Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Education Next Opinion Poll is Revealing

The Hoover Institution at Stanford University, a conservative think tank, has just released a poll of public opinion about education in a journal called Education Next, which sorted out responses from Hispanics as well as other groups and national averages. The poll can be found here. I have summarized only a few of the findings of this extensive survey, so if interested, check it out.

Among the findings:

1. Hispanics give schools higher grades than everyone else, although the overall opinion is not high. Asked to grade the national school system as a whole, 29 percent of Hispanic respondents gave schools a grade of A or B, while only 18% of all respondents did so.

2. Hispanics support No Child Behind more than the rest of the county. Fifty eight percent of Hispanic respondents said they would renew No Child Left Behind legislation with little or no modification, compared to 49% of all respondents. Only 16% of Hispanics would not renew the legislation at all, compared to 22% of all respondents.

3. Hispanics are strongly in favor of federal intervention to promote high standards. The question was worded as follows: "As you may know, federal legislation requires states to set standards in math and reading and to test students each year to determine whether schools are making adequate progress, and to intervene when they are not. This year, Congress is deciding whether to renew this federal legislation. What do you think Congress should do?" Fully 76% of Hispanic respondents were in favor of renewing the legislation as is or with minimal changes, compared to only 60% of all respondents.

4. Hispanics support vouchers, no other group does. Fully 52% of Hispanics support the use of tuition vouchers to permit low income families to send their children to private schools, compared to only 35% of all respondents.

5. When informed about expenditure per student in their school district, Hispanics are not inclined to increase school funding. Only 43% would favor an increase in spending while fully 56% would keep spending the same or decrease it. This compares with 47% and 63%, respectively.

6. When informed about average teacher salaries in the state, 50% of Hispanics would increase salaries, 50% would keep them the same or lower them, compared to 40 and 59%, respectively.

7. All groups favor a requirement that teachers demonstrate their students are making progress as a condition for granting tenure. 54% of Hispanics were in favor, compared to 51% of all respondents.

No comments: