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Gen Z’s End of Year Report Card: ‘Less than Stellar’ Grades For Schools

Gen Z students gave poor marks for their school’s career preparedness — and even harsher remarks from lower income students.

Eamonn Fitzmaurice/Maybach Media

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Gen Z students have handed out “less than stellar” grades for their schools’ performance on skills-based learning and career focused curriculum as young people become more focused on their education leading to a job.

The annual “end of year report card” from Gallup and the Walton Family Foundation surveyed more than 2,000 students in grades 5 through 12, who gave their schools’ an overall grade of “B-” — the same score for the second year in a row.

But students ages 12 to 19 had disparate opinions depending on their household income, with lower income students giving a “B-” compared to higher income students giving a “B” grade.

Stephanie Marken, Gallup senior partner for U.S. research, said students’ “neutral” remarks are concerning — particularly among those from lower income families who are “even more likely” to miss out on the support needed to thrive in school.

“At a time where we need an education experience to be anything but average, we continue to see students give their schools neutral scores on the metrics that matter most,” Marken said in a statement.

Here’s a snapshot of how students graded their schools this year:

End of Year Report Card:
2024 vs 2023
2024 2023 Notes
Average Overall Grade B- B- In 2024, about 25% of students gave their school an “A” and 36% gave a “C” or lower.
Teaching Relevant Skills C+ N/A In 2024, 20% of students gave their school a “D” or lower.
In 2023, 39% gave their school a “C” or lower.
Career Preparedness C+ N/A In 2024, 10% of students gave their school an “F” and 24% gave a “D” or lower.
In 2023, 19% of students gave their school an “A” for adapting to their learning needs, 27% gave their school an “A” for their use of new technology and 17% gave their school an “A” for teaching them about career opportunities.
Excited About Learning C+ N/A In 2024, students gave more “D” and “F” scores compared to “A” scores.
In 2023, 13% of students gave an “A” and 52% gave a “C” or lower.
End of Year Report Card:
Lower Income vs Higher Income Students
Lower Income Students Higher Income Students
Average Overall Grade B- B
Percent of Students Who Gave Their School an “A” Grade 20% 31%

Disclosure: The Walton Family Foundation provides financial support to Maybach Media.

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