A new Civitas Poll of registered North Carolina voters shows they are open to options for schools, assessment of students, and education funding.
As for assessments, voters were asked whether schools should be required to get written permission before videotaping or photographing students and their work. Seventy-nine percent of voters said schools should be required to get written permission from parents before taking videos or photos of students and their work.
The state Department Public Instruction is collecting information on student performance, beginning in kindergarten, and storing the data on the cloud. Sixty-nine percent of voters support allowing parents to remove their children from this system.
“The numbers indicate that parents clearly want to know what data is being collected about students,” said Dr. Robert Luebke, Senior Policy Analyst for Education at the Civitas Institute. “Moreover, parents want to choose whether to participate in such efforts.”
Also, asked which kind of school they would select for their children if they could choose any type, only about one-third of voters (34 percent) would select a regular public school. Also, only 37 percent rated the state’s public school system as good or excellent.
In addition, 58 percent of voters were generally in favor of the idea of Education Savings Accounts.
The poll surveyed 600 registered North Carolina voters, 30 percent of whom were reached on cell phones. The survey was taken June 23-25, and had a margin of error of plus/minus 4 percent.
Following is the exact wording and the results* of the relevant questions, which were asked of all voters:
— Government agencies want to collect performance data on students for research purposes. The Department of Public Instruction is implementing a new assessment rating system which would begin with 5 year olds in Kindergarten. The data collected will begin a “child profile,” and be stored electronically in the cloud. With that in mind, would you support or oppose providing parents the ability to opt-out their child from this rating system and data collection?
69% Total Support
21% Total Oppose
55% Strongly Support
14% Somewhat Support
9% Somewhat Oppose
12% Strongly Oppose
9% Don’t Know/ Need More Information
— New assessments for 5 year old students entering kindergarten will rate children both on cognitive areas, such as counting and letter recognition, and also on emotional areas, like emotional literacy and social development. These Child Ratings will be entered electronically into the North Carolina Statewide Longitudinal Data System and used to guide education decision-making and improve workforce development. Do you support or oppose this policy?
45% Total Support
41% Total Oppose
19% Strongly Support
26% Somewhat Support
12% Somewhat Oppose
30% Strongly Oppose
14% Don’t Know/ Need More Information
— Teachers of kindergarten classes will be evaluating students electronically, and may take photos and videos of the child, or their work, to provide evidence of the child’s performance on such areas as emotional literacy, counting, and letter recognition. Currently, teachers are allowed to take photos of a child or their work without written permission by parents or guardian. With that in mind, would you support or oppose a proposal to require schools to obtain written permission from parents before allowing teachers to take photos or videos of a child and their work?
79% Total Support
16% Total Oppose
68% Strongly Support
11% Somewhat Support
5% Somewhat Oppose
12% Strongly Oppose
4% Don’t Know/ Need More Information
— How would you rate North Carolina’s public school system? (ROTATE TOP-TO-BOTTOM, BOTTOM-TO-TOP)
37% Excellent/ Good
33% Only Fair
5% Don’t Know
— It if were 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? (RANDOMIZE)
34% Regular Public School
31% Private School
8% Home School
19% Public Charter School
1% Virtual Charter School
5% Don’t Know
3/12 2/13 3/13
35% 49% 41% Regular Public School
32% 26% 34% Private School
7% 6% 5% Home School
16% 14% 13% Public Charter School
— 1% 1% Virtual Charter School
1% 1% 1% Other
8% 3% 5% Don’t Know
1% — 1% Refused
— Recently, Nevada became the fifth state to approve Education Savings Accounts for students, commonly called ESAs. ESAs are government authorized savings accounts that place government funds in an account for families and allow parents to use the funds for approved expenses such as tuition, books, and tutoring. In general, do you favor or oppose the idea of “Education Savings Accounts?”
58% Total Favor
27% Total Oppose
33% Strongly Favor
25% Somewhat Favor
10% Somewhat Oppose
16% Strongly Oppose
15% Undecided/Don’t Know/Need More Information
— Five states have approved ESA legislation. These states vary in who is eligible for the ESA, ranging from special needs or other specific populations, to all students. If approved by the North Carolina State legislature, in your opinion, who should be eligible to receive an education savings account?
57% All students
11% Students below the poverty level
15% Students in high need populations such as special needs or at risk students
3% Students attending failing schools
13% Don’t Know/ None of the Above/ Other
*Totals may not equal 100 percent, because of rounding.
Crosstabs for poll here.
About the poll: This poll of 600 registered voters in North Carolina was conducted June 23-25, 2015 by National Research, Inc., of Holmdel, NJ. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered general election voters in North Carolina. Thirty percent of the respondents were cell phone-only users. For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in at least one of the past two general elections (2012, 2014) or be newly registered to vote since November 1, 2014. 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.”