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object(Timber\Post)#3742 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_410MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "596510" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(96081) "& p p i c s t a t e w i d e s u r v e y Californians MarkBaldassare DeanBonner SonjaPetek NifoleWillfoxon in collaboration wHith The William and FlHora Hewlett Fofndation CbNTENTS Aboft the Sfrveb 2 Press Release 3 General Perceptions 6 Fiscal Attitfdes andH Policb Preferences 16 Regional Map 24 Methodologb 25 Qfestionnaire and RHesflts 27 education A P R I L 2 0 1 0 April 2010 Californians and Education 2 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Sur vey series provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 106th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that has generated a database of responses of more than 226,000 Californians. This sur vey is par t of a PPIC Statewide Sur vey series funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Its goal is to inform state policymakers, encourage discussion, and raise public awareness about a variety of K– 12, higher education, environment, and population issues. This is the sixth PPIC Statewide Sur vey focusing on K– 12 education issues. California has the largest K –12 public education system in the nation. During 2008– 09, the state ser ved nearly 6.3 million students in 1,043 school districts and 9,898 public schools. California also has a highly diverse student population: H alf are economically disadvantaged (52%), a quar ter are English learners (24%), and 11 percent have disabilities. Latinos (49%) make up the largest racial/ethnic group of students, followed by whites (28%), Asians (12%), and blacks (7%). Improving public schools in the face of severe budget constraints shapes the context of this s u r v e y. With a deepening fiscal crisis and state budget deficit of about $20 billion, K–12 public schools face more funding cuts this year. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, t he governor’s proposed 2010– 11 budget for education falls shor t of Proposition 98 funding requirements . Passed by voters in 1988, Proposition 98 requir es minimum funding levels for K –12 public school s. California has already received more than $5 billion in federal funds for public schools through the American Reinvestment and Recover y Act of 2009. The federal government has also provided incentiv es—through competitive grants—for states to implement reforms to raise standards, maintain effective teachers, and improve low -achieving schools. C alifornia applied for , but did not win , a competitive grant this year. This repor t presents the responses o f 2,504 adult residents throughout the state on the following:  Perceptions of educational quality in California’s K–12 public schools and of the appropriate fiscal response to improv e quality; approval ratings of state and federal elected officials overall and on their handling of education; opinions about federal involvement in education; rankings of California’s per pupil spending and student test scores ; concern about challenges caused by budget cuts ; ratings of student s’ preparation for the future; ratings of local public school s; and expections of public school parents about their children’s educational futures.  Fiscal attitudes and policy pr eferences regarding the state budget and education funding; preferences for raising revenues for local schools; concern about specific spending cuts; preferences for assist ing schools in lower -income areas; attitudes about merit pay for teacher s and how to award it; attitudes about using data to make education policy decisions; and the priority that Californians think the next governor should place on improving K –12 education.  Time trends and variations in perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding California’s K– 12 system across the five major regions of the state (Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles County, Inland Empire, and Orange/San Diego Counties), among Asians, blacks, Latinos, and non- Hispanic whites, and across socioeconomic and political groups. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). For questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org. View our searchable PPIC Statewide Sur vey database online at www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. April 2010 Californians and Education 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415- 291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday , April 28, 2010. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND EDUCATION Concern Rises Over Impact of Budget Cuts on Public S chools RATINGS FOR STATE LEADERS O N EDUCATION HIT NEW LOWS — FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SEEN AS DOING TOO LI TTLE SAN FRANCISCO , April 28 , 2010 —As California once again confronts a multibillion dollar budget deficit, concern has grown considerably among the state’s residents about the consequences of spending cuts on kindergarten through 12th grade education, according to an annual survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Californians today are more likely than last year to believe that funding for their local schools is inadequate, and parents of public school students are far more likely to say that state budget cuts have had a big effect on their children’s schools. Most Californians (62%) believe there is not enough state funding going to their public schools (26% just enough, 6% more than enough), a 12 -point increase since April 2009. A similar majority (62%) say they are very concerned the state’s budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in K–12 education, up 6 points since last April . Among public school parents, 43 percent say their children’s schools have been affected a lot by recent state bu dget cuts, 15 points higher than a year ago. Another 38 percent say their schools have been affected somewhat, and only 17 percent say they have seen no effect. When asked how they feel about some potential ways schools may deal with decreased funding, an overwhelming number of Californians say they are very concerned (73%) or somewhat concerned (19%) about teacher layoffs . More than half are very concerned about class sizes getting bigger (59%), having fewer days of school instruction (56%), or eliminatio n of art and music programs (56%). About half (49%) are very concerned about elimination of after -school and summer programs. “At a time when Californians are looking for reforms that will improve student achievement, more Californians are seeing the dir ect effect of the state’s budget problems on children, teachers, and resources in their local schools,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “They expect better results from their leaders in Sacramento and in Washington.” CALIFORNIANS WANT SCHOOLS PROTECTED FROM CUTS K–12 education is the largest spending category in the state budget and the area that a majority of Californians (63%) most want to protect from spending cuts ; far fewer residents name other spending categories as those they would most like to protect (14% health and human services, 13% higher education, and 7% prisons). This view holds across parties and demographic groups, and is one that a majority of Californians have held since PPIC first asked the question in June 2003. PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 4 Californians’ concerns translate to record low approval ratings for the way state leaders are handling schools . While Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s overall approval rating (24%) matches his record low reached last month, his rating for handling K– 12 public education is an even lower 16 percent —down 4 point s from last year, 9 points from 2008, and 20 points from 2007. The legislature’s overall approval rating (16%) is similar to the record low recorded last month (14%), and its rating for handling public schools is at 15 percent —down 3 point s from last year, 6 points from 2008, and 14 points from 2007. Nearly all Californians say the gubernatorial candidates’ positions on K –12 education are very important (62%) or somewhat important (30%). Most Democrats (72%) and independents (59%) consider them very important , while Republicans (46%) are less likely to say so. Three -fourths (74%) of Californians say that improving education should be a high priority for the next governor. The Obama administration’s education pol icy efforts have not won the president high marks in California either. While his overall approval rating (61%) remains much higher than those of Sacramento officials, Californians give him a much low er rating for his handling of K–12 education policy. Less than half (46%) approve —a 12- point decline since last year —while 28 percent disapprove and 26 percent have no opinion. A majority of Californians (59%) say the federal government is not doing enough to improve the K-–1 2 education system (25% just enough, 7% more than enough). DROPOUT RATE SEEN AS BIG PROBLEM Most Californians (85%) think that the quality of K –12 education is a problem, with a slim majority (53%) viewing it as a big problem. Just over half have said that education quality is a big problem since 2007 (52% 2007, 53% 2008, 51% 2009). Blacks (68%) and whites (60%) today are far more likely than Asians (48%) and Latinos (41%) to see education quality as a big problem. When it com es to three particular issues —the high school dropout rate, student ac hievement, and teacher quality— Californians are mo st likely to see the drop out rate as a big problem (69%) . This percentage is similar to previous years (69% 2008, 70% 2009). Concerns about the other issues are higher this year: 48 percent see student achievement as a big problem, up 5 points from April 2009, and 36 percent see teacher quality as big problem, up 7 points from last April. Among public school parents concerns increased more: Half (50%) say student achievement is a big problem, up 11 point s from April 2009 . And 35 percent say teacher quality is a big problem, up 10 points. Views of student achievement vary among racial and ethnic groups of Californians, with blacks (63%) much more likely to see it as a big problem than Latinos (51%), whites (45%), or Asians (39%). POOR MARKS FOR COLLEGE, WORKFORCE PREPARATION Are public schools preparing students for college or the workforce? Californians are more likely to say schools are not so good (39%) or poor (14%) at college preparation than to say they are doing a good (37%) or excellent job (4%). Residents’ assessments are worse when asked about workforce preparation. Nearly two in three rated schools as not so good (45%) or poor (19%) in this area, compared to good (28%) or excellent (3%). Public s chool parents are more likely to give schools positive marks in both areas (4 9% good or excellent for college preparation, 42% good or excellent for workforce preparation). Despite their low rankings of the public education system, Californians continue to be more positive about the quality of their local schools. As they have since 2005, more than half of residents (54%) and public school parents (67%) give schools in their neighborhoods a grade of A or B (51% 2005, 55% 2006, 52% 2007, 54% 2008, 53% 2009). California ranks near the bottom in math and reading scores for grades 4 and 8, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. How well do Californians’ perceptions match the data ? Half (49%) accurately view stu dent test scores as below average compared to other states, while 31 percent say test scores are average and 11 percent say above average. PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 5 MERIT PAY FOR TEACHERS FAVORED Most Californians favor merit pay for teachers (62% favor, 26% oppose) , although they are less likely than adults nationwide to support this frequently discussed policy reform (72% favor, 21% oppose in a 2009 national Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll). Asked about possible criteria to determine merit pay, 69 percent of Californians say that academic improvement of students as measured by standardized tests should determine which teachers get extra money . Residents also support—but at a lower 57 percent —basing merit pay on the academic achievement of students as measured by standardized tests . C al ifornians are move divided over whether length of teaching experience should be a deciding factor in determining merit pay: 48 percent say it should and 49 percent say it should not. HIGHER TAXES FOR SCHOOLS? CALIFORNIA NS ARE SPLIT Despite their concerns about K –12 spending, Californians are divided in their willingness to pay higher taxes to maintain current levels of funding (49% yes, 47% no), similar to last year (48% yes, 49% no). They are also divided on the question of how best to improve the quality of schools significantly : 45 percent prefer using existing funds more wisely, and 45 percent prefer using existing funds more wisely and increasing the amount of funding. Just 8 percent prefer increased funding alone. Reflecting their positive views of th eir own local schools and negative views of the state’s elected leaders, Californians overwhelming ly prefer local control of spending decision s at their local public schools. Half (51%) say local school district s should make the decisions about how to spend state funds in local schools and a third (34%) say local schools themselves should decide. More Californians (63%) would be willing to vote for a local bond measure to pay for school construction projects than would be willing to pay high er taxes to maintain current state funding (49%) . A majority of Californians (57%) and about half of likely voters (52%) would vote for a local parcel tax to provide more money for local public schools, but these shares fall short of the two- thirds voter approval required to approve such a tax. The National Education Association rank s Calif ornia near the bottom —43rd of 50 states and the District of Columbia— in spending per student. Yet just 37 percent of Californians perceive the state’s per pupil spending as below average. Another 24 percent say it is average, and 26 percent say it is above average. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Parents have higher expectations, less confidence that they can help— page 15 Nearly nine in 10 parents of public school children would like their youngest child to graduate from college (43%) or earn a graduate degree (44%). The percentage hoping their child will get a graduate degree has increased 5 points since last April and 8 points since April 2005. While most public school parents express at least some confidence that they have the resources and information to help their child achieve their educational goals, the number saying they are very confident has been declining (52% 2005, 45% 2009, 41% today). White parents are far more likely than Latino parents (50% to 29%) to say they are very confident.  Should schools in lower -income areas pay teachers higher salaries? Half say yes —page 20 An overwhelming majority of Californians (80%) say schools in poor neighbor hoods lack the same resources —including good te achers and enough classroom materials —as their counterparts in more affluent areas. Half support the concept of paying higher salaries to teachers to work in these schools (51% yes, 44% no) .  Most favor using school, student performance data to make policy choices—page 22 Should California collect data about schools, including resources and student performance? A record- high number of residents (60%) say this is very important, and 75 percent say this type of information should be used to make policy decisi ons about education programs and funding. April 2010 Californians and Education 6 GENERAL PERCEPTIONS KEY FINDINGS  Majorities of Californians consider the quality of K–12 education a big problem (53%) and believe the state’s K–12 public education system is in need of major changes (62%). Approval ratings of how state elected officials are handling K–12 public education issues have reached record lows. (pages 7, 8 )  Approval of President Obama’s handling of education policy has declined 12 points since last year, and most say the federal government’s efforts to improve education are falling short. (page 9)  Half of Californians are aware that the state’s student test scores are lower than the national average, and 37 percent are aware that per pupil spending is below the national average. (page 10)  Seven in 10 Californians—and over eight in 10 Latinos and blacks—consider the high school dropout rate a big problem. Far fewer believe that student achievement or teacher quality are big problems. However, about six in 10 residents are very concerned about the dropout rate, shortage of good teachers, and level of college preparation in lower-income areas. A majority of Californians give poor or not so good ratings to the state’s schools when it comes to college and workforce preparation. (pages 11– 13)  Despite concerns about quality, a majority of Californians continue to give their local public schools a grade of A or B. But a rising proportion believe state funding at their local schools is insufficient. (page 14)  Public school parents are far more likely than last year to say that state budget cuts are greatly affecting their child’s school. (page 15) 49 4851 5062 0 20 40 60 80 Apr06 Apr 07 Apr 08 Apr 09 Apr 10 Percent all adults Percent Saying State Funding for Local Schools Is Not Enough 28 43 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Apr 09 Apr 10 Percent public school parents State Budget Cuts Affecting Child's Public School Percent saying school affected a lot 29 36 25 2016 21 29 21 1815 0 10 20 30 40 50 Apr06 Apr 07 Apr 08 Apr 09 Apr 10 Percent all adults Governor Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials' Handling of K–12 Public Education PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 7 OVERALL CONDITIONS Californians continue to name jobs and the economy (55%) as the most important issue facing the state today. Far fewer mention the state budget (13%) or education and s chools (10%). At the same time, most Californians (85%) believe that the quality of education in California’s K–12 public schools is a problem —53 percent consider it a big problem, 32 percent say it is somewhat of a problem. The percentage of Californians who believe that the quality of education is a big problem has remained about the same since 2007 (52% 2007, 53% 2008, 51% 2009, 53% today). Just under half of public school parents (47%) think the quality of education is a big problem. Overall, blacks (6 8%) and whites (60%) are much more likely than Asians (48%) and Latinos (41%) to consider the quality of education a big problem. San Francisco Bay Area residents (59%) are the most likely— and Central Valley residents (46%) the least likely —to view the quality of K –12 education as a big problem . Across parties, independents (61%) and Democrats (59%) are somewhat more likely than Republicans (53%) to think that the quality of education in the K– 12 system is a big problem. “How much of a problem is the qual ity of education in California’s K –12 public schools today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? ” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Big problem 53% 48% 68% 41% 60% 47% Somewhat of a problem 32 35 26 39 28 35 Not really a problem 11 12 3 18 8 18 Don’t know 4 5 3 2 4 – A strong majority of Californians (62%) think that the K –12 system needs major changes, while 28 percent say minor changes are needed and 7 percent say it is fine the way it is —about the same percentages as last year. Majorities of public school parents (64%) and of residents across parties and regions say major changes are needed. Blacks (68%), whites (64%), and Latinos (62%) are far more likely t han Asians (45%) to say that California’s K –12 system need s major changes. W hen asked how to significantly improve the quality of K –12 public education, Californians are divided: 45 percent prefer using existing funds more wisely, while 45 percent prefer u sing existing funds more wisely and increasing the amount of funding. Eight percent favor increased funding alone. These percentages have remained about the same since 2008. Republicans (64%) and independents (52%) are more likely to prefer using funds more wisely, while Democrats (58%) are more likely to prefer the mixed approach. Whites (51%) are the most likely to prefer using funds wisely, while blacks (64%) are by far the most likely to prefer both an increase in funding and using funds m ore wisely. “To significantly improve the quality of California’s K–12 public schools, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? We need to use existing state funds more wisely, we need to increase the amount of state funding, or we need to use existing state funds more wisely and increa se the amount of state funding.” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Use funds more wisely 45% 31% 64% 52% 47% Increase funding 8 9 5 4 6 Use funds more wisely and increase funding 45 58 30 41 46 Don’t know 2 2 1 3 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 8 APPROVAL RATINGS: GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE The approval rating of Governor Schwarzenegger ’s overall job performance (24%) matches his record low first reached last month, while his disapproval rating (64%) matches his record high reached last month. Likely voters are just as negative as the general public; majorities across parties, regions, and most demographic groups also disapprove of the way the governor is handling his job . Latinos (73%), blacks (72%), and whites (60%) ar e far more likely than Asians (45%) to disapprove of the governor’s performance . Across regions, disapproval is higher in the Inland Empire (72%) and Los Angeles (70%) than in the Central Valley (62%), Orange/San Diego Counties (61%), or the San Francisco Bay Area (60%). The governor also reaches record low approval (16%) and record high disapproval (65%) when it comes to his handling of the K –12 public education system. Opinions among likely voters are just as negative. Approval of the governor in this re spect has dropped 4 points since last year, 9 points since 2008, and 20 points since 2007. Democrats (75%) and independents (66%) are far more likely than Republicans (51%) to express disapproval . M ajorities across regions and across age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups —as well as 73 percent of public school parents —disapprove of the way the governor is handling the state’s K –12 public education system. