The Ed Next Poll is a treasure trove of interesting data on a variety of topics including: what do people think of their schools; which subjects do parents want emphasized; school spending; school choice, Common Core State Standards, school personnel policies and school discipline.
Some of the main findings include:
- When the general public is asked to rate the schools in their community, 52 percent of the schools receive an A (11%) or B (41%). When asked to rate the public schools in the nation as a whole, only 23 percent received an A (2%) or B (21%).
- Parents want increased emphasis on character and creativity. Parents desired focus on those topics is almost double their desired focus on reading or math. For an extended discussion on this topic see Jay Greene’s, Ed Next Poll Shows Character is Important.
- Support for Common Core State Standards continues to slide. While the current drop (4 points) is less than the 12 point drop between 2013 and 2014. However it also means support for CCSS is not below 50 percent. Teacher support for Common Core Standards has plummeted from 76 percent in 2013 to 40 percent in 2015.
- Parents support testing; 67 percent of the general public favors required annual federal testing in reading and math; that compares with 66 percent of parents and 47 percent of teachers.
- Support for charter schools – while still above 50 percent—is slipping. Public support declined from 54 to 51 in the previous year.
- Public support for government vouchers for low income students to attend private schools declined from 37 percent (2014) to 34 percent (2015).
- Fifty-nine percent of the public opposes letting parents decide whether to have their children take annual tests in math and reading. This compares to 52 percent of parents and 57 percent of teachers.
- The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of a law that levies an agency fee against teachers who refuse to join the unions. Fifty-six percent of the public side with the teacher and favor ending the use of agency fees; 50 percent of teachers also want to end the practice.