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Majority of American Parents Think Too Little Attention is Being Paid to Education as a 2008 Presidential Campaign Issue

GreatSchools Partners with Strong American Schools to Advocate For Elevating Discussion About the Need for Education Reform

SAN FRANCISCO, CA USA – September 18, 2008 – As the US presidential election heads into its final stretch, most parents think too little attention is being paid to education as an issue in the 2008 presidential campaign, according to the Back-to-School Benchmark Survey commissioned by GreatSchools (www.greatschools.org), an independent nonprofit organization that empowers parents to support their children's educational success.

The survey found that two-thirds (66 percent) of American parents feel that education is not receiving enough attention as a presidential election issue. This sentiment is strongest among parents in the West, where 71 percent of parents feel that too little attention is given to education compared to 62 percent of parents in the Northeast.

To help engage parents in advocating for making education a higher priority campaign issue, GreatSchools is partnering with Strong American Schools (www.edin08.com), a nonpartisan public awareness and advocacy effort aimed at elevating discussion amongst America's leaders about the need for education reform. GreatSchools' website, www.greatschools.org, is serving as the destination for Strong American Schools' “Ed in ‘08” campaign, which seeks to unite all Americans around the crucial mission of improving public schools by elevating the discussion to a national stage.

“An educated workforce is central to American competitiveness and GreatSchools is an enthusiastic advocate for raising the profile of education in the presidential election,” said Bill Jackson, GreatSchools' founder and CEO. “By partnering with Strong American Schools, GreatSchools is helping parents make their voices heard about the importance of education as a campaign issue.”

GreatSchools was selected as a partner by Strong American Schools because of its expansive online parent community – one in three parents turns to GreatSchools as a resource and more than 35 million parents visited GreatSchools in the last year alone.

"American parents care deeply about providing their children with a world-class education and they want to see the country's leadership give more attention to this high priority issue," said Governor Roy Romer, Strong American Schools' Chairman. “We are delighted to work with GreatSchools on raising education as an issue and giving parents the opportunity to talk about education and urge the leaders of this country to work with parents, teachers, activists and community leaders to create real change in the way we educate our kids."

Webby award-winning GreatSchools provides parents with the resources they need to be fully engaged in their children's education, from pre-school to college.

GreatSchools' Back-to-School Benchmark Survey, a nationwide survey of K-12 parents, gauges parents' views on a wide range of topics, including back to school preparedness, politics and educational issues such as year-round schooling. The survey was conducted June 28 to July 2, 2008, with online surveys of 1,308 parents of children ages 5 to 17 who will attend school in the fall. Respondents were selected from a random, nationally representative sample; the margin of error is +/- 2.7 percentage points at the 95% confidence interval.

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About GreatSchools
GreatSchools is an independent, nonprofit organization that improves education by inspiring parents to get involved. We empower parents with information and tools so they can choose the best school for their children, support their children's education, and improve schools in their communities. Parents choose GreatSchools to connect with each other – to find the right schools, to share stories and advice, and to get their parenting questions answered. In the past year alone, more than 35 million people visited GreatSchools (www.greatschools.org) With hundreds of thousands of ratings and parent reviews about schools across the country, GreatSchools is the paramount parent-to-parent education community. A Webby award-winning site, GreatSchools is supported by foundations and corporations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robertson Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation.

GreatSchools – Involved parents. Successful kids.

CONTACT
Deborah Schneider – 415.277.6973 – dschneider@prandcompany.com

Dave Steer – 415. 977-0700, ext. 119 – dsteer@greatschools.org