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling...?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind His job as governor of California Approve 24% 21% 33% 26% 26% Disapprove 64 68 57 63 65 Don't know 12 11 10 11 9 The state's K –12 public education system Approve 16 11 23 15 15 Disapprove 65 75 51 66 66 Don't know 19 14 26 19 19 Californians’ approval rating of the state legislature (16%) is similar to the record low reached in March (14%). The even lower rating among likely voters (11%) is also similar to the record low of March (9%) . At least two in three Democrats (66%), independents (77%), and Republicans (84%) and solid majorities across regions disapprove of the legislature’s performance. Across racial/ethnic groups, whites (79%) are the most likely to disapprove, followed by bl acks (67%), Latinos (59%), and Asians (53%). When it comes to the legislature’s handling of the state’s K –12 public education system, a record low ( 15 %) approve, while a record high ( 67%) disapprove. Likely voters are even more negative. Strong majorities across parties and regions, and at least half among racial/ethnic groups , disapprove. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling ...?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Its job Approve 16% 20% 9% 12% 11% Disapprove 69 66 84 77 79 Don't know 15 14 7 11 10 The state's K –12 public education system Approve 15 13 9 10 8 Disapprove 67 73 70 70 76 Don't know 18 14 21 20 16 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 9 PRESIDENT’S APPROVAL RATINGS AND FEDERAL ACTIONS Approval ratings of President Obama are far higher than those of the state’s elected officials. Six in 10 Californians approve, while one in three disapprove of the way the president is handling his job . The p resident’s approval rating has declined 9 points since last April (70%) , and his approval has hovered around 60 percent since December 2009. Today, Californians are more approving than adults nationwide ( 50% approve, 40 % disapprove), according to a recent CBS News/New York Times p oll. California’s likely vote rs are more negative than the state’s adult residents overall. Unlike the agreement we found in the ratings of the governor and legislature, we find a partisan divide in ratings of the president. Eight in 10 Democrats (82%) and six in 10 independents (62%) approve of the president , compared to only 25 percent of Republicans. While m ajorities across regions approve of the president, approval is highest in Los Angeles (6 9%) and lowe st in Orange/San Diego Counties and the Central Valley (54% each). Blacks (89% ), Asians (72%), and Latinos (71%) are far more likely than whites (50%) to approve of the president. When it comes to his handling of K –12 education policy, fewer than half of Californians (46%) approve , a 12 -point decline since last year. And once again, likely voters are more negative. We also find a significant partisan divide : 63 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of independents approve of the president’s handling of education issues , compared to only 19 percent of Republicans. Across regions, 50 p ercent at most approve of the president’s education policies. Blacks (68%) and Latinos (64%) are far more likely than Asians (43%) and whites (34 %) to express approval . “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling ...?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind His job as president of the United States Approve 61% 82% 25% 62% 56% Disapprove 34 14 71 33 40 Don't know 5 4 4 5 4 K–12 education policy Approve 46 63 19 44 40 Disapprove 28 16 49 26 33 Don't know 26 21 32 30 27 With the Obama administration formulating education policy and providing funding incentives for K –12 reform , how satisfied are Californians with the efforts of the federal government? A majority of both residents and likely voters (59% each) think that the government is no t doing enough, while about one in four say it is doing just enough. Majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups say the federal government is not doing enough. “Do you think that the federal government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to improve the K –12 public education system? ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind More than enough 7% 4% 13% 9% 9% Just enough 25 26 25 22 23 Not enough 59 63 53 63 59 Don’t know 9 7 9 6 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 10 PERCEPTIONS OF CALIFORNIA’S RELATIVE EDUCATIO N RANKINGS Fewer than four in 10 Californians (37 %) believe that the state’s per pupil spending is below average compared to other states , while 26 percent believe that it’s above average and 24 percent believe that it’s about average. According to the National Education Association’s Rankings and Estimates ( December 2009 ), California ’s rank ing has declined over the past few years, with the state coming in near the bottom —43 rd among 50 states and the District of Columbia— in per pupil spending in the 2008 –09 school year . Perceptions among Californians about per pupil spending are similar to their perce ptions last April and in April 2008. However, r esidents were more negative 10 years ago , w ith 16 percent saying a bove average and 5 1 percent below average . Demo crats and independents (43 % each ) are much more likely than Republicans (29%) to say the state’s per pupil spending is below average. Across regions, San Francisco Bay Area residents (4 3%) are the most likely to say that spending is below average, compared to about one in three residents elsewhere. Although 50 percent of blacks and 42 percent of whites believe that California’s spending is lower than most states, fewer Latinos (30%) and Asians (22%) hold this view. The perception that per pupil spending is below average increases with rising education levels. “Where do you think California currently ranks in per pupil spending for K–12 public schools? Compared to other states, is Californ ia's spending…?” All Adults Region Public School Parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Above average 26% 26% 22% 27% 31% 28% 27% Average 24 25 21 26 25 21 25 Below average 37 35 43 34 30 35 34 Don’t know 13 14 14 13 14 16 14 Californians are even more negative about the state’s student test scores: 49 percent say scores are below average compared to other states, 31 percent say they are average, and only 11 percent say they are above average. According to 2008 test scores compiled by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, California rank ed near the bottom in math and reading scores for grades 4 and 8. Perceptions of student test scores in Califo rnia have been similar since we first began asking this question in 1998. Republicans (58%) are somewhat more likely than independents (54%) or Democrats (49%) to say student test scores are lagging. At least half of residents in Los Angeles, the San Franc isco Bay Area, and the Inland Empire believe California’s scores are lower than those in most other states. Whites (60%) are much more likely than blacks (47%), Latinos (38%), or Asians (31%) to believe this is so . The perception that test scores are below average rises with increasing age, income, and education. Fewer than one-q uarter of those in any demographic group believe scores are above average. “Where do you think California current ly ranks in student test scores for K–12 public schools? Compared to other states, are California's student test scores…?” All Adults Region Public School Parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Above average 11% 11% 10% 10% 16% 8% 13% Average 31 35 27 29 35 28 34 Below average 49 46 53 52 40 53 45 Don’t know 9 8 10 9 9 11 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 11 CHALLENGES IN THE K– 12 SYSTEM As noted above, a majority of Californians (53%) consider the overall quality of education in the state’s K– 12 public schools to be a big problem. When it comes to three particular issues, Californians are most likely to say the high school dropout rate is a big problem (69%) , followed by student achievement (48%) and teacher quality (36%). The share viewing the dropout rate as a big problem was nearly identical in April 2009 (70%) and April 2008 (69%). However, since last April, the percentage who consider student achievement a big problem has increased by 5 points (from 43% to 48% today), and the percentage who consider teacher quality a big problem has increased by 7 points (from 29% to 36% today). “I’m going to read you a list of issues people have mention ed when talking about California’s K– 12 public schools today. For each one, please tell me if you think it is a big problem, somewhat of a prob lem, or not really a problem. How about …” High school dropout rate Student achievement Teacher quality Big problem 69% 48% 36% Somewhat of a problem 22 39 41 Not really a problem 5 10 21 Don’t know 4 3 2 Half of parents of children in public school s consider student achievement a big problem , an 11-point increase since last year. Perceptions differ across racial/ethnic groups : 63 percent of blacks say student achievement is a big problem , compared to 51 percent of Latinos, 45 percent of whit es, and 39 percent of Asians. Across regions, residents in Los Angeles (57%) are the most likely to hold this view , followed by residents in the Inland Empire (53%), Central Valley (46%), Orange/San Diego Counties (41%), and San Francisco Bay Area (40%). A mong those who believe that the state’s student test scores are below average compared to other states, 57 percent say student achievement is a big problem. “How about student achievement?” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Big problem 48% 39% 63% 51% 45% 50% Somewhat of a problem 39 46 28 39 41 39 Not really a problem 10 13 9 8 10 8 Don’t know 3 2 – 2 4 3 Fewer than half of respondents across parties, regions, and demographic groups say teac her quality is a big problem, although this perception has increased since last year : 35 percent of public school parents say teacher quality is a big problem, up 10 points since April 2009. Blacks (44%) and Asians (40%) are more likely than Latinos (35%) and whites (34%) to consider teacher quality a big problem. Los Angeles residents (40%) are the most likely —and Central Valley residents (33%) the least likely —to agree. California education officials continue to grapple with how to improve the high school graduation rate, which disproportionately affects black, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students. Similar to last year , s even in 10 Californians (69%) and public school parents (71%) say the dropout rate is a big problem. Latinos (84%) and blacks (83%) are far more likely than Asians and whites (59% each) to hold this view . Residents in Los Angeles (78%) and the Inland Empire (77%) are the most likely to hold this view, followed by residents in the Central Valley (70%), San Francisco Bay Area ( 64%), and Orange/San Diego Counties (55%). This negative perception of the K –12 system declines sharply with rising education and income. PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 12 CONCERN ABOUT SCHOOLS IN LOWER-INCOME AREAS Californians express high and equivalent levels of concern about three issues affecting schools in lower - income areas. Most Californians (63%) say they are very concerned that students in lower -income areas have a higher dropout rate than students in more affluent areas. The percentage who are very concerned has been increas ing in r ecent years ( 53% April 2008, 60% April 2009, 63% today). Two in three public school parents are very concerned, up 5 points since last year (60% to 65%). Democrats (76%) are much more likely than independents (65%) and Republicans (49%) to be very concerned about the high school dropout rate disproportionately affecting students in lower -income areas. Concern is highest in Los Angeles (67% very concerned) and lowest in Orange/San Diego Counties (57% very concerned). Nearly all blacks (91%) are very concerned about this issue; majorities of Latinos (68 %), Asians (61%), and whites (58%) also express this level of concern. “How concerned are you that …” Students in lower -income areas have a higher dropout rate from high school than other students? Schools in lower -income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas ? Students in lower-income areas are less likely than other students to be ready for college when they finish high school ? Very concerned 63% 60% 61% Somewh at concerned 26 28 28 Not too concerned 6 6 6 Not at all concerned 3 4 4 Don’t know 2 2 1 Six in 10 Californians are also very concerned that schools in lower -income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas, up 6 points since April 2008 ( from 54% to 60% today ). Two in three public school parents are very concerned about this issue, up 8 points since April 2008 ( from 56% to 64% today). Across parties, Democrats (72%) are again mo re likely than independents (59%) or Republicans (41%) to be very concerned about this issue. The vast majority of blacks (87%) and Latinos (71%) are very concerned about the shortage of good teachers in lower -income areas , compared to about half of Asians (53%) and whites (51%). Women are mo re likely than men (64% to 56%) to be very concerned. S ix in 10 Californians (61%) and 64 percent of public school parents are very concerned that students in lower -income areas are less likely to be ready for college upon graduati on. Overwhelming majorit ies of blacks (91%) and Latinos (71%) are very concerned about the level of college preparation in lower -income areas, compared to about half of whites (53%) and Asians (50%). Inland Empire residents (71%) are the most likely —and Orange/San Diego residents (51%) the least likely —to be very concerned about this issue . Concern declines with rising age, education, and income. “How concerned are you that students in lower- income areas are less likely than other students to be ready for college when they finish high school?” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Very concerned 61% 50% 91% 71% 53% 64% Somewhat concerned 28 34 7 24 33 25 Not too concerned 6 11 1 3 8 7 Not at all concerned 4 4 1 2 5 4 Don’t know 1 1 – – 1 – PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 13 COLLEGE AND WORKFORCE READINESS When asked to rate the state’s schools on preparing students for college, Californians are more likely to rate the schools as not so good (39%) or poor (14 %) rather than good (37% ) or excellent (4%). Pub lic school parents are more likely than residents overall (49% to 41 %) to give excellent or good marks to schools on college preparation; however, positive ratings among this group have declined since last April ( from 57% in 2009 to 49% today). L ast year , 46 percent of the state’s residents said schools were doing an excellent or good job in preparing students for college, compared to 41 percent today. Stark differences of opinion are again evident amon g racial/ethnic groups. While 76 percent of blacks say schools are doing a not so good or poor job in preparing students for college, far fewer whites (55%), Latinos (48%), and Asians (42%) are of this opinion. Positive ratings are highest in the Central Valley (48% saying excellent or good) and negative ratin gs are highest in Los Angeles (58% saying not so good or poor). Among those who are very concerned about students in lower -income areas not receiving the same level of college preparation as students in more-affluent areas , 58 percent give negative ratings to the schools on college preparation . “Please tell me if you think Califo rnia’s K–12 public schools are doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job in achieving the following goals. How about in preparing students for college?” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Excellent 4% 1% 3% 7% 3% 6% Good 37 45 20 42 37 43 Not so good 39 35 55 38 38 38 Poor 14 7 21 10 17 9 Don’t know 6 12 1 3 5 4 Californians are even more negative in assessing the education system’s preparation of students for jobs and the workforce. Nearly two in three say they are doing a not so good (45%) or poor job (19%) , while three in 10 say they are doing an excellent (3%) or good job (28%). Public school parents are mu ch more likely to give positive marks than residents overall (42% to 31%). Ratings among Californians and public school parents were similar last year. Across racial/ethnic groups, 72 percent of blacks and 68 percent of whites say the schools are doing a n ot so good or poor job, compared to 56 percent of both Asians and Latinos. Ratings across regions are similar, with between 62 and 65 percent giving not so good or poor marks to the state’s public schools. Residents age 55 and older, those with some colleg e education or a college degree, those with a n annual household income of at least $40,000 , and men are more likely than others to give negative ratings to schools on job and workforce preparation. “How about in preparing students for jobs and the workforc e?” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Excellent 3% 1% 1% 6% 2% 6% Good 28 31 26 35 23 36 Not so good 45 44 51 44 46 41 Poor 19 12 21 12 22 12 Don’t know 5 12 1 3 7 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 14 RATING LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS Californians continue to be more positive about the quality of their local K –12 public schools than the quality of the state’s K– 12 system in general . Majorities of Californians (54%) and public school parents (67%) would give the public schools in their neighborhood a grade of A or B —ratings which at least half of Californians have given their schools since 2005 (51% 2005, 55% 2006, 52% 2007, 54% 2008, 53% 2009, and 54% today). In August 2000, a much lower percentage (39%) offered such high grades . Majorities of residents across regions gave their local school an A or B (52% in the Inland Empire, 53% in the San Francisco Bay Area, 54% in Los Angeles, 57% in the Central Valley , and 57% in Orange/San Diego Count ies). Ratings across racial/ethnic grou ps, however , are not as uniform. Blacks (36 %) are far less likely than whites (55%), Latinos (57%), or Asians (5 8%) to give a grade of A or B to their local school s. A plurality of blacks (40%) give their local school s a grade of C. Upper-income residents (62 %) are more likely than middle -income (52%) and lower -income residents (50%) to give grades of A or B. “Overall, how would you rate the quality of public scho ols in your neighborhood today? If you had to give your local public schools a grade, would it be A, B, C, D, or F?” All Adults Region Public School Parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire A 19 % 18% 18% 20% 26% 14% 30% B 35 39 35 34 31 38 37 C 26 28 25 25 27 24 21 D 10 9 10 12 7 13 6 F 4 4 3 5 3 4 5 Don’t know 6 2 9 4 6 7 1 Strong majorities of Californians (62%) and public school parents (72%) believe the current level of state funding for their local public schools is not enough —a 12-point increase among all adults since last year ( from 50% to 62% today) and a similarly large increase of 14 points among public school parents (from 58% to 72% today). Majorities across regions believe that the state funding of their local schools is inadequate. Across racial/ethnic groups, 76 percent of blacks and 71 percent of Latinos say their local schools lack adequate funding; far fewer whites (56%) and Asians (53%) hold this view. Women are more likely than men (66% to 58%) to say local schools don’t have enough state funding. T he percentage saying that state funding is not enough declines with rising education and income levels. Residents age 55 and older are much less likely than younger residents to hold this view (66% age 18– 34, 65% age 35– 54, 55% age 55 and older) . Among those giving their local schools a grade of A or B, 57 percent believe funding falls short; among those giving local schools a grade of C, 71 percent say funding falls short . “Do you think the current level of state funding for your local public schools is more than enough, just enough, or not enough?” All Adults Region Public School Parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire More than enough 6% 7% 5% 6% 7% 7% 4% Just enough 26 27 25 23 31 29 23 No t enough 62 60 64 64 58 59 72 Don’t know 6 6 6 7 4 5 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 15 PERCEPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS AMONG PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS Consistent with increasing shares saying local funding is inadequate, parents of public school children are far more likely this year to say their child’s public school has been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts ( rising from 28% in April 2009 to 43% today). Another 38 percent say the ir school has been somewhat affected, while only 17 percent say their child ’s public school has not been affected by state budget cuts. White parents are much more likely than Latino parents (50% to 35%) —and women more than men (49% to 36%) —to say their child’s school has been greatly affected. Sample sizes for Asian and black