Survey Reveals Growing Pessimism about Public Schools

A new survey reveals Hoosiers are growing more pessimistic about public schools.

A new survey reveals Hoosiers are growing more pessimistic about public schools. IU’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy today released its 2010 Public Opinion Survey.

The report was presented to the Indiana State Board of education in downtown Indianapolis. The results of the survey came from 612 random Indiana residents.

This year’s survey asked residents to assign a letter grade to school quality. The largest response was a “C” grade at 37% with “B” the next highest at 31%.

Though, when asked about the quality of schools in their own communities, 37% of people responded with a grade of “B.” Survey co-author and director of education policy at the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy Terry Spradlin said that result is 5 percentage points lower than 2008 – the last time the survey was conducted.

“They think there is a problem, they are buying into that notion and we’ve seen some people pretty critical about public education, so that’s taking hold and maybe the economy and the high unemployment rates are having a factor too,” said Spradlin.

Respondents also indicated support for a variety of measures the state is considering to improve teacher quality. In regards to teacher pay, 75% of respondents said salaries should be based on student achievement.

“The poll says folks want more options on the table, more criteria to judge teachers and they want the results to be used to improve teacher quality, but also grounds for dismissal to remove ineffective teachers.”

Hoosiers gave the most support for virtual education. 88% of the respondents are in favor of using virtual learning providing advanced courses not offered at a student’s school.

The entire survey may be viewed here, CEEP.

Joe Hren

Anchor, Indiana Newsdesk - WTIU & WFIU News. Follow him on Twitter @Joe_Hren

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