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This is the 133rd PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 280,000 Californians. Suppor ted with funding from The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, The Silver Giving Foundation, and t he Stuar t Foundation, the current sur vey seeks to inform state policymakers, encourage discussion, a nd raise public awareness about K –12 public education issues. T his is the ninth annual PPIC Statewide Sur vey since 2005 to focus on this topic. California has the largest K –12 public education system in the nation. According to the California Depar tment of Education and the Education Data Par tnership (Ed- Data), the state ser ved more than six million students and employed more than 280,000 teachers in 958 school districts and about 9,900 public schools during the 2011–12 school year. California also has a highly diverse student population: more than half (56%) are economically disadvantaged, nearly a quar ter (22%) are English Learners , and about one in 10 (11%) require special education ser vices . Latinos (52 %) make up the largest racial/ethnic group of students, followed by whites ( 26%), Asians (12%, including Native Hawaiians , Pacific Islanders, and Filipino s), and blacks (7%). For the first time in many years, the budget proposed for the 2013– 14 fiscal year does not include spending cuts to the state’s K –12 public schools. This is due in large par t to an improving economy and the passage of the Proposition 30 tax initiative last fall. Nevertheless, the proposed amount of K –12 funding is below the peak spending levels of 2007. Governor Brown has again called for a key finance reform that was unsuccessful last year. This reform is twofold: it will give local school districts greater flexibility over how to spend state funds by doing away with most categorical programs and it will direct most of the new state revenues to districts with more low- income and English Learner students. The governor will release his revised budget proposal in May and lawmakers must pass a budget in June. In this context, this sur vey repor t presents the responses of 1,705 C alifornia adult residents on:  Fiscal attitudes and policy preferences, including perceptions of resource equity, suppor t for the governor’s targeted K–12 funding proposal, opinions about whether targeted funding will result in improved academic achievement, suppor t in general for directing funds to low -income students and to English Learners, suppor t for increased local flexibility over spending decisions, and confidence that local districts would use increased flexibility and targeted money wisely .  Perceptions and attitudes, including approval ratings of the governor and legislature, overall and on K– 12 education; assessments of and concerns about key challenges facing schools; program atic priorities, ratings of local public schools, and attitudes toward student testing and teacher evaluation. It also examines public school parents’ experiences and perspectives .  Time trends and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences based on their political party affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, whether they have children attending a California public school, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org ). If you have questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://ww w.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. April 2013 Californians and Their Government 6 FISCAL ATTITUDES AND POLICY PREFERENCES KEY FINDINGS  Seven in 10 Californians favor Governor Brown’s targeted K–12 funding proposal , which would direct extra funding to school districts that have more low er-income students and English Learners . Support was similar in January. A considerable majority (74%) believe targeted funding will help these students academically at least somewhat. (page s 8, 9)  Californians are more likely to support the general idea of extra funding for low -income students (63%) than for English Learners (51 %). Latinos are the most likely among racial/ethnic groups to favor each idea ; support declines as income rises . ( page 9 )  The vast majority of Californians continue to support fiscal decisionmaking at the local level: 43 percent say local school districts and 36 percent say local schools should control how state funding is spent locally . An overwhelming majority continue to favor an increase in local flexibility, another component of Governor Brown’s school proposal . ( page 10 )  If the state were to provide extra funding to districts with more disadvantaged students, more than half of Californians are confident (15% very, 41% somewhat) that the districts would use this money wisely. If the state were to give districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, nearly three in four Californ ians are confident (16% very, 57 % somewhat) districts would use this money wisely. (page 11 )  Californians are somewhat more likely to favor (51%) than oppose (42%) lowering the vote to 55 percent for voters to pass local parcel taxes for local schools; voters are deeply divided along party lines. (page 12 ) 7978 1517 0 20 40 60 80 100 April 2012April 2013 Percent all adults Favor Oppose Giving Local School Districts More Flexibility overHow State Funding Is Spent 33 41 20 6 Improve a lot Improve somewhat Would not improve Don't know How Much Would Targeted K–12 Funding Improve Academic Achievement 7571 2121 0 20 40 60 80 100 JanuaryApril Percent all adults Favor Oppose Governor's TargetedK–12Funding Proposal All adults PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 7 EDUCATIONAL QUALITY AND STATE FUND ING Most Californians (83%) consider the quality of education to be at least somewhat of a problem for California’s K –12 public schools, with about half of adults (49%) and a solid majority of likely voters (64%) saying it is a big problem. Since May 1998, between 46 and 58 percent of Californians have said educational quality is a big problem. Republicans (65%) and independents (60%) are more likely than Democrats (50%) to hold this view. This perception increases as education and income levels rise and is higher among those age 35 and older than among younger residents. Majorities of blacks (60%), whites (57%), and Asians (51 %) say quality is a big problem; just 32 percent of Latinos agree. Most Californians (85%) say the state budget situation is also at least somewhat of a problem for the state’s K –12 public schools, with 57 percent of adults and 65 percent of likely voters calling it a big problem. The share saying it is a big problem is slightly lower than it was last April (65%). S ix in 10 or more across parties say the budget is a big problem for schools. Californians with a high school education or less and with household incomes under $40,000 are more likely than others to hold this view. Whites (65%) and blacks (60%) are more likely than Asians (53%) and L atinos (47%) to hold this view. “How much of a problem is … for California’s K–12 public schools today?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Quality of education Big problem 49% 51% 60% 32% 57% 42% Somewhat of a problem 34 34 26 41 31 38 Not much of a problem 13 10 12 24 8 18 Don’t know 4 6 2 3 4 1 State budget situation Big problem 57 53 60 47 65 57 Somewhat of a problem 28 25 27 33 26 28 Not much of a problem 10 12 9 18 4 13 Don’t know 5 10 5 3 5 2 To significantly improve the quality of California’s K –12 public schools, 39 percent say existing funds should be used more wisely, 9 percent say the amount of state funding needs to be increased, and 50 percent say both of these approaches are needed. Today’s preference for both approaches is similar to our findings in April 2007. Between 2008 and 2012, opinion among Californians was closely divided between this dual approach and just using funds more wis ely. Today, l ikely voters are divided. Democrats (58%) and independe nts (54%) favor a dual approach; Republicans (67%) prefer using existing funds more wisely. Those earning under $80,000 prefer a dual approach; those with higher incomes are divided. Latin os (52%), Asians (57%), and blacks (66%) prefer a dual approach; whites (51%) prefer better use of funds. “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, w e need to increase the amount of state funding, or we need to use existing state funds more wisely and increase the amount of state funding.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Use existing funds more wisely 39% 31% 67% 41% 44% Increase amount of funding 9 9 3 3 6 Do both 50 58 29 54 48 Don’t know 3 1 1 2 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 8 RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION Three in four Californians believe that school districts in lower-income areas do not have the same resources —including good teachers and classroom materials —as school districts in wealthier areas. At least 75 percent have held this view since we first asked this question in April 2005. The belief that resources are unequal is widespread, with more than six in 10 across parties, regions, and demographic groups saying districts in lower -income areas lack the resources of their wealthier counterparts. “Do you think that school districts in lower-income areas of the state have the same amount of resources —including good teachers and classroom materials— as school districts in wealthier areas, or not?” All adults Party Public school parents Dem Rep Ind Yes, have the same 19% 16% 23% 13% 22% No, do not have the same 75 82 69 82 75 Don’t know 6 3 8 5 4 Because of the achievement gap that persists between disadvantaged students and others, there has been ongoing discussion in recent years among policymakers, educators, and researchers about whether and how the state government should direct extra funding to needier students. In his January budget plan, Governor Brown proposed giving most of any new K –12 funding to school districts that have more English Learners and lower -income students. A strong majority of Californians (71%) —but fewer like ly voters (60%) —favor this proposal. In January, s upport was similar among all adults (75%) , but it was somewhat higher among likely voters (68%) than it is today. While 80 percent of Democrats (similar to January) and 62 percent of independents (down 13 points) favor the proposal, Republicans are divided (45% favor — down 7 points —and 42% oppose). Across racial/ethnic groups, strong majorities of Latinos, blacks, and Asians favor the governor’s plan; fewer whites (59%) favor it. Support declines with rising levels of household income and education ; it is much higher among adults under 35 than among older adults . “As you may know, Governor Brown’s proposed budget plan for the next fiscal year includes new K –12 school funding that will mostly go to local school districts that have more English language l earners and lower- income students. