NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED513916
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Community Accountability for Quality Schools: Results of the 2008 National Poll and the Civic Index for Quality Public Education
Public Education Network
For many years, policymakers and the public have been holding students and schools accountable for improvement, but there was no way to determine whether the public and its elected officials and community organizations were doing their part to strengthen public schools. To address this shortcoming, Public Education network (PEN), with funding from the MetLife Foundation, developed a first-of-its-kind Civic Index for Quality Public Education as a comprehensive online tool to help the public understand what assets their community must have to support high performing public schools. The Civic Index consists of 10 categories of community support determined by the public and experts to be critical factors outside the school to support and sustain quality public schools. The categories include everything from the role elected officials play in leading change to the depth and quality of media coverage and parental and business involvement in schools. The research-based index was developed over the past several years in consultation with the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the University of Maryland and researchers, social scientists, and national experts from more than 30 organizations and universities. The online Civic Index toolkit includes numerous resources, strategies, and best practices for communities to assess how well they are supporting their schools, and to improve that support in each category. This document summarizes the findings of the 2008 Civic Index public opinion poll, a key element of the toolkit. Comparisons between 2006 and 2008 results are reported in this summary. The 2008 poll is based on a national phone survey of 1,200 adults nationwide, including an oversample of Latino/a and African-American adults. It was conducted by Lake Research Partners in May 2008. The poll was designed to discern the scope and depth of community responsibility for quality public education and determine the importance of education in the public's mind, their attitudes toward school improvement locally and nationally, and the use and availability of information about quality schooling in their communities. The poll provides insight into national trends and is being used as a benchmark by communities nationwide to ascertain how well they are doing across the 10 categories of community support compared with national data. Each city or county will release a local report card and work with their public to "improve their score" in "low-scoring" categories using the numerous resources, strategies, and best practices for each category provided in the online Civic Index toolkit. [This report was supported by the Lake Research Partners, Communication "Works", Commerce Lane, Collaborative Communications Group, Gallup University, and National Center for Learning and Citizenship at the Education Commission of the States.]
Public Education Network. 601 Thirteenth Street NW Suite 710 South, Washington, DC 20005-3808. Tel: 202-628-7460; Fax: 202-628-1893; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: MetLife Foundation; CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement); Southwest Educational Development Laboratory
Authoring Institution: Public Education Network
Identifiers - Location: Maryland