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Students Give Credit to Parents

High school counselors get low marks, but parents fare well in a new poll of young people.

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Young people attribute much of their success to their parents and their own drive and ambition, according to the second half of the Associated Press-Viacom Survey of Youth on Education. The first half of the poll, released Monday, found that young people worried that buying a house would be more difficult for them than their parents.

When asked how much certain people helped them get to their current life situation, 84 percent of 18-to 24-year-olds surveyed said their parents helped "some" or "a lot." Ninety percent said their own drive and ambition helped them a lot or some.

High school counselors got low marks, with 57 percent of respondents saying they helped "a little" or "didn't help at all." High school teachers fared better, with 68 percent of respondents saying they helped some or a lot.

[Make the most of college entrance counseling.]

High schools didn't score well on the poll—only 42 percent of young people said they were "extremely" or "very" satisfied with the education they received in high school, with 19 percent saying they were "not too satisfied" or "not at all satisfied."

Their complaints varied. Two thirds of respondents thought their schools did a fair or worse job of helping them find relevant internships or work experience, while the majority thought their schools could have done a better job helping them find the right college, locate financial aid, and learn new technology.

That's not to say students haven't been using technology in the classroom. Half said they had used a laptop to take notes in class, and 35 percent said they had used a cell phone or smartphone in an educational capacity. Just 14 percent had used an iPad or other tablet.

[Learn about Houghton Mifflin's new iPad algebra app.]

Students were also asked about how they use social networking sites. Three fourths of respondents said sites like Facebook were a "good" or "excellent" way to distract themselves, but students are also using social networking sites for school.

Almost two thirds said these sites were a good or excellent way to get information on class assignments, and many said they used them to look up ratings of their school's instructors, keep up to date with school events, and complete group work.

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