Americans believe high-quality public schools help build stronger families and improve local economies, according to a poll commissioned by the Public Education Network and Education Week earlier this year.
This final close- up look at the poll examines the importance Americans place on good public education locally and for the nation as a whole.
When asked to cite the benefits of good public education for a community, 24 percent of those polled said good schools help build stronger families, making that the top choice among a range of benefits. After that, 20 percent of the respondents said high-quality public schools improve the local economy or attract businesses and 15 percent said they lower crime rates.
The poll also found broad support for the importance of good public schools locally and nationally. Among parents of children 18 or younger, 88 percent said having good public schools in their local communities was important. Of those without children 18 or younger, 84 percent said having good local public schools was important to them.
The pollsters interviewed 800 registered voters by phone. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
—Mary-Ellen Phelps Deily
Note: Split-samples questions—asked of only half of respondents.
SOURCE: “Accountability for All: What Voters Want From Education Candidates”
“Accountability for All: What Voters Want From Education Candidates” is available from the Public Education Network. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)
A version of this article appeared in the August 07, 2002 edition of Education Week as Poll Charts Impact Of Good Schools