public school parents are not large enough for separate analysis. When it comes to the educational aspirations they have for their children, nearly nine in 10 public school parents hope their youngest child graduates from college (43%) or obtains a postgraduate degree (44%). Hopes for an advanced degree have increased 5 points since last April and 8 points since April 2005 . White parents are twice as likely as Latino parents (54% to 27%) to say postgraduate degree. “What do you hope will be the highest grade level that y our youngest child will achieve?” Public school parents only All Public School Parents Household Income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Latinos Whites Some high school/ High school graduate 6% 10% 6% – 11% 3% Some colleg e 4 6 4 2% 5 4 College graduate 43 46 41 41 51 39 Graduate degree after college 44 32 48 56 27 54 Don’t know 3 6 1 1 6 – Most public school parents express at least some confidence that they have the resources and information needed to help their child achieve their educational goals, but the percentage saying they are very confident has declin ed over time (5 2% in 2005, 45% in 2009, 41% today). Public school parents with annual household incomes of at least $80,000 are more than twice as likely as those with household incomes under $40,000 to say they are very confident they can sufficiently help their child (59% to 27%), and white parents are far more likely than Latino parents (50% to 29%) to express this confidence . Public school parents are far less confident that their local school has the resources and information needed to prepare their child for their educational goals. Only 24 percent are very confident, the same percentage as last April. Upper -income parents have much more confidence in the schools than lower - income parents. Fewer than three in 10 white or Latino par ents are very confident . “How confident are you that …” Public school parents only All Public School Parents Household Income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Latinos Whites You have the resources and information needed for this child to reach that grade level? Very confident 41% 27% 43% 59% 29% 50% Somewhat confident 37 38 42 31 39 37 Not too confident 21 33 14 10 30 12 Don’t know 1 2 1 – 2 1 Your local K –12 schools have the resources and information needed to prepare this child for that grade level? Very confident 24 19 21 32 22 29 Somewhat confident 46 44 43 49 44 45 Not too confident 30 35 35 18 32 26 Don’t know – 2 1 1 2 – April 2010 Californians and Education 16 FISCAL ATTITUDES AND POLICY PREFERENCES KEY FINDINGS  More than six in 10 Californians say they most want to protect K–12 education from spending cuts; voters remain sharply divided along party lines about paying higher taxes to maintain current K–12 funding levels. ( page 17)  Just over half of likely voters would consider voting for a bond measure or parcel tax for schools. Support for a hypothetical bond measure has declined over time. (page 18 )  When asked about specific spending cuts, Californians express the highest level of concern about teacher layoffs. Many are also concerned about larger class sizes, cuts in the number of school days, and the elimination of art, music, after-school, and summer programs. (page 19)  If new state funding becomes available, about two in three Californians say schools in lower-income areas should receive more of the funding than other schools. (page 20)  About six in 10 Californians support merit pay for teachers, but they are more likely to say it should be based on students’ academic improvement than on students’ academic achievement or on length of teaching experience. (page 21)  About six in 10 likely voters say gubernatorial candidates’ positions on K–12 education are very important. Democrats are most likely to hold this view. Strong majorities across parties say that improving the K–12 system should be a high priority for the next governor. (page 23) 63 14 13 7 3 K–12 education Health and human services Higher education Prisons and corrections Don't know Budget Area to Protect from Spending Cuts All adults 72 62 21 26 0 20 40 60 80 United States* California Percent all adults Favor Oppos e Merit Pay for Teachers *Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll, 2009 6470 59 68 58 58 54 54 29 2531 2737 3841 41 0 20 40 60 80 100 Feb00 Oct 02 Feb 04 Apr 05 Apr 07 Apr 08 Apr 09 Apr 10 Percent likely voters Yes No Voting Preference on Hypothetical School Construction Bond PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 17 STATE BUDGET SITUATION K–12 public education is the largest spending category in the California budget. The governor has proposed cuts to K–12 education to help close the $ 20 billion state budget deficit . At the same time, more than six in 10 Californians (63%) continue to say that among budget categories, they most want to protect K–12 education from spending cuts; far fewer name health and human services (14%), higher education (13%), or prisons (7 %). Majorities of Californians across part ies and demographic groups say K– 12 education is the spending category they most want to protect . C oncern about spending cuts is high: 62 percent of Californians say they are very concerned the state’s budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in K –12 education, up 6 points since last Ap ril. Among those who most want to protect K– 12 education from cuts, nearly all (95%) are at least somewhat concerned, with 73 percent saying they are very concerned. At least eight in 10 residents across party and demographic groups are at least somewhat concerned about cuts; however, intensity varies across these groups . Seven in 10 Democrats are very concerned, compared to six in 10 independents and half of Republicans. San Francisco Bay Area res idents (67%) are the most likely to be very concerned, while Orange/San Dieg o County residents (56 %) are the least likely. Seventy- three percent of public school parents report they are very concerned about funding. “How concerned are you that the state’s budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in K –12 public education?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very concerned 62% 72% 52% 61% 65% Somewhat concerned 26 22 33 23 23 Not too concerned 6 4 6 9 6 Not at all concerned 5 2 7 6 5 Don't know 1 – 2 1 1 Although Californians are highly concerned about K–12 spending cuts , they are divided in their willingness to pay higher taxes to maintain current levels of funding (49 % yes, 47% no). The percentage willing to pay higher taxes today is similar to last April (48%) and April 2008 (49%). Likely voters are less in favor (44%) of paying higher taxes. Partisans hold sharply different views on the issue. Six in 10 Democrats are willing to pay higher taxes, while nearly seven in 10 Republicans are not . Independents are more divided in their willing ness to pay higher taxes (46 % yes, 52% no). Significant differences are also present across racial/ethnic groups. Majorities of blacks (60%) and Latinos (56%) are willing to pay higher taxes, compared to fewer Asians (49%) and whites (45%). Half of public school parents would pay higher taxes to benefit K –12 education. Willingness to pay higher taxes declines with older age; willingness is higher among those with annual household incomes of less than $40,000. “What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for K–12 public education. Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 49% 60% 30% 46% 44% No 47 36 68 52 53 Don't know 4 4 2 2 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 18 LOCAL SCHOOL FUNDING Californians overwhelmingly prefer local control of spending decisions at their local public schools. Consistent with April 2008 and 2009 surveys, half of residents (51%) say local school districts should make the decisions about how to spend state funds in local schools and a third (34%) say the local schools themselves should decide. Just one in 10 Calif ornians (10%) say the state should contro l decisions over use of money in local public schools. Across parties , more than 80 percent of Democrats, Republicans, and independents say either school districts or local schools should have control of spending decisions. Favor for local control is consistent across regions , but Los Angeles residents (46%) are somewhat less likely than San Francisco Bay Area (51%), Orange/San Diego (52%), Inland Empire (53%), and Central Valley (54%) residents to say local school districts specifically should hold control. This preference for local control may be reflected in Californians’ greater willingness to vote for a hypothetical local bond measure for school construction project s (63 %), than to pay higher taxes to maintain current state funding (49%). Fewer likely voters (54 %) would vote for school construction bonds , and support among likely voters has declined over time. (A 55 -percent vote is required to pass local school bonds. ) Democrats (71 %) and independents (57%) are much more likely than Republicans (44%) to say they would support a local bond measure . Across regions, majorities express support for a local bond measure , with support highest among Los Angeles and Inland Empire residents (66% each ) and lowest among Orange/San Diego residents (55%). Strong majorities of Latinos (83 %) and blacks (72 %) would vote for a hypothetical school bond, compared to fewer Asians (57%) and whites ( 51%). “If your local school district had a bond measure on the ballot to pay for sc hool construction projects, would you vote yes or no?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 63% 71% 44% 57% 54% No 33 25 51 37 41 Don’t know 4 4 5 6 5 Fifty-seven percent of Californians and 52 percent of l ikely voters say they would vote for a local parcel tax to provide more funds for the local public schools , similar to views last year. (Parcel taxes require a two- thirds vote to pass. ) There are sign ificant differences across parties —seven in 10 Democrats would vote for a local parcel tax while six in 10 Republicans would vote no. Across regions, residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) are the most likely to say they would support a parcel tax, with Inl and Empire residents (47 %) the least likely. Aga in, strong majorities of blacks (72%) and Latinos (70%) support a parcel tax, while far fewer Asians (50 %) and whites (49%) do. Six in 10 p ublic school parents (61 %) would vote for a parcel tax. Not surprising ly, support for parcel taxes, which are paid only by property owners, is far higher among renters (69 %) than homeowners (48%). The l ikelihood of voting yes on a local parcel tax for schools decreases as income and age rise. “What if there was a measure on your local ballot to increase local parcel taxes to provide more funds for the local public schools? Would you vote yes or no?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 57% 70% 36% 51% 52% No 38 26 61 44 44 Don’t know 5 4 3 5 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 19 SPENDING CUTS Concern about the consequences of decreased K–12 funding is evident among Californians today. In particular, they are overwhelmingly concerned about teacher lay offs (73% very concerned, 19% somewhat) as a result of decreased state and local funding . Although they are less likely to say they are very concerned about other issues, at least e ight in 10 Californians are at least somewhat concerned about larger class sizes, fewer days of school instruction, and the elimination of art, music, and after - school and summer progr ams. “There are a number of ways for the state’s K–12 public schools to cut spending to deal with decreased state and local funding. For each of the following, please tell me if you are very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned.” Laying Off Teachers Class Sizes Getting Bigger as a Result Having Fewer Days of School Instruction Eliminating Art and Music Programs Eliminating After - School and Summer Programs Very concerned 73% 59% 56% 56% 49% Somewhat concerned 19 28 26 30 32 Not too concerned 3 7 11 8 11 Not at all concerned 4 5 6 5 7 Don’t know 1 1 1 1 1 However, levels of concern about the ways K–12 spending might be cut vary across demographic groups. Strong m ajorities of b lacks are very concerned about all methods of dealing with decreased funding, and express the most concern about laying off teachers (84%). Asians are the least concerned about each issue , and there is a considerable difference between blacks and Asians in concern about larger class sizes (3 8% Asians, 57% whites, 65% Latinos, 77% blacks) and on program elimination. Across regions, residents are most likely to say they are very concerned about laying off teachers, and least likely to be very co ncerned about eliminating after -school and summer programs. Although a majority of public school parents are very concerned about each way of dealing with decreased funding , they are most likely to express a high level of concer n about teacher layoffs (81%). Democrats are more likely than independents and Republicans to say they are very concerned about all the potential spending cut ideas . Percent saying very concerned Laying Off Teachers Class Sizes Getting Bigger as a Result Having Fewer Days of School Instruction Eliminating Art and Music Programs Eliminating After - School and Summer Programs All Adults 73 % 59% 56% 56% 49% Likely Voters 71 60 55 60 47 Public School Parents 81 71 61 54 54 Race/ ethnicity Asians 54 38 47 39 34 Blacks 84 77 67 68 74 Latinos 82 65 63 49 61 White s 70 57 52 61 41 Region Central Valley 73 55 55 55 51 San Francisco Bay Area 70 52 59 56 47 Los Angeles 75 65 58 56 55 Orange/ San Diego 73 59 52 49 41 Inland Empire 78 68 55 59 50 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 20 RESOURCE EQUITY An overwhelming majority of Californians (80%) and public school parents (79%) say that schools in lower- income areas do not have the same level of resources, such as good teachers and adequate classroom materials, as schools in wealthier areas. California ns have expressed similar views since 2005. Today m ore than six in 10 across parties (6 5% Republicans, 81 % independents, 87% Democrats) and at least seven in 10 across regions and demographic groups perceive this resource disparity. Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (92%) are the most likely and Asians the least likely (70%) to hold this view. Three in four Californians (77%) and public school parents (75%) also say that students in lower -income areas do not receive the same level of college preparation as students in wealthier areas. Over two in three across parties (67% Republicans, 79% independents, 85% Democrats) and at least seven in 10 across regions and demographic groups say the level of college preparation is not equal. Again , blacks (93%) are the most likely and Asians (70%) t he least likely to perceive a disparity in college preparation. S trong majorities of adults (68%) and likely voters (6 1%) believe that if new state funding became available, schools in lower -income areas should get more of this funding to help pay for teachers and classroom materials. Support has declined slightly since 2007 (74% 2007, 72% 2008, 70% 2009, 68% today ). Of those wh o perceive resource inequity among schools , most (75%) support allocating more funds to schools in lower-income areas. More than two in three Democrats and independents support assignment of new funding to these schools , with Republicans divided (47% yes, 46% no). Latinos (86%) and blacks (80 %) are far more likely than Asians (6 4%) and whites (56%) to say new funding should go to these schools . Majorities across age, income , and education groups support this idea, with support highest among those age 18 –34 and among those with less education and lower incomes. “If new state funding becomes available, should schools in lower- income areas get more of this funding than other schools to help pay for teachers and classroom materials, or not?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 68% 75% 47% 68% 61% No 28 21 46 29 34 Don’t know 4 4 7 3 5 Californians express considerably less support (51% yes, 44% no) when asked if local schools in lower - income areas should pay higher salaries to attract and retain teachers , even if it costs the state more money . Support for this idea has dropped sharply since 2007 (67%) and 2006 (66%). Half of independents (52%) and 57 percent of Democrats support the idea, while 5 7 percent of Republicans oppose it. Latinos (57%) are more likely than Asians (49%), whites (49%), and blacks (4 8%) to favor higher salaries for teachers in these areas. Of those who say schools in low er-income areas have unequal resources, 55 percent favor higher salaries. “Should local schools in lower-income areas pay higher salaries to attract and retain teachers, even if it costs the state more money?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 51% 57% 39% 52% 50% No 44 37 57 44 45 Don’t know 5 6 4 4 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 21 MERIT PAY FOR TEACHERS A frequently discussed education policy reform centers on merit pay for teachers. How do Californians feel about the general concept of merit pay? In general , they are more likely to favor (62%) than oppose (26%) this idea. Majorities across parties, regions, racial/ethnic groups, and of both men and women favor merit pay. Among those most likely to favor the idea are Republicans (68%), residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (66%) and O range/San Diego Counties (66%), Asians (68%), and men (66%). According to a 2009 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll, a dults nationwide are even more likely to favor the idea of merit pay (72% favor, 21% oppose) . While Californians favor the general idea of merit pay, the question of how to award it draws varied levels of support. Residents (69%) and public school parents (70%) are most likely to say that the academic improvement of students as measured by st andardized tests should be used as the basis for merit pay . This criterion has the support of seven in 10 across income groups, and of strong majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups. Eight in 10 Californians who favor merit pay in general say this criterion should be used, as do 71 percent who say teacher quality is a big problem. There is lower support among Californians (57%) and public school parents (53%) for bas ing merit pay on the academic achievement —rather than academ ic improvement —of students , as measured by standardized tests. Men are more likely than women (62% to 51%) to say this criterion should be used. Two in three Californians in favor of merit pay in general say this criterion should be used, as do 63 percent who say teacher quality is a big problem. Californians are more divided about using teaching experience as a criterion for giving additional pay to teachers for special merit (48% should, 49% should not) . O ver half of public school parents (55%) think length of teaching experience should be used as a criterion. Half of Democrats (51%) think it should, but over half of Republicans (59%) and independents (55%) say it should not . Los Angeles County re sidents (53%) are the most likely to say that teacher experience should be a criterion, while residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) are most likely to say it should not . According to the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll, adults nationwide are far more likely than Californians to think teacher experience should be a criterion for merit pay (67% nationwide to 48% in California). “I am going to read some possible criteria for giving additional pay to teachers for special merit. For each one, please tell me if you think it should or should not be used to determine which teachers receive merit pay. How about… ” All Adults Household Income Public School Parents Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more The academic improvement of students as measured by standardized tests? Should 69% 70% 70% 69% 70% Should not 27 25 26 29 26 Don’t know 4 5 4 2 4 The academic achievement of students as measured by standardized tests? Should 57 57 56 58 53 Should not 32 24 35 38 28 Don’t know 11 19 9 4 19 Length of teaching experience? Should 48 59 47 36 55 Should not 49 38 50 63 42 Don’t know 3 3 3 1 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 22 DATA AND INFORMATION Establishing education data systems continues to be a policy priority at the state and national level. These systems include data on students , schools , and finance and budgets. Californians continue to view the collection of data about resources and student performance as very important : Six in 10 Californians (60%) and two in three public school parents (66%) say doing so is very important. This marks a record high for both groups since we began asking this question in 2007, although majorities have held this view each time we asked. Blacks (80%) and Latinos (70%) are far more likely than whites (53%) and Asians (51%) to view data collection as very important. Across parties, independents (64%) and Democrats (62%) are much more likely than Republicans (51%) to view this issue as very important. Majorities across California’s regions say that data collection is very important , with residents in the Inland Empire (66%) the most likely to hold this view , followed by residents in the Central Valley (64%), Los Angeles (62%), Orange/San Diego Counties (58%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (52%). Older, more educated, and more affluent adults are less likely than others to say data collection is very important. “How important to you is it that the state collect and make available data and information about local K –12 public schools, including resources and student performance?” