NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

New Findings in 2013 Education Poll

August 27, 2013

Although opposition to Common Core education standards is growing, an overwhelming majority of Americans remain supportive of these standards. A majority also backs government funding of preschool education for disadvantaged children. At the same time, Americans are becoming increasingly resistant to demands for greater education spending and higher teacher pay. They give a higher evaluation to private schools than to public ones in their local community, but opposition to market-oriented school-reform proposals such as performance pay for teachers and school vouchers seems to be on the rise, say Michael Henderson, assistant professor of political science at the University of Mississippi, and Paul E. Peterson, director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Support for the Common Core remains very high despite recent political controversy.

  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans favor adopting these standards in their state, roughly the same share as last year.
  • Adoption of the Common Core is in fact one of the most popular reform proposals about which Henderson and Peterson inquired.
  • Yet opposition to Common Core may be strengthening, as the policy has come under increasing criticism from groups at both ends of the political spectrum.

The public holds the schools in its local community in higher regard than it holds the nation's schools.

  • Nearly half say that their local public schools deserve a grade of either "A" or "B," but only about one-fifth say the same for the nation's public schools.
  • But if the public thinks better of local public schools than it does of those in the nation as a whole, it is definitely more satisfied with local private schools than with public ones.

Declining support for school spending and teacher pay.

  • Among respondents not told actual spending levels, only 53 percent support higher funding, down 10 percentage points from the 63 percent who were supportive a year ago.
  • Information about current spending decreases support for higher levels of spending.
  • Among those told how much local schools currently spend, support for spending increases was 43 percent, the same as a year previously.

Source: Michael Henderson and Paul E. Peterson, "The 2013 Education Next Survey," Education Next, 2013.


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