Americans favor smaller class sizes and technology over education reforms such as vouchers and merit pay for teachers, says a new survey from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.
Data was collected from 1,000 respondents who took part in the Cooperative Congressional Election Study.
Those participants ranked the most effective school reform efforts to be smaller class sizes, technology, accountability, vouchers, teachers’ unions, merit pay for teachers, and a longer school day, in that order.
Asked what types of school choice were most preferred, respondents said they supported, in order from most to least: Tax-credit reimbursements for education expenses such as private school tuition or books, tax-credit scholarships, education savings accounts, universal vouchers, vouchers for students with disabilities, and vouchers for low-income students.
Study author Dick M. Carpenter, a professor of leadership, research, and foundations at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, said further research should be conducted to determine whether tax credits are more desirable because of the role they play in expanding school choice or because they do not rely on the taxpayer to shoulder the financial burden of school choice like vouchers.
A version of this article appeared in the January 15, 2014 edition of Education Week as Education Reforms