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EdChoice's 2018 Schooling in America Survey

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Teachers and K–12 education made headlines this year. Elections can only tell us so much about what the public thinks about K–12 education. That's why we look to polls like EdChoice's six-years-running "Schooling in America Survey," which allows us to provide a clear picture of Americans' views and attitudes on K–12 issues. For this year's survey, we interviewed a representative national sample of 1,803 American adults, including an extra 533 school-aged parents. Most notably, we surveyed a separate sample of 777 public school teachers.

Learn what we found in this slide show of our key findings.

To download the full report, visit www.edchoice.org/SIA2018.

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Published in: Education
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EdChoice's 2018 Schooling in America Survey

  1. 1. edchoice.org/SIA2018 BREAKING DOWN EDCHOICE’S 2018 NATIONAL SURVEY with a special focus on teacher and parent experiences
  2. 2. From walkouts to ballot measures, teachers and K–12 education made headlines this year.
  3. 3. Education even ranked as the second-highest issue in gubernatorial races. 1. Health Care 3. Jobs 4. Public Safety 5. Immigration 2. Education Source: http://mediaproject.wesleyan.edu/releases/101818-tv/
  4. 4. Peering through the kaleidoscope of November state elections as a whole, it is challenging to interpret how Americans feel about education matters and reforms.
  5. 5. Thankfully, polls like our six-years-running Schooling in America Survey allow us to provide a clear picture of Americans’ views and attitudes about K–12 issues. 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw 2018 SCHOOLING IN AMERICA Public Opinion on K–12 Education with a Special Focus on Parents and Teachers Paul DiPerna Michael Shaw
  6. 6. For this year’s survey, we interviewed a representative national sample of 1,803 American adults, including a large group of parents. We also separately surveyed teachers. Public School Teachers = 777 Parents of school-aged children = 533
  7. 7. WHAT WE FOUND
  8. 8. Most teachers aren’t promoters of their vocation. Selected Demographics Among Public School Teachers by Net Promoter Score (NPS) Groups, 2018 CURRENT PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS 26 32 42 -17 6.49 777 % Promoter (9 or 10) % Passive (7 or 8) % Detractor (0 to 6) NPS Mean Score N = Notes: We measure an NPS Score by subtracting the percentage of "Detractor" responses from the percentage of "Promoter" responses. The difference indicates loyalty and commitment within a specific population for the job of public school teacher. Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q29.
  9. 9. Public school teachers trust their students and principals more than parents. Public School Teachers' Trust in K–12 Education Stakeholders Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q31. Principal Students Teachers’ Union Leadership District Superintendent Parents School Board State DOE Federal DOE 57 52 46 41 36 35 28 25 Percentage of Current Public School Teachers Saying "Complete" or "A Lot of" Trust
  10. 10. More than half of teachers think schools spend too much time on standardized testing. Views on Time Spent on Standardized Testing 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q40. 19 26 39 36 36 36 28 29 52 Public School Teachers School Parents General Population Too High About Right Too Low Percentage of Respondents
  11. 11. So what are parents doing for their kids’ schooling and education? It turns out, quite a lot. And we see more reported activity than in 2016.
  12. 12. They are making financial sacrifices … What Parents Have Done to Support Their Children’s K–12 Education, 2016 and 2018 Notes: Phone-only survey results shown for 2016. Mixed-mode results (online and phone) shown for 2018. Responses within parentheses were volunteered. For the online survey, the respondent was permitted to skip the question. Sources: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q11; EdChoice, 2016 Schooling in America Survey. 2016 2018 Taken Additional Job 22% Moved Closer to School 21% Taken Out New Loan 13% Changed Job 17% Percentage of Current School Parents 40% 30% 29% 20%
  13. 13. … and expending more time and effort. What Parents Have Done to Accomodate Their Children’s K–12 Education, 2016 and 2018 Notes: Phone-only survey results shown for 2016. Mixed-mode results (online and phone) shown for 2018. For the online survey, the respondent was permitted to skip the question. Sources: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q12; EdChoice, 2016 Schooling in America Survey. Helped with Homework at Least One Night/Week Have Family or Friend Look After Child Have Family or Friend Help Transport Child Significantly Changed Daily Routine Paid for Before- or After-Care Services Paid for Child’s Transportation to/from School Paid for Tutoring Percentage of Current School Parents 86% 52% 15% 21% 34% 41% 50% 2016 2018 88% 63% 54% 42% 58% 23% 32%