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Very important 60% 51% 80% 70% 53% 66% Somewhat important 32 40 17 26 35 28 Not too important 7 6 3 3 10 5 Don’t know 1 3 – 1 2 1 Three in four Californians (75%), likely voters (74%), and public school parents (74%) favor using data and information collected about local K– 12 public schools in making policy decisions about education programs and funding. This idea is favored by at le ast seven in 10 across parties, regions, and racial/ethnic groups, as well as across gender, income, education, and age groups. Among those who view data collection as very important, 85 percent are in favor using the data for this purpose . “Some people say that the state should be using this type of data and information in making policy decisions about education programs and funding. Do you favor or oppose this idea?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 75% 76% 73% 79% 74% Oppose 18 17 21 18 20 Don’t know 7 7 6 3 6 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 23 2010 GOVERNOR’S ELECTION With the g eneral election seven months away, n early all Californians say gubernatorial candidates’ positions on K– 12 public education are very (62%) or somewhat (30%) important. Likely voters hold similar views. Opinions were similar in April 2006 when 60 percent of likely voters viewed gubernatorial candidates’ positions on public education as very important. Most Democrats (72% ) and independents (59%) say candidates’ positions are very important, with Republicans (46%) much less likely to say they are very important. Three in four public school parents (74%) hold this view. Majorities of adults across regions say candidates’ positions are very important, with Los Angeles residents (67 %) the most likely to hold this view and Orange/San Diego residents (56%) least likely. Differences emerge across racial/ethnic groups : Latinos (76%) and blacks (72%) are far more likely than whites (55%) and Asians (49%) to say this is very important. The view that the candidates’ positions on education are very important declines as education and income rise. “In thinking about the upcoming California governor’s election in November, how important to you are the candidates’ positions on K–12 public education?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very important 62% 72% 46% 59% 60% Somewhat important 30 24 44 30 32 Not too important 6 4 9 10 7 Don’t know 2 – 1 1 1 With most Californians describing the gubernatorial candidates’ positions on K–12 public education as important, what priority do Californians say think the next governor should place on improving the state’s K– 12 education system ? Three in four Californians (74 %) and likely voters (73%) and eight in 10 public school parents (81%) say that improving education should be a high priority. Strong majorities across parties, regions , and demographic groups place a high priority on improving the state’s K –12 education system. There are differences , however —Democrats (84 %) are more likely than independents (72 %) and far more likely than Republicans (63%) to say education should be a high priority for the next governor. Across regions, Los Angeles (78%) residents are the most likely to hold this view, with Orange/San Diego County (70%) residents the least likely. Blacks (85%) and Latinos (83%) are more likely than whites (70 %) and Asians (69%) to think that improving the state’s K –12 public education system should be a high priority for the next governor . Among those who say the quality of K–12 public education is a big problem, 81 percent place a high priority on improving public education. Among those who say the gubernatorial candidates’ positions on education are very important, 89 percent say the next governor should place a high priority on K–12 education improvement . “In thinking about priorities for the next governor, do you think that improving the state’s K –12 public education system should be a…?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind High priority 74% 84% 63% 72% 73% Medium priority 18 12 28 20 20 Low priority 6 4 8 7 7 Don’t know 2 – 1 1 – April 2010 Californians and Education 24 REGIONAL MAP April 2010 Californians and Education 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Sonja Petek, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Dean Bonner and Nicole Willcoxon. This survey was conducted with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as part of a three-year grant on K –12 and higher education, environment, and population issues. We benefited from discussions with Hewlett program staff and others; however, the survey methods, questions, and the content of the report were determined solely by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. Findings in this report are based on a telephone survey of 2,504 California adult residents, including 2,254 i nterviewed on landline telephones and 250 interviewed on cell phones. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days from April 6 –20, 2010. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a comput er-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phone interviews wer e included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement for their time to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interviewing was conducted in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), Vietnamese, and Korean, according to respondents’ preferences. We chose these languages because Spanish is the dominant language among non -English speaking adults in California, followed in prevalence by the three Asian languages. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Ren atta DeFever. Abt SRBI Inc. translated the survey into Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean, and conducted all interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI, we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demo- graphic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2008 National Health Intervi ew Survey and data from the 2005 –2007 American Community Survey for California, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey . The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,504 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 26 2,046 registered voters, it is ±2.5 percent; for the 1, 439 likely voters, it is ± 3 percent; for the 1,056 parents of children 18 or younger it is ±3 percent; for the 808 public school parents it is ±3. 5 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to five geographic regions that account for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yol o, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, likely voters, and parents, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately in tables and text. We present specific results for respondents in four self -identified racial/ethnic groups: Asian, black, Latino, and non -Hispanic white. We also compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (i.e., those registered as “decline to state”). We also analyze the responses of likely voters —those who are the most likely to participate in the state’s elections. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in earlier PPIC Statewide Surveys and to results from surveys conducted by CBS News/ New York Times and by Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup. April 2010 Californians and Education 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND EDUCATION April 6– 20, 2010 2,504 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese MARGIN OF ERROR ±2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? 55% jobs, economy [code, don’t read ] 13 state budget, deficit, taxes 10 education, schools 5 immigration, illegal immigration 4 health care, health costs 2 crime, gangs, drugs 9 other 2 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 24% approve 64 disapprove 12 don’t know 3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system? 16% approve 65 disapprove 19 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 16% approve 69 disapprove 15 don’t know 5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling the state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system? 15% approve 67 disapprove 18 don’t know 6. As you may know, the state government has an annual budget of around $85 billion and currently faces a multibillion dollar gap between spending and revenues. Some of the largest areas for state spending are: [rotate ] (1) K– 12 public education , (2) higher education, (3) health and human services, [and ] 63% K– 12 public education (4) prisons and corrections. Thinking about these four areas of state spending, I’d like you to name the one you most want to protect from spending cuts. 14 health an d human services 13 higher education 7 prisons and corrections 3 don’t know 7. How concerned are you that the state’s budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in K–12 public education? 62% very concerned 26 somewhat concerned 6 not too concerned 5 not at all concerned 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 28 8. What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for K–12 public education. Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 49% yes 47 no 4 don’t know 9. Next, how much of a problem is the quality of education in California’s K–12 public schools today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 53% big problem 32 somewhat of a problem 11 not much of a problem 4 don’t know 10. Overall, do you think the K–12 public education system in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or that it is basically fine the way it is? 62% major changes 28 minor changes 7 fine the way it is 3 don’t know 11. To significantly improve the quality of California’s K–12 public schools, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? [rotate 1 and 2] (1) We need to use existing state funds more wisely, [or] (2) We need to increase the amount of state funding, [or] (3) We need to use existing state funds more wisely and increase the amount of state funding. 45% use funds more wisely 8 increase state funding 45 use funds more wisely and increase funding 2 don’t know There are a number of ways for the state’s K–12 public schools to cut spending to deal with decreased state and local funding. For each of the following, please tell me if you are very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned. [rotate questions 12 to 14] 12. How about laying off teachers as a way to deal with decreased funding? 73% very concerned 19 somewhat concerned 3 not too concerned 4 not at all concerned 1 don’t know 13. How about eliminating art and music programs as a way to deal with decreased funding? 56% very concerned 30 somewhat concerned 8 not too concerned 5 not at all concerned 1 don’t know 13a.How about eliminating after-school and summer programs as a way to deal with decreased funding? 49% very concerned 32 somewhat concerned 11 not too concerned 7 not at all concerned 1 don’t know 14. How about having fewer days of school instruction as a way to deal with decreased funding? 56% very concerned 26 somewhat concerned 11 not too concerned 6 not at all concerned 1 don’t know 15. How concerned are you that class sizes are getting bigger as a result of decreased funding? 59% very concerned 28 somewhat concerned 7 not too concerned 5 not at all concerned 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 29 Next, I’m going to read you a list of issues people have mentioned when talking about California’s K–12 public schools today. For each one, please tell me if you think it is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not really a problem. [rotate questions 1 6 to 18] 16. How about teacher quality? 36% big problem 41 somewhat of a problem 21 not really a problem 2 don’t know 17. How about the high school dropout rate? 69% big problem 22 somewhat of a problem 5 not really a problem 4 don’t know 18. How about student achievement? 48% big problem 39 somewhat of a problem 10 not really a problem 3 don’t know On another topic, [rotate questions 19 and 20] 19. Where do you think California currently ranks in per pupil spending for K–12 public schools? Compared to other states, is California's spending near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom? 12% near the top 14 above average 24 average 22 below average 15 near the bottom 13 don’t know 20. Where do you think California currently ranks in student test scores for K–12 public schools? Compared to other states, are California's student test scores near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom? 3% near the top 8 above average 31 average 33 below average 16 near the bottom 9 don’t know Next, [rotate questions 21 to 23] 21. How concerned are you that students in lower -income areas have a higher dropout rate from high school than other students — are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this issue? 63% very concerned 26 somewhat concerned 6 not too concerned 3 not at all concerned 2 don’t know 22. How concerned are you that students in lower -income areas are less likely than other students to be ready for college when they finish high school —are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this issue? 61% very concerned 28 somewhat concerned 6 not too concerned 4 not at all concerned 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 30 23. How concerned are you that schools in lower -income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas —are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this issue? 60% very concerned 28 somewhat concerned 6 not too concerned 4 not at all concerned 2 don’t know Next, please tell me if you think California’s K– 12 public schools are doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job in achieving the following goals. [rotate questions 24 and 25] 24. How about in preparing students for jobs and the workforce? 3% excellent 28 good 45 not so good 19 poor 5 don’t know 25. How about in preparing students for college? 4% excellent 37 good 39 not so good 14 poor 6 don’t know 26. Changi ng topics, how important to you is it that the state collect and make a vailable data and information about local K– 12 public schools, including resources and student performance? 60% very important 32 somewhat important 7 not too important 1 don’t know 27. Some people say that the state should be using this type of data and information in making policy decisions about education programs and funding. Do you favor or oppose this idea? 75% favor 18 oppose 7 don’t know 2 8. Next, overall, how would you rate the quality of public schools in your neighborhood today? If you had to give your local public schools a grade, would it be A, B, C, D, or F? 19% A 35 B 26 C 10 D 4 F 6 don’t know 29. Do you think the current level of state funding for your local public schools is more than enough, just enough, or not enough? 6% more than enough 26 just enough 62 not enough 6 don’t know [rotate questions 30 and 31] 30. If your local school district had a bond measure on the ballot to pay for school construction projects, would you vote yes or no? 63% yes 33 no 4 don’t know 31. What if there was a measure on your local ballot to increase local parcel taxes to provide more funds for the local public schools? Would you vote yes or no? 57% yes 38 no 5 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 31 32. Who do you think should have the most control in deciding how the money from state government is spent in local public schools? [rotate order] (1) the local schools, (2) the local school districts, [or] (3) the state government. 51% the local school districts 34 the local schools 10 the state government 2 other (specify) 3 don’t know Changing topics, [rotate questions 33 and 34] 33. Do you think that schools in lower-income areas of the state have the same amount of resources—including good teachers and classroom materials—as schools in wealthier areas? 14% yes, same 80 no, not the same 6 don’t know 34. Do you think that students in lower-income areas of the state receive the same level of college preparation as students in wealthier areas? 16% yes, same 77 no, not the same 7 don’t know 35. If new state funding becomes available, should schools in lower-income areas get more of this funding than other schools to help pay for teachers and classroom materials, or not? 68% yes 28 no 4 don’t know 36. Should local schools in lower-income areas pay higher salaries to attract and retain teachers, even if it costs the state more money? 51% yes 44 no 5 don’t know 37. Next, how do you, yourself, feel about the idea of merit pay for teachers. In general, do you favor or oppose it? 62% favor 26 oppose 12 don’t know I am going to read some possible criteria for giving additional pay to teachers for special merit. For each one, please tell me if you think it should or should not be used to determine which teachers receive merit pay. [rotate questions 37a to 39] 37a.How about the academic achievement of students as measured by standardized tests? 57% should 32 should not 11 don’t know 38. How about the academic improvement of students as measured by standardized tests? 69% should 27 should not 4 don’t know 39. How about length of teaching experience? 48% should 49 should not 3 don’t know 40. Changing topics, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 61% approve 34 disapprove 5 don’t know 41. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling K–12 education policy? 46% approve 28 disapprove 26 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 32 42. Do you think that the federal government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to improve the K---12 public education system? 7% more than enough 25 just enough 59 not enough 9 don’t know 43. In thinking about the upcoming California governor’s election in November, how important to you are the candidates’ positions on K---12 public education? 62% very important 30 somewhat important 6 not too important 2 don’t know 44. In thinking about priorities for the next governor, do you think that improving the state’s K---12 public education system should be a: [rotate order] very high priority, high priority, medium priority, low priority, [or] very low priority? 29% very high priority 45 high priority 18 medium priority 3 low priority 3 very low priority 2 don’t know 45. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 83% yes [ask q45a] 17 no [skip to q46b] 45a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 45% Democrat [ask q46] 31 Republican [skip to q46a] 2 another party (specify) [skip to q47] 22 independent [skip to q46b] 46. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 52% strong 46 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q47] 46a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 52% strong 45 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to q47] 46b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 20% Republican Party 46 Democratic Party 25 neither (volunteered) 9 don’t know 47. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 10% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 30 middle-of-the-road 23 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 2 don’t know 48. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 26% great deal 43 fair amount 25 only a little 5 none 1 don’t know [d1-d4a: demographic questions] d4b. [public school parents only] Would you say your child’s public school has or has not been affected by recent state budget cuts? ( if it has: Has it been affected a lot or somewhat?) 43% affected a lot 38 affected somewhat 17 not affected 2 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 33 d4c. [public school parents only] What do you hope will be the highest grade level that you r youngest child will achieve: some high school, high school graduate , some college , college graduate, or a graduate degree after college? 1% some high school 5 high school graduate 4 some college 43 college graduate 44 a graduate degree after college 3 don’t know d4d. [public school parents only] How confident are you that you have the resources and information needed for this child to reach that grade level? 41% very confident 37 somewhat confident 21 not too confident 1 don’t know d 4e. [public school parents only] How confide nt are you that your local K –12 schools have the resources and information needed to prepare this child for that grade level ? 24% very confident 46 somewhat confident 30 not too confident [d5-d18: demographic ques tions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer Donna Lucas La Opinión Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Raymond L. Watson Orange County Register Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of C alifornia Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison International Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. Copyright © 2010 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(102) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-education-april-2010/s_410mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8756) ["ID"]=> int(8756) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:40:32" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4077) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 410MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_410mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_410MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "596510" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(96081) "& p p i c s t a t e w i d e s u r v e y Californians MarkBaldassare DeanBonner SonjaPetek NifoleWillfoxon in collaboration wHith The William and FlHora Hewlett Fofndation CbNTENTS Aboft the Sfrveb 2 Press Release 3 General Perceptions 6 Fiscal Attitfdes andH Policb Preferences 16 Regional Map 24 Methodologb 25 Qfestionnaire and RHesflts 27 education A P R I L 2 0 1 0 April 2010 Californians and Education 2 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Sur vey series provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 106th PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that has generated a database of responses of more than 226,000 Californians. This sur vey is par t of a PPIC Statewide Sur vey series funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Its goal is to inform state policymakers, encourage discussion, and raise public awareness about a variety of K– 12, higher education, environment, and population issues. This is the sixth PPIC Statewide Sur vey focusing on K– 12 education issues. California has the largest K –12 public education system in the nation. During 2008– 09, the state ser ved nearly 6.3 million students in 1,043 school districts and 9,898 public schools. California also has a highly diverse student population: H alf are economically disadvantaged (52%), a quar ter are English learners (24%), and 11 percent have disabilities. Latinos (49%) make up the largest racial/ethnic group of students, followed by whites (28%), Asians (12%), and blacks (7%). Improving public schools in the face of severe budget constraints shapes the context of this s u r v e y. With a deepening fiscal crisis and state budget deficit of about $20 billion, K–12 public schools face more funding cuts this year. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, t he governor’s proposed 2010– 11 budget for education falls shor t of Proposition 98 funding requirements . Passed by voters in 1988, Proposition 98 requir es minimum funding levels for K –12 public school s. California has already received more than $5 billion in federal funds for public schools through the American Reinvestment and Recover y Act of 2009. The federal government has also provided incentiv es—through competitive grants—for states to implement reforms to raise standards, maintain effective teachers, and improve low -achieving schools. C alifornia applied for , but did not win , a competitive grant this year. This repor t presents the responses o f 2,504 adult residents throughout the state on the following:  Perceptions of educational quality in California’s K–12 public schools and of the appropriate fiscal response to improv e quality; approval ratings of state and federal elected officials overall and on their handling of education; opinions about federal involvement in education; rankings of California’s per pupil spending and student test scores ; concern about challenges caused by budget cuts ; ratings of student s’ preparation for the future; ratings of local public school s; and expections of public school parents about their children’s educational futures.  Fiscal attitudes and policy pr eferences regarding the state budget and education funding; preferences for raising revenues for local schools; concern about specific spending cuts; preferences for assist ing schools in lower -income areas; attitudes about merit pay for teacher s and how to award it; attitudes about using data to make education policy decisions; and the priority that Californians think the next governor should place on improving K –12 education.  Time trends and variations in perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding California’s K– 12 system across the five major regions of the state (Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles County, Inland Empire, and Orange/San Diego Counties), among Asians, blacks, Latinos, and non- Hispanic whites, and across socioeconomic and political groups. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org). For questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org. View our searchable PPIC Statewide Sur vey database online at www.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. April 2010 Californians and Education 3 PPIC Statewide Survey CONTACT Linda Strean 415-291-4412 Andrew Hattori 415- 291-4417 NEWS RELEASE EMBARGOED: Do not publish or broadcast until 9:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday , April 28, 2010. Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND EDUCATION Concern Rises Over Impact of Budget Cuts on Public S chools RATINGS FOR STATE LEADERS O N EDUCATION HIT NEW LOWS — FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SEEN AS DOING TOO LI TTLE SAN FRANCISCO , April 28 , 2010 —As California once again confronts a multibillion dollar budget deficit, concern has grown considerably among the state’s residents about the consequences of spending cuts on kindergarten through 12th grade education, according to an annual survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Californians today are more likely than last year to believe that funding for their local schools is inadequate, and parents of public school students are far more likely to say that state budget cuts have had a big effect on their children’s schools. Most Californians (62%) believe there is not enough state funding going to their public schools (26% just enough, 6% more than enough), a 12 -point increase since April 2009. A similar majority (62%) say they are very concerned the state’s budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in K–12 education, up 6 points since last April . Among public school parents, 43 percent say their children’s schools have been affected a lot by recent state bu dget cuts, 15 points higher than a year ago. Another 38 percent say their schools have been affected somewhat, and only 17 percent say they have seen no effect. When asked how they feel about some potential ways schools may deal with decreased funding, an overwhelming number of Californians say they are very concerned (73%) or somewhat concerned (19%) about teacher layoffs . More than half are very concerned about class sizes getting bigger (59%), having fewer days of school instruction (56%), or eliminatio n of art and music programs (56%). About half (49%) are very concerned about elimination of after -school and summer programs. “At a time when Californians are looking for reforms that will improve student achievement, more Californians are seeing the dir ect effect of the state’s budget problems on children, teachers, and resources in their local schools,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “They expect better results from their leaders in Sacramento and in Washington.” CALIFORNIANS WANT SCHOOLS PROTECTED FROM CUTS K–12 education is the largest spending category in the state budget and the area that a majority of Californians (63%) most want to protect from spending cuts ; far fewer residents name other spending categories as those they would most like to protect (14% health and human services, 13% higher education, and 7% prisons). This view holds across parties and demographic groups, and is one that a majority of Californians have held since PPIC first asked the question in June 2003. PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 4 Californians’ concerns translate to record low approval ratings for the way state leaders are handling schools . While Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s overall approval rating (24%) matches his record low reached last month, his rating for handling K– 12 public education is an even lower 16 percent —down 4 point s from last year, 9 points from 2008, and 20 points from 2007. The legislature’s overall approval rating (16%) is similar to the record low recorded last month (14%), and its rating for handling public schools is at 15 percent —down 3 point s from last year, 6 points from 2008, and 14 points from 2007. Nearly all Californians say the gubernatorial candidates’ positions on K –12 education are very important (62%) or somewhat important (30%). Most Democrats (72%) and independents (59%) consider them very important , while Republicans (46%) are less likely to say so. Three -fourths (74%) of Californians say that improving education should be a high priority for the next governor. The Obama administration’s education pol icy efforts have not won the president high marks in California either. While his overall approval rating (61%) remains much higher than those of Sacramento officials, Californians give him a much low er rating for his handling of K–12 education policy. Less than half (46%) approve —a 12- point decline since last year —while 28 percent disapprove and 26 percent have no opinion. A majority of Californians (59%) say the federal government is not doing enough to improve the K-–1 2 education system (25% just enough, 7% more than enough). DROPOUT RATE SEEN AS BIG PROBLEM Most Californians (85%) think that the quality of K –12 education is a problem, with a slim majority (53%) viewing it as a big problem. Just over half have said that education quality is a big problem since 2007 (52% 2007, 53% 2008, 51% 2009). Blacks (68%) and whites (60%) today are far more likely than Asians (48%) and Latinos (41%) to see education quality as a big problem. When it com es to three particular issues —the high school dropout rate, student ac hievement, and teacher quality— Californians are mo st likely to see the drop out rate as a big problem (69%) . This percentage is similar to previous years (69% 2008, 70% 2009). Concerns about the other issues are higher this year: 48 percent see student achievement as a big problem, up 5 points from April 2009, and 36 percent see teacher quality as big problem, up 7 points from last April. Among public school parents concerns increased more: Half (50%) say student achievement is a big problem, up 11 point s from April 2009 . And 35 percent say teacher quality is a big problem, up 10 points. Views of student achievement vary among racial and ethnic groups of Californians, with blacks (63%) much more likely to see it as a big problem than Latinos (51%), whites (45%), or Asians (39%). POOR MARKS FOR COLLEGE, WORKFORCE PREPARATION Are public schools preparing students for college or the workforce? Californians are more likely to say schools are not so good (39%) or poor (14%) at college preparation than to say they are doing a good (37%) or excellent job (4%). Residents’ assessments are worse when asked about workforce preparation. Nearly two in three rated schools as not so good (45%) or poor (19%) in this area, compared to good (28%) or excellent (3%). Public s chool parents are more likely to give schools positive marks in both areas (4 9% good or excellent for college preparation, 42% good or excellent for workforce preparation). Despite their low rankings of the public education system, Californians continue to be more positive about the quality of their local schools. As they have since 2005, more than half of residents (54%) and public school parents (67%) give schools in their neighborhoods a grade of A or B (51% 2005, 55% 2006, 52% 2007, 54% 2008, 53% 2009). California ranks near the bottom in math and reading scores for grades 4 and 8, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. How well do Californians’ perceptions match the data ? Half (49%) accurately view stu dent test scores as below average compared to other states, while 31 percent say test scores are average and 11 percent say above average. PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 5 MERIT PAY FOR TEACHERS FAVORED Most Californians favor merit pay for teachers (62% favor, 26% oppose) , although they are less likely than adults nationwide to support this frequently discussed policy reform (72% favor, 21% oppose in a 2009 national Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll). Asked about possible criteria to determine merit pay, 69 percent of Californians say that academic improvement of students as measured by standardized tests should determine which teachers get extra money . Residents also support—but at a lower 57 percent —basing merit pay on the academic achievement of students as measured by standardized tests . C al ifornians are move divided over whether length of teaching experience should be a deciding factor in determining merit pay: 48 percent say it should and 49 percent say it should not. HIGHER TAXES FOR SCHOOLS? CALIFORNIA NS ARE SPLIT Despite their concerns about K –12 spending, Californians are divided in their willingness to pay higher taxes to maintain current levels of funding (49% yes, 47% no), similar to last year (48% yes, 49% no). They are also divided on the question of how best to improve the quality of schools significantly : 45 percent prefer using existing funds more wisely, and 45 percent prefer using existing funds more wisely and increasing the amount of funding. Just 8 percent prefer increased funding alone. Reflecting their positive views of th eir own local schools and negative views of the state’s elected leaders, Californians overwhelming ly prefer local control of spending decision s at their local public schools. Half (51%) say local school district s should make the decisions about how to spend state funds in local schools and a third (34%) say local schools themselves should decide. More Californians (63%) would be willing to vote for a local bond measure to pay for school construction projects than would be willing to pay high er taxes to maintain current state funding (49%) . A majority of Californians (57%) and about half of likely voters (52%) would vote for a local parcel tax to provide more money for local public schools, but these shares fall short of the two- thirds voter approval required to approve such a tax. The National Education Association rank s Calif ornia near the bottom —43rd of 50 states and the District of Columbia— in spending per student. Yet just 37 percent of Californians perceive the state’s per pupil spending as below average. Another 24 percent say it is average, and 26 percent say it is above average. MORE KEY FINDINGS  Parents have higher expectations, less confidence that they can help— page 15 Nearly nine in 10 parents of public school children would like their youngest child to graduate from college (43%) or earn a graduate degree (44%). The percentage hoping their child will get a graduate degree has increased 5 points since last April and 8 points since April 2005. While most public school parents express at least some confidence that they have the resources and information to help their child achieve their educational goals, the number saying they are very confident has been declining (52% 2005, 45% 2009, 41% today). White parents are far more likely than Latino parents (50% to 29%) to say they are very confident.  Should schools in lower -income areas pay teachers higher salaries? Half say yes —page 20 An overwhelming majority of Californians (80%) say schools in poor neighbor hoods lack the same resources —including good te achers and enough classroom materials —as their counterparts in more affluent areas. Half support the concept of paying higher salaries to teachers to work in these schools (51% yes, 44% no) .  Most favor using school, student performance data to make policy choices—page 22 Should California collect data about schools, including resources and student performance? A record- high number of residents (60%) say this is very important, and 75 percent say this type of information should be used to make policy decisi ons about education programs and funding. April 2010 Californians and Education 6 GENERAL PERCEPTIONS KEY FINDINGS  Majorities of Californians consider the quality of K–12 education a big problem (53%) and believe the state’s K–12 public education system is in need of major changes (62%). Approval ratings of how state elected officials are handling K–12 public education issues have reached record lows. (pages 7, 8 )  Approval of President Obama’s handling of education policy has declined 12 points since last year, and most say the federal government’s efforts to improve education are falling short. (page 9)  Half of Californians are aware that the state’s student test scores are lower than the national average, and 37 percent are aware that per pupil spending is below the national average. (page 10)  Seven in 10 Californians—and over eight in 10 Latinos and blacks—consider the high school dropout rate a big problem. Far fewer believe that student achievement or teacher quality are big problems. However, about six in 10 residents are very concerned about the dropout rate, shortage of good teachers, and level of college preparation in lower-income areas. A majority of Californians give poor or not so good ratings to the state’s schools when it comes to college and workforce preparation. (pages 11– 13)  Despite concerns about quality, a majority of Californians continue to give their local public schools a grade of A or B. But a rising proportion believe state funding at their local schools is insufficient. (page 14)  Public school parents are far more likely than last year to say that state budget cuts are greatly affecting their child’s school. (page 15) 49 4851 5062 0 20 40 60 80 Apr06 Apr 07 Apr 08 Apr 09 Apr 10 Percent all adults Percent Saying State Funding for Local Schools Is Not Enough 28 43 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Apr 09 Apr 10 Percent public school parents State Budget Cuts Affecting Child's Public School Percent saying school affected a lot 29 36 25 2016 21 29 21 1815 0 10 20 30 40 50 Apr06 Apr 07 Apr 08 Apr 09 Apr 10 Percent all adults Governor Legislature Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials' Handling of K–12 Public Education PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 7 OVERALL CONDITIONS Californians continue to name jobs and the economy (55%) as the most important issue facing the state today. Far fewer mention the state budget (13%) or education and s chools (10%). At the same time, most Californians (85%) believe that the quality of education in California’s K–12 public schools is a problem —53 percent consider it a big problem, 32 percent say it is somewhat of a problem. The percentage of Californians who believe that the quality of education is a big problem has remained about the same since 2007 (52% 2007, 53% 2008, 51% 2009, 53% today). Just under half of public school parents (47%) think the quality of education is a big problem. Overall, blacks (6 8%) and whites (60%) are much more likely than Asians (48%) and Latinos (41%) to consider the quality of education a big problem. San Francisco Bay Area residents (59%) are the most likely— and Central Valley residents (46%) the least likely —to view the quality of K –12 education as a big problem . Across parties, independents (61%) and Democrats (59%) are somewhat more likely than Republicans (53%) to think that the quality of education in the K– 12 system is a big problem. “How much of a problem is the qual ity of education in California’s K –12 public schools today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? ” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Big problem 53% 48% 68% 41% 60% 47% Somewhat of a problem 32 35 26 39 28 35 Not really a problem 11 12 3 18 8 18 Don’t know 4 5 3 2 4 – A strong majority of Californians (62%) think that the K –12 system needs major changes, while 28 percent say minor changes are needed and 7 percent say it is fine the way it is —about the same percentages as last year. Majorities of public school parents (64%) and of residents across parties and regions say major changes are needed. Blacks (68%), whites (64%), and Latinos (62%) are far more likely t han Asians (45%) to say that California’s K –12 system need s major changes. W hen asked how to significantly improve the quality of K –12 public education, Californians are divided: 45 percent prefer using existing funds more wisely, while 45 percent prefer u sing existing funds more wisely and increasing the amount of funding. Eight percent favor increased funding alone. These percentages have remained about the same since 2008. Republicans (64%) and independents (52%) are more likely to prefer using funds more wisely, while Democrats (58%) are more likely to prefer the mixed approach. Whites (51%) are the most likely to prefer using funds wisely, while blacks (64%) are by far the most likely to prefer both an increase in funding and using funds m ore wisely. “To significantly improve the quality of California’s K–12 public schools, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? We need to use existing state funds more wisely, we need to increase the amount of state funding, or we need to use existing state funds more wisely and increa se the amount of state funding.” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Use funds more wisely 45% 31% 64% 52% 47% Increase funding 8 9 5 4 6 Use funds more wisely and increase funding 45 58 30 41 46 Don’t know 2 2 1 3 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 8 APPROVAL RATINGS: GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE The approval rating of Governor Schwarzenegger ’s overall job performance (24%) matches his record low first reached last month, while his disapproval rating (64%) matches his record high reached last month. Likely voters are just as negative as the general public; majorities across parties, regions, and most demographic groups also disapprove of the way the governor is handling his job . Latinos (73%), blacks (72%), and whites (60%) ar e far more likely than Asians (45%) to disapprove of the governor’s performance . Across regions, disapproval is higher in the Inland Empire (72%) and Los Angeles (70%) than in the Central Valley (62%), Orange/San Diego Counties (61%), or the San Francisco Bay Area (60%). The governor also reaches record low approval (16%) and record high disapproval (65%) when it comes to his handling of the K –12 public education system. Opinions among likely voters are just as negative. Approval of the governor in this re spect has dropped 4 points since last year, 9 points since 2008, and 20 points since 2007. Democrats (75%) and independents (66%) are far more likely than Republicans (51%) to express disapproval . M ajorities across regions and across age, education, income, and racial/ethnic groups —as well as 73 percent of public school parents —disapprove of the way the governor is handling the state’s K –12 public education system. