The youngest respondents in the survey, aged 18-29, rated Reagan third "best," which put him in a virtual statistical tie with John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton, the two presidents who tied for "best" among this demographic.
Consider a college-aged student of 10 years ago, who in the classroom was subjected to the same unflattering reviews of the Reagan presidency. That person could be at least 30 years old today, placing them in the age group 30-44 in the poll's demographic breakdown. For that age group, Reagan was tops with 36 percent. Clinton was a distant second place as their choice for "best president." Unsurprisingly, Reagan topped the list with older respondents as well.
To be certain, time has a way of healing wounds and allowing myths to become reality with the public. Reagan had his shortcomings, as do all leaders. But some of those shortcomings, such as the Iran-Contra scandal, have saturated our media and history books in a way that seems unbalanced when compared to how scandals such as the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the Benghazi cover-up are covered today.
Fortunately, students in the end are encouraged to make their own choices. And it is pretty clear they have decided to ignore many of their teachers when it comes to the Reagan legacy.