  14. 14. Majorities of parents express satisfaction with their schooling experiences. Parents' Satisfaction with Schools, 2017 and 2018 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Notes: Phone-only survey results shown for 2017. Mixed-mode results (online and phone) shown for 2018. For the online survey, the respondent was permitted to skip the question. Sample sizes vary by school type and by year: Home School (2017, N = 47; 2018, N = 126); Private School (2017, N = 122; 2018, N = 188); Public Charter School (2017, N = 59; 2018, N = 166); Public District School (2017, N = 485; 2018, N = 825). Sources: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q4, Q6, Q8, Q10. 90 86 93 79 75 78 73 66 Home School Private School Public Charter School Public District School 2017 2018 2017 2018 2017 2018 2017 2018 Percentage of Current and Former School Parents Saying They Have Been "Very" or "Somewhat" Satisfied
  15. 15. But huge gaps still exist between where parents would prefer to send their kids to school and where they actually send their kids to school. Parents' Schooling Preferences by School Type Notes: The percentages in this chart reflect a composite that averages split samples' responses to two slightly different versions of this question (16C/D). Responses within parentheses were volunteered: "DK" means "Don't Know." "Ref" means "Refusal." For the online survey, the respondent was permitted to skip the question. For enrollment data sources, see National K–12 Profile and Context on p. 5. Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q16C and Q16D. Current/Former School Parents (Composite C/D) Actual Enrollments Public School District Public Charter School Private School Home School (DK/Ref/Skip) 36 13 1040 82 105 3 2 Percentage of Current and Former Schools Parents 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
  16. 16. School choice programs would allow preferences to more closely match actual enrollments.
  17. 17. And overall support for school choice remains strong, with education savings accounts (ESAs) being the most popular type. The Public's Views on ESAs, with Description, 2013–2018 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Notes: From 2013 to 2015 we slightly changed question wording to more accurately reflect the features of an ESA program and to avoid the inclusion of potentially loaded words or limiting ESA uses. Phone-only survey results shown for 2013–2017. Mixed-mode results (online and phone) shown for 2018. Responses within parentheses were volunteered. "DK" means "Don't Know." "Ref" means "Refusal." For the online survey, the respondent was permitted to skip the question. Sources: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q23; EdChoice, Schooling in America Survey, 2016–2017 (partial samples of General Population); Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, Schooling in America Survey, 2013–2015. 25 11 64 56 10 34 28 24 19 10 71 74 8 18 11 23 62 52 30 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Favor (DK/Ref/Skip) Oppose Percentage of General Population
  18. 18. Education funding always comes into play, whether legislators are considering school choice programs or any other policy. $$$ $$ $$ $$ $$
  19. 19. Yet we find the vast majority of Americans don’t know how much we spend on K–12 education. The Public's Awareness of K–12 Education Spending Notes: Responses of "Don't Know" and "Refusal" not shown. For the online survey, the respondent was permitted to skip the question, which is also not shown. Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q13. Counts of Respondents (Estimates) 0% 20%10% 40%30% 60%50% 90%70% Only one respondent correctly estimated $11,500 100% 212 ($1K) 159 ($2K) 91 ($3K) 231 ($5K) 193 ($10K) 70 (>$50K) 71 ($20K) 80%
  20. 20. But when they find out, their opinions change. How Information Affects Americans' Views on K–12 Education Funding Notes: Responses within parentheses were volunteered. "DK" means "Don't Know." "Ref" means "Refusal." For the online survey, the respondent was permitted to skip the question. Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q14A and 14B. Split A/Without Information (N = 900) Split B/With Information (N = 903) Q14-Split A. Do you believe that public school funding in the United States is at a level that is: Q14-Split B. According to the most recent information available, on average $11,454 is being spent per year on each student attending public schools in the United States. Do you believe that public school funding in our country is at a level that is: Too High About Right Too Low (DK/Ref/Skip) 12 6221 4 22 4332 3 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percentage of General Population by Split Question