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling...?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind His job as governor of California Approve 24% 21% 33% 26% 26% Disapprove 64 68 57 63 65 Don't know 12 11 10 11 9 The state's K –12 public education system Approve 16 11 23 15 15 Disapprove 65 75 51 66 66 Don't know 19 14 26 19 19 Californians’ approval rating of the state legislature (16%) is similar to the record low reached in March (14%). The even lower rating among likely voters (11%) is also similar to the record low of March (9%) . At least two in three Democrats (66%), independents (77%), and Republicans (84%) and solid majorities across regions disapprove of the legislature’s performance. Across racial/ethnic groups, whites (79%) are the most likely to disapprove, followed by bl acks (67%), Latinos (59%), and Asians (53%). When it comes to the legislature’s handling of the state’s K –12 public education system, a record low ( 15 %) approve, while a record high ( 67%) disapprove. Likely voters are even more negative. Strong majorities across parties and regions, and at least half among racial/ethnic groups , disapprove. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling ...?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Its job Approve 16% 20% 9% 12% 11% Disapprove 69 66 84 77 79 Don't know 15 14 7 11 10 The state's K –12 public education system Approve 15 13 9 10 8 Disapprove 67 73 70 70 76 Don't know 18 14 21 20 16 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 9 PRESIDENT’S APPROVAL RATINGS AND FEDERAL ACTIONS Approval ratings of President Obama are far higher than those of the state’s elected officials. Six in 10 Californians approve, while one in three disapprove of the way the president is handling his job . The p resident’s approval rating has declined 9 points since last April (70%) , and his approval has hovered around 60 percent since December 2009. Today, Californians are more approving than adults nationwide ( 50% approve, 40 % disapprove), according to a recent CBS News/New York Times p oll. California’s likely vote rs are more negative than the state’s adult residents overall. Unlike the agreement we found in the ratings of the governor and legislature, we find a partisan divide in ratings of the president. Eight in 10 Democrats (82%) and six in 10 independents (62%) approve of the president , compared to only 25 percent of Republicans. While m ajorities across regions approve of the president, approval is highest in Los Angeles (6 9%) and lowe st in Orange/San Diego Counties and the Central Valley (54% each). Blacks (89% ), Asians (72%), and Latinos (71%) are far more likely than whites (50%) to approve of the president. When it comes to his handling of K –12 education policy, fewer than half of Californians (46%) approve , a 12 -point decline since last year. And once again, likely voters are more negative. We also find a significant partisan divide : 63 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of independents approve of the president’s handling of education issues , compared to only 19 percent of Republicans. Across regions, 50 p ercent at most approve of the president’s education policies. Blacks (68%) and Latinos (64%) are far more likely than Asians (43%) and whites (34 %) to express approval . “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling ...?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind His job as president of the United States Approve 61% 82% 25% 62% 56% Disapprove 34 14 71 33 40 Don't know 5 4 4 5 4 K–12 education policy Approve 46 63 19 44 40 Disapprove 28 16 49 26 33 Don't know 26 21 32 30 27 With the Obama administration formulating education policy and providing funding incentives for K –12 reform , how satisfied are Californians with the efforts of the federal government? A majority of both residents and likely voters (59% each) think that the government is no t doing enough, while about one in four say it is doing just enough. Majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups say the federal government is not doing enough. “Do you think that the federal government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to improve the K –12 public education system? ” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind More than enough 7% 4% 13% 9% 9% Just enough 25 26 25 22 23 Not enough 59 63 53 63 59 Don’t know 9 7 9 6 9 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 10 PERCEPTIONS OF CALIFORNIA’S RELATIVE EDUCATIO N RANKINGS Fewer than four in 10 Californians (37 %) believe that the state’s per pupil spending is below average compared to other states , while 26 percent believe that it’s above average and 24 percent believe that it’s about average. According to the National Education Association’s Rankings and Estimates ( December 2009 ), California ’s rank ing has declined over the past few years, with the state coming in near the bottom —43 rd among 50 states and the District of Columbia— in per pupil spending in the 2008 –09 school year . Perceptions among Californians about per pupil spending are similar to their perce ptions last April and in April 2008. However, r esidents were more negative 10 years ago , w ith 16 percent saying a bove average and 5 1 percent below average . Demo crats and independents (43 % each ) are much more likely than Republicans (29%) to say the state’s per pupil spending is below average. Across regions, San Francisco Bay Area residents (4 3%) are the most likely to say that spending is below average, compared to about one in three residents elsewhere. Although 50 percent of blacks and 42 percent of whites believe that California’s spending is lower than most states, fewer Latinos (30%) and Asians (22%) hold this view. The perception that per pupil spending is below average increases with rising education levels. “Where do you think California currently ranks in per pupil spending for K–12 public schools? Compared to other states, is Californ ia's spending…?” All Adults Region Public School Parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Above average 26% 26% 22% 27% 31% 28% 27% Average 24 25 21 26 25 21 25 Below average 37 35 43 34 30 35 34 Don’t know 13 14 14 13 14 16 14 Californians are even more negative about the state’s student test scores: 49 percent say scores are below average compared to other states, 31 percent say they are average, and only 11 percent say they are above average. According to 2008 test scores compiled by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, California rank ed near the bottom in math and reading scores for grades 4 and 8. Perceptions of student test scores in Califo rnia have been similar since we first began asking this question in 1998. Republicans (58%) are somewhat more likely than independents (54%) or Democrats (49%) to say student test scores are lagging. At least half of residents in Los Angeles, the San Franc isco Bay Area, and the Inland Empire believe California’s scores are lower than those in most other states. Whites (60%) are much more likely than blacks (47%), Latinos (38%), or Asians (31%) to believe this is so . The perception that test scores are below average rises with increasing age, income, and education. Fewer than one-q uarter of those in any demographic group believe scores are above average. “Where do you think California current ly ranks in student test scores for K–12 public schools? Compared to other states, are California's student test scores…?” All Adults Region Public School Parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Above average 11% 11% 10% 10% 16% 8% 13% Average 31 35 27 29 35 28 34 Below average 49 46 53 52 40 53 45 Don’t know 9 8 10 9 9 11 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 11 CHALLENGES IN THE K– 12 SYSTEM As noted above, a majority of Californians (53%) consider the overall quality of education in the state’s K– 12 public schools to be a big problem. When it comes to three particular issues, Californians are most likely to say the high school dropout rate is a big problem (69%) , followed by student achievement (48%) and teacher quality (36%). The share viewing the dropout rate as a big problem was nearly identical in April 2009 (70%) and April 2008 (69%). However, since last April, the percentage who consider student achievement a big problem has increased by 5 points (from 43% to 48% today), and the percentage who consider teacher quality a big problem has increased by 7 points (from 29% to 36% today). “I’m going to read you a list of issues people have mention ed when talking about California’s K– 12 public schools today. For each one, please tell me if you think it is a big problem, somewhat of a prob lem, or not really a problem. How about …” High school dropout rate Student achievement Teacher quality Big problem 69% 48% 36% Somewhat of a problem 22 39 41 Not really a problem 5 10 21 Don’t know 4 3 2 Half of parents of children in public school s consider student achievement a big problem , an 11-point increase since last year. Perceptions differ across racial/ethnic groups : 63 percent of blacks say student achievement is a big problem , compared to 51 percent of Latinos, 45 percent of whit es, and 39 percent of Asians. Across regions, residents in Los Angeles (57%) are the most likely to hold this view , followed by residents in the Inland Empire (53%), Central Valley (46%), Orange/San Diego Counties (41%), and San Francisco Bay Area (40%). A mong those who believe that the state’s student test scores are below average compared to other states, 57 percent say student achievement is a big problem. “How about student achievement?” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Big problem 48% 39% 63% 51% 45% 50% Somewhat of a problem 39 46 28 39 41 39 Not really a problem 10 13 9 8 10 8 Don’t know 3 2 – 2 4 3 Fewer than half of respondents across parties, regions, and demographic groups say teac her quality is a big problem, although this perception has increased since last year : 35 percent of public school parents say teacher quality is a big problem, up 10 points since April 2009. Blacks (44%) and Asians (40%) are more likely than Latinos (35%) and whites (34%) to consider teacher quality a big problem. Los Angeles residents (40%) are the most likely —and Central Valley residents (33%) the least likely —to agree. California education officials continue to grapple with how to improve the high school graduation rate, which disproportionately affects black, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students. Similar to last year , s even in 10 Californians (69%) and public school parents (71%) say the dropout rate is a big problem. Latinos (84%) and blacks (83%) are far more likely than Asians and whites (59% each) to hold this view . Residents in Los Angeles (78%) and the Inland Empire (77%) are the most likely to hold this view, followed by residents in the Central Valley (70%), San Francisco Bay Area ( 64%), and Orange/San Diego Counties (55%). This negative perception of the K –12 system declines sharply with rising education and income. PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 12 CONCERN ABOUT SCHOOLS IN LOWER-INCOME AREAS Californians express high and equivalent levels of concern about three issues affecting schools in lower - income areas. Most Californians (63%) say they are very concerned that students in lower -income areas have a higher dropout rate than students in more affluent areas. The percentage who are very concerned has been increas ing in r ecent years ( 53% April 2008, 60% April 2009, 63% today). Two in three public school parents are very concerned, up 5 points since last year (60% to 65%). Democrats (76%) are much more likely than independents (65%) and Republicans (49%) to be very concerned about the high school dropout rate disproportionately affecting students in lower -income areas. Concern is highest in Los Angeles (67% very concerned) and lowest in Orange/San Diego Counties (57% very concerned). Nearly all blacks (91%) are very concerned about this issue; majorities of Latinos (68 %), Asians (61%), and whites (58%) also express this level of concern. “How concerned are you that …” Students in lower -income areas have a higher dropout rate from high school than other students? Schools in lower -income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas ? Students in lower-income areas are less likely than other students to be ready for college when they finish high school ? Very concerned 63% 60% 61% Somewh at concerned 26 28 28 Not too concerned 6 6 6 Not at all concerned 3 4 4 Don’t know 2 2 1 Six in 10 Californians are also very concerned that schools in lower -income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas, up 6 points since April 2008 ( from 54% to 60% today ). Two in three public school parents are very concerned about this issue, up 8 points since April 2008 ( from 56% to 64% today). Across parties, Democrats (72%) are again mo re likely than independents (59%) or Republicans (41%) to be very concerned about this issue. The vast majority of blacks (87%) and Latinos (71%) are very concerned about the shortage of good teachers in lower -income areas , compared to about half of Asians (53%) and whites (51%). Women are mo re likely than men (64% to 56%) to be very concerned. S ix in 10 Californians (61%) and 64 percent of public school parents are very concerned that students in lower -income areas are less likely to be ready for college upon graduati on. Overwhelming majorit ies of blacks (91%) and Latinos (71%) are very concerned about the level of college preparation in lower -income areas, compared to about half of whites (53%) and Asians (50%). Inland Empire residents (71%) are the most likely —and Orange/San Diego residents (51%) the least likely —to be very concerned about this issue . Concern declines with rising age, education, and income. “How concerned are you that students in lower- income areas are less likely than other students to be ready for college when they finish high school?” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Very concerned 61% 50% 91% 71% 53% 64% Somewhat concerned 28 34 7 24 33 25 Not too concerned 6 11 1 3 8 7 Not at all concerned 4 4 1 2 5 4 Don’t know 1 1 – – 1 – PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 13 COLLEGE AND WORKFORCE READINESS When asked to rate the state’s schools on preparing students for college, Californians are more likely to rate the schools as not so good (39%) or poor (14 %) rather than good (37% ) or excellent (4%). Pub lic school parents are more likely than residents overall (49% to 41 %) to give excellent or good marks to schools on college preparation; however, positive ratings among this group have declined since last April ( from 57% in 2009 to 49% today). L ast year , 46 percent of the state’s residents said schools were doing an excellent or good job in preparing students for college, compared to 41 percent today. Stark differences of opinion are again evident amon g racial/ethnic groups. While 76 percent of blacks say schools are doing a not so good or poor job in preparing students for college, far fewer whites (55%), Latinos (48%), and Asians (42%) are of this opinion. Positive ratings are highest in the Central Valley (48% saying excellent or good) and negative ratin gs are highest in Los Angeles (58% saying not so good or poor). Among those who are very concerned about students in lower -income areas not receiving the same level of college preparation as students in more-affluent areas , 58 percent give negative ratings to the schools on college preparation . “Please tell me if you think Califo rnia’s K–12 public schools are doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job in achieving the following goals. How about in preparing students for college?” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Excellent 4% 1% 3% 7% 3% 6% Good 37 45 20 42 37 43 Not so good 39 35 55 38 38 38 Poor 14 7 21 10 17 9 Don’t know 6 12 1 3 5 4 Californians are even more negative in assessing the education system’s preparation of students for jobs and the workforce. Nearly two in three say they are doing a not so good (45%) or poor job (19%) , while three in 10 say they are doing an excellent (3%) or good job (28%). Public school parents are mu ch more likely to give positive marks than residents overall (42% to 31%). Ratings among Californians and public school parents were similar last year. Across racial/ethnic groups, 72 percent of blacks and 68 percent of whites say the schools are doing a n ot so good or poor job, compared to 56 percent of both Asians and Latinos. Ratings across regions are similar, with between 62 and 65 percent giving not so good or poor marks to the state’s public schools. Residents age 55 and older, those with some colleg e education or a college degree, those with a n annual household income of at least $40,000 , and men are more likely than others to give negative ratings to schools on job and workforce preparation. “How about in preparing students for jobs and the workforc e?” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Excellent 3% 1% 1% 6% 2% 6% Good 28 31 26 35 23 36 Not so good 45 44 51 44 46 41 Poor 19 12 21 12 22 12 Don’t know 5 12 1 3 7 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 14 RATING LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS Californians continue to be more positive about the quality of their local K –12 public schools than the quality of the state’s K– 12 system in general . Majorities of Californians (54%) and public school parents (67%) would give the public schools in their neighborhood a grade of A or B —ratings which at least half of Californians have given their schools since 2005 (51% 2005, 55% 2006, 52% 2007, 54% 2008, 53% 2009, and 54% today). In August 2000, a much lower percentage (39%) offered such high grades . Majorities of residents across regions gave their local school an A or B (52% in the Inland Empire, 53% in the San Francisco Bay Area, 54% in Los Angeles, 57% in the Central Valley , and 57% in Orange/San Diego Count ies). Ratings across racial/ethnic grou ps, however , are not as uniform. Blacks (36 %) are far less likely than whites (55%), Latinos (57%), or Asians (5 8%) to give a grade of A or B to their local school s. A plurality of blacks (40%) give their local school s a grade of C. Upper-income residents (62 %) are more likely than middle -income (52%) and lower -income residents (50%) to give grades of A or B. “Overall, how would you rate the quality of public scho ols in your neighborhood today? If you had to give your local public schools a grade, would it be A, B, C, D, or F?” All Adults Region Public School Parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire A 19 % 18% 18% 20% 26% 14% 30% B 35 39 35 34 31 38 37 C 26 28 25 25 27 24 21 D 10 9 10 12 7 13 6 F 4 4 3 5 3 4 5 Don’t know 6 2 9 4 6 7 1 Strong majorities of Californians (62%) and public school parents (72%) believe the current level of state funding for their local public schools is not enough —a 12-point increase among all adults since last year ( from 50% to 62% today) and a similarly large increase of 14 points among public school parents (from 58% to 72% today). Majorities across regions believe that the state funding of their local schools is inadequate. Across racial/ethnic groups, 76 percent of blacks and 71 percent of Latinos say their local schools lack adequate funding; far fewer whites (56%) and Asians (53%) hold this view. Women are more likely than men (66% to 58%) to say local schools don’t have enough state funding. T he percentage saying that state funding is not enough declines with rising education and income levels. Residents age 55 and older are much less likely than younger residents to hold this view (66% age 18– 34, 65% age 35– 54, 55% age 55 and older) . Among those giving their local schools a grade of A or B, 57 percent believe funding falls short; among those giving local schools a grade of C, 71 percent say funding falls short . “Do you think the current level of state funding for your local public schools is more than enough, just enough, or not enough?” All Adults Region Public School Parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire More than enough 6% 7% 5% 6% 7% 7% 4% Just enough 26 27 25 23 31 29 23 No t enough 62 60 64 64 58 59 72 Don’t know 6 6 6 7 4 5 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 15 PERCEPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS AMONG PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS Consistent with increasing shares saying local funding is inadequate, parents of public school children are far more likely this year to say their child’s public school has been affected a lot by recent state budget cuts ( rising from 28% in April 2009 to 43% today). Another 38 percent say the ir school has been somewhat affected, while only 17 percent say their child ’s public school has not been affected by state budget cuts. White parents are much more likely than Latino parents (50% to 35%) —and women more than men (49% to 36%) —to say their child’s school has been greatly affected. Sample sizes for Asian and black public school parents are not large enough for separate analysis. When it comes to the educational aspirations they have for their children, nearly nine in 10 public school parents hope their youngest child graduates from college (43%) or obtains a postgraduate degree (44%). Hopes for an advanced degree have increased 5 points since last April and 8 points since April 2005 . White parents are twice as likely as Latino parents (54% to 27%) to say postgraduate degree. “What do you hope will be the highest grade level that y our youngest child will achieve?” Public school parents only All Public School Parents Household Income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Latinos Whites Some