 31 percent to 40 percent, though this fell short of statistical significance. The evaluations of elementary, middle and high school performance by whites and by Latino, Asian and other minorities were essentially unchanged from 2018.