Civitas Poll: Disappointing marks for N.C. Public Schools

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April 3, 2012
CONTACT: Jim Tynen (919) 834-2099

Raleigh – North Carolinians are unhappy with their public schools. According to a monthly poll by the Civitas Institute, more than half (52 percent) of respondents rated North Carolina’s public school system as “Only fair” (37 percent) or “Poor” (15percent).

Only 5 percent of respondents rated the public schools as “excellent.” Thirty-six percent rated them as  “good.”

When asked if parents could select any type of school to obtain the best education for their child, 55 percent of those polled selected from private, home or charter schools. Thirty-five percent of respondents chose public schools.

“The results affirm what we’ve long thought – there’s a lot of dissatisfaction out there,” said Dr. Robert Luebke, Senior Policy Analyst with the Civitas Institute. “Yes, there are many good public schools, but this poll shows people know that there are problems. And we’re not doing a very good job of fixing what needs to be fixed.”

“This dissatisfaction is not insignificant,” Luebke added. “It has helped to fuel reform efforts and led in North Carolina to the removal of the cap on charter schools and also to awarding tax credits for special needs students. We’ll see if that momentum continues.”

The Civitas Poll is the only regular live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more information on Civitas Polling see:

Full Text of Questions:

And, how would you rate North Carolina’s public school system?

5%       Excellent
36%     Good
37%     Only Fair
15%     Poor
7%       Don’t Know
1%       Refused

If it was your decision and you could select any type of school, what type of school would you select in order to obtain the best education for your child?

35%     Public School
32%     Private School
7%       Home School
16%     Charter School
—        Virtual School
1%       Other
8%       Don’t Know
1%       Refused

For full results and cross tabs, click here.  This poll of 600 registered 2012 general election voters in North Carolina was conducted March 22-25, 2012, by National Research Inc., Holmdel, NJ.  All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered 2012 general election voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in at least one of the past three general elections (2006, 2008 or 2010) or be newly registered to vote since November 2, 2010.

The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.”  True Values refers to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in at least one of the past three general elections or is newly registered since November 2, 2010.



About Jim Tynen

Communications director at Civitas.
This article was posted in Press Releases by Jim Tynen on April 3, 2012 at 9:25 AM.

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