ERIC Number: ED410689
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-May
America's Public Schools Must Change...But Can They? Results from the ECS 1996 National Post-Election Voter Survey.
Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.
Public concern about the quality of education is increasing dramatically. This report presents findings of a national survey conducted by the Education Commission of the States (ECS) following the November 1996 general election. Data were gathered through a telephone survey of 1,200 registered voters, 40 percent of whom were Republicans, 40 percent of whom were Democrats, and 20 percent of whom were Reform Party/independents. Forty-nine percent said that candidates' stands on public education made a real difference in who they voted for in presidential and congressional races. Seventy-two percent of voters placed education reform at the top of the 1997 congressional agenda, along with crime and Medicare. A majority of respondents said that they wanted teaching that clearly links studies to real life, tough academic standards, more parent influence at the school level, and less bureaucracy. Most attributed public schools' disappointing performance to bureaucratic control, safety and discipline problems, insufficient money for teachers and programs, inadequately prepared teachers, and special interest groups with conflicting goals. Almost half said that high schools did not adequately prepare students for higher education. Fifty-four percent said that public schools need a major overhaul (of that percent, 27 percent were favorable to vouchers and charter schools). Finally, respondents identified the most important improvements that schools could make: (1) raise expectations of student learning; (2) set clear standards; and (3) teach young people how to apply what they have learned. Nine graphs and four charts are included. (LMI)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Educational Improvement, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Majority Attitudes, Political Affiliation, Political Attitudes, Public Opinion, Public Schools, Public Support, School Support, Voting
ECS Distribution Center, 707 17th Street, Suite 2700, Denver, CO 80202-3427 (No. AN-97-1, $10 plus postage and handling).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.