high school/ High school graduate 6% 10% 6% – 11% 3% Some colleg e 4 6 4 2% 5 4 College graduate 43 46 41 41 51 39 Graduate degree after college 44 32 48 56 27 54 Don’t know 3 6 1 1 6 – Most public school parents express at least some confidence that they have the resources and information needed to help their child achieve their educational goals, but the percentage saying they are very confident has declin ed over time (5 2% in 2005, 45% in 2009, 41% today). Public school parents with annual household incomes of at least $80,000 are more than twice as likely as those with household incomes under $40,000 to say they are very confident they can sufficiently help their child (59% to 27%), and white parents are far more likely than Latino parents (50% to 29%) to express this confidence . Public school parents are far less confident that their local school has the resources and information needed to prepare their child for their educational goals. Only 24 percent are very confident, the same percentage as last April. Upper -income parents have much more confidence in the schools than lower - income parents. Fewer than three in 10 white or Latino par ents are very confident . “How confident are you that …” Public school parents only All Public School Parents Household Income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more Latinos Whites You have the resources and information needed for this child to reach that grade level? Very confident 41% 27% 43% 59% 29% 50% Somewhat confident 37 38 42 31 39 37 Not too confident 21 33 14 10 30 12 Don’t know 1 2 1 – 2 1 Your local K –12 schools have the resources and information needed to prepare this child for that grade level? Very confident 24 19 21 32 22 29 Somewhat confident 46 44 43 49 44 45 Not too confident 30 35 35 18 32 26 Don’t know – 2 1 1 2 – April 2010 Californians and Education 16 FISCAL ATTITUDES AND POLICY PREFERENCES KEY FINDINGS  More than six in 10 Californians say they most want to protect K–12 education from spending cuts; voters remain sharply divided along party lines about paying higher taxes to maintain current K–12 funding levels. ( page 17)  Just over half of likely voters would consider voting for a bond measure or parcel tax for schools. Support for a hypothetical bond measure has declined over time. (page 18 )  When asked about specific spending cuts, Californians express the highest level of concern about teacher layoffs. Many are also concerned about larger class sizes, cuts in the number of school days, and the elimination of art, music, after-school, and summer programs. (page 19)  If new state funding becomes available, about two in three Californians say schools in lower-income areas should receive more of the funding than other schools. (page 20)  About six in 10 Californians support merit pay for teachers, but they are more likely to say it should be based on students’ academic improvement than on students’ academic achievement or on length of teaching experience. (page 21)  About six in 10 likely voters say gubernatorial candidates’ positions on K–12 education are very important. Democrats are most likely to hold this view. Strong majorities across parties say that improving the K–12 system should be a high priority for the next governor. (page 23) 63 14 13 7 3 K–12 education Health and human services Higher education Prisons and corrections Don't know Budget Area to Protect from Spending Cuts All adults 72 62 21 26 0 20 40 60 80 United States* California Percent all adults Favor Oppos e Merit Pay for Teachers *Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll, 2009 6470 59 68 58 58 54 54 29 2531 2737 3841 41 0 20 40 60 80 100 Feb00 Oct 02 Feb 04 Apr 05 Apr 07 Apr 08 Apr 09 Apr 10 Percent likely voters Yes No Voting Preference on Hypothetical School Construction Bond PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 17 STATE BUDGET SITUATION K–12 public education is the largest spending category in the California budget. The governor has proposed cuts to K–12 education to help close the $ 20 billion state budget deficit . At the same time, more than six in 10 Californians (63%) continue to say that among budget categories, they most want to protect K–12 education from spending cuts; far fewer name health and human services (14%), higher education (13%), or prisons (7 %). Majorities of Californians across part ies and demographic groups say K– 12 education is the spending category they most want to protect . C oncern about spending cuts is high: 62 percent of Californians say they are very concerned the state’s budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in K –12 education, up 6 points since last Ap ril. Among those who most want to protect K– 12 education from cuts, nearly all (95%) are at least somewhat concerned, with 73 percent saying they are very concerned. At least eight in 10 residents across party and demographic groups are at least somewhat concerned about cuts; however, intensity varies across these groups . Seven in 10 Democrats are very concerned, compared to six in 10 independents and half of Republicans. San Francisco Bay Area res idents (67%) are the most likely to be very concerned, while Orange/San Dieg o County residents (56 %) are the least likely. Seventy- three percent of public school parents report they are very concerned about funding. “How concerned are you that the state’s budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in K –12 public education?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very concerned 62% 72% 52% 61% 65% Somewhat concerned 26 22 33 23 23 Not too concerned 6 4 6 9 6 Not at all concerned 5 2 7 6 5 Don't know 1 – 2 1 1 Although Californians are highly concerned about K–12 spending cuts , they are divided in their willingness to pay higher taxes to maintain current levels of funding (49 % yes, 47% no). The percentage willing to pay higher taxes today is similar to last April (48%) and April 2008 (49%). Likely voters are less in favor (44%) of paying higher taxes. Partisans hold sharply different views on the issue. Six in 10 Democrats are willing to pay higher taxes, while nearly seven in 10 Republicans are not . Independents are more divided in their willing ness to pay higher taxes (46 % yes, 52% no). Significant differences are also present across racial/ethnic groups. Majorities of blacks (60%) and Latinos (56%) are willing to pay higher taxes, compared to fewer Asians (49%) and whites (45%). Half of public school parents would pay higher taxes to benefit K –12 education. Willingness to pay higher taxes declines with older age; willingness is higher among those with annual household incomes of less than $40,000. “What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for K–12 public education. Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 49% 60% 30% 46% 44% No 47 36 68 52 53 Don't know 4 4 2 2 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 18 LOCAL SCHOOL FUNDING Californians overwhelmingly prefer local control of spending decisions at their local public schools. Consistent with April 2008 and 2009 surveys, half of residents (51%) say local school districts should make the decisions about how to spend state funds in local schools and a third (34%) say the local schools themselves should decide. Just one in 10 Calif ornians (10%) say the state should contro l decisions over use of money in local public schools. Across parties , more than 80 percent of Democrats, Republicans, and independents say either school districts or local schools should have control of spending decisions. Favor for local control is consistent across regions , but Los Angeles residents (46%) are somewhat less likely than San Francisco Bay Area (51%), Orange/San Diego (52%), Inland Empire (53%), and Central Valley (54%) residents to say local school districts specifically should hold control. This preference for local control may be reflected in Californians’ greater willingness to vote for a hypothetical local bond measure for school construction project s (63 %), than to pay higher taxes to maintain current state funding (49%). Fewer likely voters (54 %) would vote for school construction bonds , and support among likely voters has declined over time. (A 55 -percent vote is required to pass local school bonds. ) Democrats (71 %) and independents (57%) are much more likely than Republicans (44%) to say they would support a local bond measure . Across regions, majorities express support for a local bond measure , with support highest among Los Angeles and Inland Empire residents (66% each ) and lowest among Orange/San Diego residents (55%). Strong majorities of Latinos (83 %) and blacks (72 %) would vote for a hypothetical school bond, compared to fewer Asians (57%) and whites ( 51%). “If your local school district had a bond measure on the ballot to pay for sc hool construction projects, would you vote yes or no?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 63% 71% 44% 57% 54% No 33 25 51 37 41 Don’t know 4 4 5 6 5 Fifty-seven percent of Californians and 52 percent of l ikely voters say they would vote for a local parcel tax to provide more funds for the local public schools , similar to views last year. (Parcel taxes require a two- thirds vote to pass. ) There are sign ificant differences across parties —seven in 10 Democrats would vote for a local parcel tax while six in 10 Republicans would vote no. Across regions, residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (62%) are the most likely to say they would support a parcel tax, with Inl and Empire residents (47 %) the least likely. Aga in, strong majorities of blacks (72%) and Latinos (70%) support a parcel tax, while far fewer Asians (50 %) and whites (49%) do. Six in 10 p ublic school parents (61 %) would vote for a parcel tax. Not surprising ly, support for parcel taxes, which are paid only by property owners, is far higher among renters (69 %) than homeowners (48%). The l ikelihood of voting yes on a local parcel tax for schools decreases as income and age rise. “What if there was a measure on your local ballot to increase local parcel taxes to provide more funds for the local public schools? Would you vote yes or no?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 57% 70% 36% 51% 52% No 38 26 61 44 44 Don’t know 5 4 3 5 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 19 SPENDING CUTS Concern about the consequences of decreased K–12 funding is evident among Californians today. In particular, they are overwhelmingly concerned about teacher lay offs (73% very concerned, 19% somewhat) as a result of decreased state and local funding . Although they are less likely to say they are very concerned about other issues, at least e ight in 10 Californians are at least somewhat concerned about larger class sizes, fewer days of school instruction, and the elimination of art, music, and after - school and summer progr ams. “There are a number of ways for the state’s K–12 public schools to cut spending to deal with decreased state and local funding. For each of the following, please tell me if you are very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned.” Laying Off Teachers Class Sizes Getting Bigger as a Result Having Fewer Days of School Instruction Eliminating Art and Music Programs Eliminating After - School and Summer Programs Very concerned 73% 59% 56% 56% 49% Somewhat concerned 19 28 26 30 32 Not too concerned 3 7 11 8 11 Not at all concerned 4 5 6 5 7 Don’t know 1 1 1 1 1 However, levels of concern about the ways K–12 spending might be cut vary across demographic groups. Strong m ajorities of b lacks are very concerned about all methods of dealing with decreased funding, and express the most concern about laying off teachers (84%). Asians are the least concerned about each issue , and there is a considerable difference between blacks and Asians in concern about larger class sizes (3 8% Asians, 57% whites, 65% Latinos, 77% blacks) and on program elimination. Across regions, residents are most likely to say they are very concerned about laying off teachers, and least likely to be very co ncerned about eliminating after -school and summer programs. Although a majority of public school parents are very concerned about each way of dealing with decreased funding , they are most likely to express a high level of concer n about teacher layoffs (81%). Democrats are more likely than independents and Republicans to say they are very concerned about all the potential spending cut ideas . Percent saying very concerned Laying Off Teachers Class Sizes Getting Bigger as a Result Having Fewer Days of School Instruction Eliminating Art and Music Programs Eliminating After - School and Summer Programs All Adults 73 % 59% 56% 56% 49% Likely Voters 71 60 55 60 47 Public School Parents 81 71 61 54 54 Race/ ethnicity Asians 54 38 47 39 34 Blacks 84 77 67 68 74 Latinos 82 65 63 49 61 White s 70 57 52 61 41 Region Central Valley 73 55 55 55 51 San Francisco Bay Area 70 52 59 56 47 Los Angeles 75 65 58 56 55 Orange/ San Diego 73 59 52 49 41 Inland Empire 78 68 55 59 50 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 20 RESOURCE EQUITY An overwhelming majority of Californians (80%) and public school parents (79%) say that schools in lower- income areas do not have the same level of resources, such as good teachers and adequate classroom materials, as schools in wealthier areas. California ns have expressed similar views since 2005. Today m ore than six in 10 across parties (6 5% Republicans, 81 % independents, 87% Democrats) and at least seven in 10 across regions and demographic groups perceive this resource disparity. Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (92%) are the most likely and Asians the least likely (70%) to hold this view. Three in four Californians (77%) and public school parents (75%) also say that students in lower -income areas do not receive the same level of college preparation as students in wealthier areas. Over two in three across parties (67% Republicans, 79% independents, 85% Democrats) and at least seven in 10 across regions and demographic groups say the level of college preparation is not equal. Again , blacks (93%) are the most likely and Asians (70%) t he least likely to perceive a disparity in college preparation. S trong majorities of adults (68%) and likely voters (6 1%) believe that if new state funding became available, schools in lower -income areas should get more of this funding to help pay for teachers and classroom materials. Support has declined slightly since 2007 (74% 2007, 72% 2008, 70% 2009, 68% today ). Of those wh o perceive resource inequity among schools , most (75%) support allocating more funds to schools in lower-income areas. More than two in three Democrats and independents support assignment of new funding to these schools , with Republicans divided (47% yes, 46% no). Latinos (86%) and blacks (80 %) are far more likely than Asians (6 4%) and whites (56%) to say new funding should go to these schools . Majorities across age, income , and education groups support this idea, with support highest among those age 18 –34 and among those with less education and lower incomes. “If new state funding becomes available, should schools in lower- income areas get more of this funding than other schools to help pay for teachers and classroom materials, or not?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 68% 75% 47% 68% 61% No 28 21 46 29 34 Don’t know 4 4 7 3 5 Californians express considerably less support (51% yes, 44% no) when asked if local schools in lower - income areas should pay higher salaries to attract and retain teachers , even if it costs the state more money . Support for this idea has dropped sharply since 2007 (67%) and 2006 (66%). Half of independents (52%) and 57 percent of Democrats support the idea, while 5 7 percent of Republicans oppose it. Latinos (57%) are more likely than Asians (49%), whites (49%), and blacks (4 8%) to favor higher salaries for teachers in these areas. Of those who say schools in low er-income areas have unequal resources, 55 percent favor higher salaries. “Should local schools in lower-income areas pay higher salaries to attract and retain teachers, even if it costs the state more money?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Yes 51% 57% 39% 52% 50% No 44 37 57 44 45 Don’t know 5 6 4 4 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 21 MERIT PAY FOR TEACHERS A frequently discussed education policy reform centers on merit pay for teachers. How do Californians feel about the general concept of merit pay? In general , they are more likely to favor (62%) than oppose (26%) this idea. Majorities across parties, regions, racial/ethnic groups, and of both men and women favor merit pay. Among those most likely to favor the idea are Republicans (68%), residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (66%) and O range/San Diego Counties (66%), Asians (68%), and men (66%). According to a 2009 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll, a dults nationwide are even more likely to favor the idea of merit pay (72% favor, 21% oppose) . While Californians favor the general idea of merit pay, the question of how to award it draws varied levels of support. Residents (69%) and public school parents (70%) are most likely to say that the academic improvement of students as measured by st andardized tests should be used as the basis for merit pay . This criterion has the support of seven in 10 across income groups, and of strong majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups. Eight in 10 Californians who favor merit pay in general say this criterion should be used, as do 71 percent who say teacher quality is a big problem. There is lower support among Californians (57%) and public school parents (53%) for bas ing merit pay on the academic achievement —rather than academ ic improvement —of students , as measured by standardized tests. Men are more likely than women (62% to 51%) to say this criterion should be used. Two in three Californians in favor of merit pay in general say this criterion should be used, as do 63 percent who say teacher quality is a big problem. Californians are more divided about using teaching experience as a criterion for giving additional pay to teachers for special merit (48% should, 49% should not) . O ver half of public school parents (55%) think length of teaching experience should be used as a criterion. Half of Democrats (51%) think it should, but over half of Republicans (59%) and independents (55%) say it should not . Los Angeles County re sidents (53%) are the most likely to say that teacher experience should be a criterion, while residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (58%) are most likely to say it should not . According to the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll, adults nationwide are far more likely than Californians to think teacher experience should be a criterion for merit pay (67% nationwide to 48% in California). “I am going to read some possible criteria for giving additional pay to teachers for special merit. For each one, please tell me if you think it should or should not be used to determine which teachers receive merit pay. How about… ” All Adults Household Income Public School Parents Under $40,000 $40,000 to under $80,000 $80,000 or more The academic improvement of students as measured by standardized tests? Should 69% 70% 70% 69% 70% Should not 27 25 26 29 26 Don’t know 4 5 4 2 4 The academic achievement of students as measured by standardized tests? Should 57 57 56 58 53 Should not 32 24 35 38 28 Don’t know 11 19 9 4 19 Length of teaching experience? Should 48 59 47 36 55 Should not 49 38 50 63 42 Don’t know 3 3 3 1 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 22 DATA AND INFORMATION Establishing education data systems continues to be a policy priority at the state and national level. These systems include data on students , schools , and finance and budgets. Californians continue to view the collection of data about resources and student performance as very important : Six in 10 Californians (60%) and two in three public school parents (66%) say doing so is very important. This marks a record high for both groups since we began asking this question in 2007, although majorities have held this view each time we asked. Blacks (80%) and Latinos (70%) are far more likely than whites (53%) and Asians (51%) to view data collection as very important. Across parties, independents (64%) and Democrats (62%) are much more likely than Republicans (51%) to view this issue as very important. Majorities across California’s regions say that data collection is very important , with residents in the Inland Empire (66%) the most likely to hold this view , followed by residents in the Central Valley (64%), Los Angeles (62%), Orange/San Diego Counties (58%), and the San Francisco Bay Area (52%). Older, more educated, and more affluent adults are less likely than others to say data collection is very important. “How important to you is it that the state collect and make available data and information about local K –12 public schools, including resources and student performance?” All Adults Race/Ethnicity Public School Parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Very important 60% 51% 80% 70% 53% 66% Somewhat important 32 40 17 26 35 28 Not too important 7 6 3 3 10 5 Don’t know 1 3 – 1 2 1 Three in four Californians (75%), likely voters (74%), and public school parents (74%) favor using data and information collected about local K– 12 public schools in making policy decisions about education programs and funding. This idea is favored by at le ast seven in 10 across parties, regions, and racial/ethnic groups, as well as across gender, income, education, and age groups. Among those who view data collection as very important, 85 percent are in favor using the data for this purpose . “Some people say that the state should be using this type of data and information in making policy decisions about education programs and funding. Do you favor or oppose this idea?