Despite all the grumbling that we parents like to do about our kids' schools, it turns out that we are quite happy with the education our children are receiving today.  

According to a new survey released this week by Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International, an educators association, nearly eight in 10 Americans give an "A or B" grade to the school that their oldest child attends. That shockingly high approval rating is actually the highest percentage of favorable ratings since PDK first began the survey in 1985. At that time, the approval rating for schools was just 27 percent. The approval ratings were at their lowest in 2001, when only 23 percent of the 1,002 adults surveyed gave schools an "A" or "B" rating.

So why the shift? Are schools actually better today than they were 10 years ago? Or have schools done a better job at forging a relationship with parents despite budget cuts and staffing cuts?  

Poll: Parents happy with kids' schools
New survey finds that Americans are happier today with public schools than they've been in almost 40 years.