The 2010 Public Opinion Survey on K-12 Education in Indiana finds support for some of the education changes being pushed by Gov. Mitch Daniels and state Superintendent Tony Bennett, but not for others.
The telephone survey of 612 Indiana residents was conducted for the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University in November and December 2010. The survey report is available online, and so are a news release and a PowerPoint presentation given to the State Board of Education.
On the plus side for Daniels and Bennett, the findings suggest a majority of Hoosiers would support changes in the way teachers are evaluated and compensated. On the other hand, a majority believe that schools are underfunded, while the governor and superintendent insist more money isn’t the answer.
As a general trend, the survey found Indiana residents were more critical of schools than in previous years. They were a more likely to give low grades to the state’s schools and a little more likely to think education is getting worse than that it’s getting better.
Of course, most people think schools in their community are better than average – 59 percent gave local schools an A or a B; only 38 percent gave state schools an A or a B. And among parents of school-aged children, 65 percent gave local schools an A or a B.
The folks at CEEP tried to address issues likely to be considered by the state legislature, but the survey doesn’t measure support for two high-profile Daniels-Bennett proposals: promoting more charter schools and instituting private-school vouchers.
Study co-author Terry Spradlin explained that the charter-school proposals – expanding sponsorship of charter schools, giving them access to unused school property, etc. – are probably too technical to address in a survey. Continue reading