  21. 21. But do Americans think public school districts are spending those funds the right way?
  22. 22. We know public school teachers don’t think so.
  23. 23. Public school teachers are more likely to blame local districts for disruptions caused by walkouts and strikes, but Americans generally are more likely to blame teachers’ unions. 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q32. 44 5253 46 50 47 Individual TeachersLocal School District State GovernmentTeachers’ Union Public School Teachers School Parents General Population Who is Most Responsible for School Disruptions from Teacher Walkouts? Percentage of Respondents Assigning Top Two Rankings to Stakeholders (i.e. Who is Most Responsible) 60 39 54 48 52 56
  24. 24. (However you word the question, a substantial proportion of public school teachers support the essence of the Janus v. AFSCME ruling that empowers teachers to choose whether they pay dues to unions.) 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q42. 48 46 58 47 51 58 49 51 56 Split G/General Split H/Including Teachers’ Union Split I/Citing Janus v. AFSCME Public School Teachers School Parents General Population Views on Public-Sector Union Fees and Janus v. AFSCME Q42-Split G. Some states prohibit public-sector unions from collecting fees from public employees who they represent but who do not choose to join the union. In general, do you favor or oppose this prohibition? Q42-H. Some states prohibit public-sector unions—including teachers’ unions—from collecting fees from public employees who they represent but who do not choose to join the union and pay dues. In general, do you favor or oppose this prohibition? Q42-I. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that prohibit public-sector unions—including teachers’ unions—from collecting fees from public employees who they represent but who do not choose to join the union and pay dues. In general, do you favor or oppose this prohibition? Percentage of Respondents Saying "Strongly" or "Somewhat" Favor
  25. 25. When it comes to how our schools perform, few Americans are aware of how their states hold public schools accountable. Lack of Awareness of Home State's Use of A−F Grades or Other Ratings for Accountability 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Note: "Yes" and "No" responses not shown. Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2017), Q38. 17 29 37 Public School Teachers School Parents General Population Percentage of Respondents Saying “Unsure”
  26. 26. Americans think the broad purpose of a state accountability system should be: What Should Be the Purpose of State Accountability Systems? Item on which public school teachers are more likely to differ with parents and the public % Public School Teachers (N=777) % School Parents (N=300) % General Population (N=1,002) Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q33. 60 62 34 26 18 56 50 39 32 19 58 50 38 31 20 Ensure minimum standards of reading and math learning Identify low-performing schools for additional assistance Create transparent record of school performance Reward high-performing schools Penalize low-performing schools Percentage of Respondents Assigning Top Two Rankings to Items (i.e. What is Most Important)
  27. 27. And many indicate that teachers should be empowered to develop and implement accountability systems. % Public School Teachers (N=777) % School Parents (N=300) % General Population (N=1,002) Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q34. Teachers Parents Principals School District Superintendents School Boards State Government Officials Federal Government Officials 66 32 37 20 18 15 13 51 53 22 17 21 18 16 49 47 21 20 16 22 15 Who Should Have the Most Say in Developing a State Accountability System? Item on which public school teachers are more likely to differ with parents and the public Percentage of Respondents Assigning Top Two Rankings to Stakeholders (i.e. Who Should Have the Most Say?)
  28. 28. There’s no consensus, however, about who should be held responsible in K–12 education. % Public School Teachers (N=777) % School Parents (N=300) % General Population (N=1,002) Source: EdChoice, 2018 Schooling in America Survey (conducted September 25–October 7, 2018), Q36. 33 29 21 25 24 27 20 21 36 33 26 25 21 16 20 19 39 33 30 23 18 18 19 18 School Districts State Government Officials School Boards Teachers Parents Students Prinicpals Schools Who Should Be Held Most Accountable in a State Accountability System? Item on which public school teachers are more likely to differ with parents and/or the public Percentage of Respondents Assigning Top Two Rankings to Stakeholders (i.e. Who Should Be Held Most Accountable?)
  29. 29. For more findings from this report, visit To contact the authors, email paul@edchoice.org and mshaw@edchoice.org. EDCHOICE.ORG/SIA2018

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