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Favor 75% 76% 73% 79% 74% Oppose 18 17 21 18 20 Don’t know 7 7 6 3 6 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2010 Californians and Education 23 2010 GOVERNOR’S ELECTION With the g eneral election seven months away, n early all Californians say gubernatorial candidates’ positions on K– 12 public education are very (62%) or somewhat (30%) important. Likely voters hold similar views. Opinions were similar in April 2006 when 60 percent of likely voters viewed gubernatorial candidates’ positions on public education as very important. Most Democrats (72% ) and independents (59%) say candidates’ positions are very important, with Republicans (46%) much less likely to say they are very important. Three in four public school parents (74%) hold this view. Majorities of adults across regions say candidates’ positions are very important, with Los Angeles residents (67 %) the most likely to hold this view and Orange/San Diego residents (56%) least likely. Differences emerge across racial/ethnic groups : Latinos (76%) and blacks (72%) are far more likely than whites (55%) and Asians (49%) to say this is very important. The view that the candidates’ positions on education are very important declines as education and income rise. “In thinking about the upcoming California governor’s election in November, how important to you are the candidates’ positions on K–12 public education?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind Very important 62% 72% 46% 59% 60% Somewhat important 30 24 44 30 32 Not too important 6 4 9 10 7 Don’t know 2 – 1 1 1 With most Californians describing the gubernatorial candidates’ positions on K–12 public education as important, what priority do Californians say think the next governor should place on improving the state’s K– 12 education system ? Three in four Californians (74 %) and likely voters (73%) and eight in 10 public school parents (81%) say that improving education should be a high priority. Strong majorities across parties, regions , and demographic groups place a high priority on improving the state’s K –12 education system. There are differences , however —Democrats (84 %) are more likely than independents (72 %) and far more likely than Republicans (63%) to say education should be a high priority for the next governor. Across regions, Los Angeles (78%) residents are the most likely to hold this view, with Orange/San Diego County (70%) residents the least likely. Blacks (85%) and Latinos (83%) are more likely than whites (70 %) and Asians (69%) to think that improving the state’s K –12 public education system should be a high priority for the next governor . Among those who say the quality of K–12 public education is a big problem, 81 percent place a high priority on improving public education. Among those who say the gubernatorial candidates’ positions on education are very important, 89 percent say the next governor should place a high priority on K–12 education improvement . “In thinking about priorities for the next governor, do you think that improving the state’s K –12 public education system should be a…?” All Adults Party Likely Voters Dem Rep Ind High priority 74% 84% 63% 72% 73% Medium priority 18 12 28 20 20 Low priority 6 4 8 7 7 Don’t know 2 – 1 1 – April 2010 Californians and Education 24 REGIONAL MAP April 2010 Californians and Education 25 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with assistance from Sonja Petek, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Dean Bonner and Nicole Willcoxon. This survey was conducted with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as part of a three-year grant on K –12 and higher education, environment, and population issues. We benefited from discussions with Hewlett program staff and others; however, the survey methods, questions, and the content of the report were determined solely by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. Findings in this report are based on a telephone survey of 2,504 California adult residents, including 2,254 i nterviewed on landline telephones and 250 interviewed on cell phones. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days from April 6 –20, 2010. Interviews took an average of 19 minutes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a comput er-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phone interviews wer e included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer -generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement for their time to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interviewing was conducted in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), Vietnamese, and Korean, according to respondents’ preferences. We chose these languages because Spanish is the dominant language among non -English speaking adults in California, followed in prevalence by the three Asian languages. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Ren atta DeFever. Abt SRBI Inc. translated the survey into Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean, and conducted all interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI, we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demo- graphic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2008 National Health Intervi ew Survey and data from the 2005 –2007 American Community Survey for California, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey . The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,504 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 26 2,046 registered voters, it is ±2.5 percent; for the 1, 439 likely voters, it is ± 3 percent; for the 1,056 parents of children 18 or younger it is ±3 percent; for the 808 public school parents it is ±3. 5 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to five geographic regions that account for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yol o, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, likely voters, and parents, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately in tables and text. We present specific results for respondents in four self -identified racial/ethnic groups: Asian, black, Latino, and non -Hispanic white. We also compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (i.e., those registered as “decline to state”). We also analyze the responses of likely voters —those who are the most likely to participate in the state’s elections. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in earlier PPIC Statewide Surveys and to results from surveys conducted by CBS News/ New York Times and by Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup. April 2010 Californians and Education 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND EDUCATION April 6– 20, 2010 2,504 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese MARGIN OF ERROR ±2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE 1. First, thinking about the state as a whole, what do you think is the most important issue facing people in California today? 55% jobs, economy [code, don’t read ] 13 state budget, deficit, taxes 10 education, schools 5 immigration, illegal immigration 4 health care, health costs 2 crime, gangs, drugs 9 other 2 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 24% approve 64 disapprove 12 don’t know 3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling the state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system? 16% approve 65 disapprove 19 don’t know 4. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 16% approve 69 disapprove 15 don’t know 5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling the state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system? 15% approve 67 disapprove 18 don’t know 6. As you may know, the state government has an annual budget of around $85 billion and currently faces a multibillion dollar gap between spending and revenues. Some of the largest areas for state spending are: [rotate ] (1) K– 12 public education , (2) higher education, (3) health and human services, [and ] 63% K– 12 public education (4) prisons and corrections. Thinking about these four areas of state spending, I’d like you to name the one you most want to protect from spending cuts. 14 health an d human services 13 higher education 7 prisons and corrections 3 don’t know 7. How concerned are you that the state’s budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in K–12 public education? 62% very concerned 26 somewhat concerned 6 not too concerned 5 not at all concerned 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 28 8. What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for K–12 public education. Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 49% yes 47 no 4 don’t know 9. Next, how much of a problem is the quality of education in California’s K–12 public schools today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 53% big problem 32 somewhat of a problem 11 not much of a problem 4 don’t know 10. Overall, do you think the K–12 public education system in California is in need of major changes, minor changes, or that it is basically fine the way it is? 62% major changes 28 minor changes 7 fine the way it is 3 don’t know 11. To significantly improve the quality of California’s K–12 public schools, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? [rotate 1 and 2] (1) We need to use existing state funds more wisely, [or] (2) We need to increase the amount of state funding, [or] (3) We need to use existing state funds more wisely and increase the amount of state funding. 45% use funds more wisely 8 increase state funding 45 use funds more wisely and increase funding 2 don’t know There are a number of ways for the state’s K–12 public schools to cut spending to deal with decreased state and local funding. For each of the following, please tell me if you are very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned. [rotate questions 12 to 14] 12. How about laying off teachers as a way to deal with decreased funding? 73% very concerned 19 somewhat concerned 3 not too concerned 4 not at all concerned 1 don’t know 13. How about eliminating art and music programs as a way to deal with decreased funding? 56% very concerned 30 somewhat concerned 8 not too concerned 5 not at all concerned 1 don’t know 13a.How about eliminating after-school and summer programs as a way to deal with decreased funding? 49% very concerned 32 somewhat concerned 11 not too concerned 7 not at all concerned 1 don’t know 14. How about having fewer days of school instruction as a way to deal with decreased funding? 56% very concerned 26 somewhat concerned 11 not too concerned 6 not at all concerned 1 don’t know 15. How concerned are you that class sizes are getting bigger as a result of decreased funding? 59% very concerned 28 somewhat concerned 7 not too concerned 5 not at all concerned 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 29 Next, I’m going to read you a list of issues people have mentioned when talking about California’s K–12 public schools today. For each one, please tell me if you think it is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not really a problem. [rotate questions 1 6 to 18] 16. How about teacher quality? 36% big problem 41 somewhat of a problem 21 not really a problem 2 don’t know 17. How about the high school dropout rate? 69% big problem 22 somewhat of a problem 5 not really a problem 4 don’t know 18. How about student achievement? 48% big problem 39 somewhat of a problem 10 not really a problem 3 don’t know On another topic, [rotate questions 19 and 20] 19. Where do you think California currently ranks in per pupil spending for K–12 public schools? Compared to other states, is California's spending near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom? 12% near the top 14 above average 24 average 22 below average 15 near the bottom 13 don’t know 20. Where do you think California currently ranks in student test scores for K–12 public schools? Compared to other states, are California's student test scores near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom? 3% near the top 8 above average 31 average 33 below average 16 near the bottom 9 don’t know Next, [rotate questions 21 to 23] 21. How concerned are you that students in lower -income areas have a higher dropout rate from high school than other students — are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this issue? 63% very concerned 26 somewhat concerned 6 not too concerned 3 not at all concerned 2 don’t know 22. How concerned are you that students in lower -income areas are less likely than other students to be ready for college when they finish high school —are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this issue? 61% very concerned 28 somewhat concerned 6 not too concerned 4 not at all concerned 1 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 30 23. How concerned are you that schools in lower -income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas —are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this issue? 60% very concerned 28 somewhat concerned 6 not too concerned 4 not at all concerned 2 don’t know Next, please tell me if you think California’s K– 12 public schools are doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job in achieving the following goals. [rotate questions 24 and 25] 24. How about in preparing students for jobs and the workforce? 3% excellent 28 good 45 not so good 19 poor 5 don’t know 25. How about in preparing students for college? 4% excellent 37 good 39 not so good 14 poor 6 don’t know 26. Changi ng topics, how important to you is it that the state collect and make a vailable data and information about local K– 12 public schools, including resources and student performance? 60% very important 32 somewhat important 7 not too important 1 don’t know 27. Some people say that the state should be using this type of data and information in making policy decisions about education programs and funding. Do you favor or oppose this idea? 75% favor 18 oppose 7 don’t know 2 8. Next, overall, how would you rate the quality of public schools in your neighborhood today? If you had to give your local public schools a grade, would it be A, B, C, D, or F? 19% A 35 B 26 C 10 D 4 F 6 don’t know 29. Do you think the current level of state funding for your local public schools is more than enough, just enough, or not enough? 6% more than enough 26 just enough 62 not enough 6 don’t know [rotate questions 30 and 31] 30. If your local school district had a bond measure on the ballot to pay for school construction projects, would you vote yes or no? 63% yes 33 no 4 don’t know 31. What if there was a measure on your local ballot to increase local parcel taxes to provide more funds for the local public schools? Would you vote yes or no? 57% yes 38 no 5 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 31 32. Who do you think should have the most control in deciding how the money from state government is spent in local public schools? [rotate order] (1) the local schools, (2) the local school districts, [or] (3) the state government. 51% the local school districts 34 the local schools 10 the state government 2 other (specify) 3 don’t know Changing topics, [rotate questions 33 and 34] 33. Do you think that schools in lower-income areas of the state have the same amount of resources—including good teachers and classroom materials—as schools in wealthier areas? 14% yes, same 80 no, not the same 6 don’t know 34. Do you think that students in lower-income areas of the state receive the same level of college preparation as students in wealthier areas? 16% yes, same 77 no, not the same 7 don’t know 35. If new state funding becomes available, should schools in lower-income areas get more of this funding than other schools to help pay for teachers and classroom materials, or not? 68% yes 28 no 4 don’t know 36. Should local schools in lower-income areas pay higher salaries to attract and retain teachers, even if it costs the state more money? 51% yes 44 no 5 don’t know 37. Next, how do you, yourself, feel about the idea of merit pay for teachers. In general, do you favor or oppose it? 62% favor 26 oppose 12 don’t know I am going to read some possible criteria for giving additional pay to teachers for special merit. For each one, please tell me if you think it should or should not be used to determine which teachers receive merit pay. [rotate questions 37a to 39] 37a.How about the academic achievement of students as measured by standardized tests? 57% should 32 should not 11 don’t know 38. How about the academic improvement of students as measured by standardized tests? 69% should 27 should not 4 don’t know 39. How about length of teaching experience? 48% should 49 should not 3 don’t know 40. Changing topics, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is handling his job as president of the United States? 61% approve 34 disapprove 5 don’t know 41. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that President Obama is handling K–12 education policy? 46% approve 28 disapprove 26 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 32 42. Do you think that the federal government is doing more than enough, just enough, or not enough to improve the K---12 public education system? 7% more than enough 25 just enough 59 not enough 9 don’t know 43. In thinking about the upcoming California governor’s election in November, how important to you are the candidates’ positions on K---12 public education? 62% very important 30 somewhat important 6 not too important 2 don’t know 44. In thinking about priorities for the next governor, do you think that improving the state’s K---12 public education system should be a: [rotate order] very high priority, high priority, medium priority, low priority, [or] very low priority? 29% very high priority 45 high priority 18 medium priority 3 low priority 3 very low priority 2 don’t know 45. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 83% yes [ask q45a] 17 no [skip to q46b] 45a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 45% Democrat [ask q46] 31 Republican [skip to q46a] 2 another party (specify) [skip to q47] 22 independent [skip to q46b] 46. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 52% strong 46 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q47] 46a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 52% strong 45 not very strong 3 don’t know [skip to q47] 46b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 20% Republican Party 46 Democratic Party 25 neither (volunteered) 9 don’t know 47. Next, would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 10% very liberal 22 somewhat liberal 30 middle-of-the-road 23 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 2 don’t know 48. Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 26% great deal 43 fair amount 25 only a little 5 none 1 don’t know [d1-d4a: demographic questions] d4b. [public school parents only] Would you say your child’s public school has or has not been affected by recent state budget cuts? ( if it has: Has it been affected a lot or somewhat?) 43% affected a lot 38 affected somewhat 17 not affected 2 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2010 Californians and Education 33 d4c. [public school parents only] What do you hope will be the highest grade level that you r youngest child will achieve: some high school, high school graduate , some college , college graduate, or a graduate degree after college? 1% some high school 5 high school graduate 4 some college 43 college graduate 44 a graduate degree after college 3 don’t know d4d. [public school parents only] How confident are you that you have the resources and information needed for this child to reach that grade level? 41% very confident 37 somewhat confident 21 not too confident 1 don’t know d 4e. [public school parents only] How confide nt are you that your local K –12 schools have the resources and information needed to prepare this child for that grade level ? 24% very confident 46 somewhat confident 30 not too confident [d5-d18: demographic ques tions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director University of California Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer Donna Lucas La Opinión Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX -TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Raymond L. Watson Orange County Register Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PPIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS Walter B. Hewlett, Chair Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of C alifornia Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce John E. Bryson Retired Chairman and CEO Edison International Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Robert M. Hertzberg Partner Mayer Brown, LLP Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs David Mas Masumoto Author and farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private operating foundation. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Walter B. Hewlett is Chair of the Board of Directors. Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. Copyright © 2010 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved. San Francisco, CA PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC SACRAMENTO CENT ER Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:40:32" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_410mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:40:32" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:40:32" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_410MBS.pdf" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_mime_type"]=> string(15) "application/pdf" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["attachment_authors"]=> bool(false) }