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All adults 71% 21% 7% Likely voters 60 31 9 Public school parents 72 23 5 Party Democrats 80 15 5 Republicans 45 42 12 Independents 62 30 8 Race/Ethnicity Asians 73 17 9 Blacks 79 21 – Latinos 88 8 4 Whites 59 32 9 Household income Under $40,000 83 11 6 $40,000 to $80,000 68 25 7 $80,000 or more 58 34 7 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 9 RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION (CONTINUED) Will targeting money in this way lead to improvements in academic achievement among English Lear ners and lower -income students? Three in four Californians say yes: 33 percent say achievement will improve a lot and 41 percent say somewhat . Twenty percent anticipate no improvement. Among those who favor the plan, 87 percent are optimistic (42% improve a lot, 45% somewhat). Among those who oppose it, 43 percent think it would help (10% a lot, 33% somewhat). Among partisans, Democrats (81%) are the most optimistic (70% independents, 50% Republicans). Optimism declines as income, education, and age increas e. Majorities across racial/ethnic groups expect at least some improvement, but Latinos (54%) are the most likely to say achievement would improve a lot (42% blacks, 26% Asians, 16% whites). When asked more generally about the idea of providing districts that have more low -income students with more of any new state funding, 63 percent of adults, 52 percent of likely voters, and 73 percent of public school parents express support. Last April, 68 percent of adults favored this idea. Partisans are divided (69 % favor among Democrats; 62% oppose among Republicans), while a majority of independents (59%) express support. Support is much higher among those earning under $40,000 (76%) than among those earning more (59% $40,000 to $80,000, 51% $80,000 or more). Solid majorities of Latinos, blacks, and Asians favor targeted fund ing for districts with more low- income students, while whites are divided. “Do you think school districts that have more low-income students should or should not get more of any new state funding than other school districts?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Should 63% 64% 69% 83% 48% 73% Should not 32 33 28 15 45 25 Don't know 5 3 2 3 7 2 Support is lower for giving districts with more English Learners more new state funding. Half of Californians (51%) favor this idea, similar to findings last April (52%). A majority of likely voters oppose it (40% favor, 55% oppose). Republicans (72%) oppose this idea . A slim majority of Democrats favor it (54% favor, 40% oppose) . Independents are slightly more opposed (45% favor, 52% oppose). Across racial/ethnic groups, only Latinos (75%) express majority support. Support declines as income and age increase. Looking at the two questions together, 46 percent of Californians favor extra funding for both low -income students and English Learners, while 28 percent oppose both ideas. Among those who favor the governor’s K –12 funding proposal, 77 percent favor directing money to low -income students and 62 percent favor directing it to English Learners. “Do you think school districts that have more English language learners should or should not get more of any new state funding than other school districts?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Should 51% 48% 44% 75% 34% 63% Should not 44 44 51 24 59 35 Don't know 5 9 5 1 7 2 A controversial element of giving extra funding to districts with more disadvantaged students is whether this will mean less funding for better -off districts. When asked the same two questions about giving extra funding to districts with more low -income students and English Learners, but in the context of less funding for other districts, support largely stays the same (66% for low -income, 54% for English Lea rners). PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 10 LOCAL FLEXIBILITY The other component of Governor Brown’s K –12 funding proposal involves giving local school districts more flexibility over how they spend state funds by ending many of the programs that earmark money for particular goals. A bout eight in 10 Californians prefer local spending decisions to be made locally, either by the school districts (43%) or by the schools themselves (36%). Relatively few —16 percent —prefer the state government to control how state funding is spent in local public schools. Since we first asked this question in April 2008, about eight in 10 or more Californians have consistently said decisionmaking should occur at the local level, with the plurality choosing local school dis tricts. Among public school parents, three in four support local control . Strong majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups prefer local control, either by local school districts or local schools. Across regions, preference for local control is lowest in Los Angeles (73%) and highest in Orange/San Diego (84%) . Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (71%) are less likely than Asians (80%), blacks (82%), and whites (85%) to prefer local control. “Who do you think should have the most control in deciding how the money from state government is spent in local public schools— the local schools, the local school districts, or the state government?” All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Local schools 36% 28% 34% 36% 38% 51% 39% Local school districts 43 50 47 37 46 31 38 State government 16 18 18 20 10 15 19 Other/Don’t know 4 6 1 7 6 3 4 Nearly eight in 10 Californians (78%), likely voters (79%), and public school parents (78%) favor the idea of giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent. Results among Californians were nearly identical last April. Support is overwhelming across parties, regions, and demographic groups, with more than 70 percent saying they favor increasing flexibility at the local level. Regardless of preferences regarding local spending decisions, solid majorities favor increasing local flexibility (83% among those who prefer local schools, 82% among those who prefer districts, and 61% among those who prefer state government). And among both those who favor and oppose Governor Brown’s K –12 funding proposal, nearly eight in 10 express sup port for giving local districts more flexibility. “As you may know, some of the funding the state provides to K –12 public school districts is earmarked for specific programs and goals. Would you favor or oppose giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent?” All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Favor 78% 79% 78% 74% 82% 81% 78% Oppose 17 18 15 20 14 16 17 Don’t know 5 4 7 6 4 3 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 11 CONFIDENCE IN LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS After being asked about Governor Brown’s proposal to give most of the new state funding to districts that have more English Learners and lower -income students, respondents were asked how confident they are that local school districts would use this money w isely. Fifty-six percent are either very (15%) or somewhat (41%) confident, while 41 percent are not too (22%) or not at all (19%) confident. Likely voters are evenly divided (49% very/somewhat confident; 50% not too/not at all confident). Most public school parents (59%) express confidence. While Democrats are optimistic (66% very/somewhat confident), Republicans take a pessimistic view (61% not too/not at all confident). Independents are divided. Majorities of Latinos (68%), blacks (68%), and Asians (59%) are at least somewhat confident, while whites are divided (48% very/somewhat confident; 51% not too/at all confident). Among those who favor the governor’s plan, 69 percent are confident that local school districts would use the money wisely. Those who op pose the plan are not confident (73% not too/at all confident). Among those who are either very or somewhat confident, more than eight in 10 believe student achievement would improve at least somewhat i f funds were directed this way. “If the state were to give extra funding to local school districts that have more English language learners and lower-income students, how confident are you that local school districts would use this money wisely?” All adults Party Public school parents Dem Rep Ind Very confident 15% 20% 8% 10% 18% Somewhat confident 41 46 29 37 41 Not too confident 22 18 28 26 22 Not at all confident 19 14 33 26 17 Don’t know 2 3 2 1 1 When asked about giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, 73 percent of Californians say they are very (16%) or somewhat (57%) confident that local school districts would use this money wisely. Similarly large majorities in January (23% very, 48% somewhat confident) and last April (14% very, 54% somewhat confident) said they were confident local school districts would use increased flexibility wisely. Unlike attitudes toward districts’ ability to spend targeted funding wisely, there is unanimity across parties about districts using flexible funding wisely, with three in four saying they are at least somewhat confident about this. Across regions and demographic groups, at least two in three are very or somewhat confident districts will use flexible funding wisely. “If the state were to give local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, how confident are you that local school districts would use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?” All adults Party Public school parents Dem Rep Ind Very confident 16% 18% 14% 11% 16% Somewhat confident 57 56 61 63 54 Not too confident 17 17 16 16 19 Not at all confident 7 8 8 10 8 Don’t know 2 1 1 – 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 12 WAYS TO RAISE REVENUES FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS Sixty- five percent of adults would vote yes (32% no) if their local school districts had a bond measure on the ballot to pay for school construction projects. At least six in 10 have said they would vote yes in the 13 times that we have asked this question since 1999. A majority of likely voters (56%) would vote yes , just above the 55 percent vote required to pass school bonds in California . Democrats (74%) and independents (61%) would vote yes, while Republicans would vote no (56%). Republicans were divided last year (45% yes, 48% no). Today, majorities across regions would vote yes, with support highest in Los Angeles (72%) and lowest in Orange/San Diego (54%) . The share saying they would support a bond declines as age, education , and income increase. Latinos (81%), blacks (79%), and Asians (68%) would vote yes; whites are divided (51% yes, 46% no). Three in four public school parents (75%) would vote yes. Six in 10 Californians would vote yes to increase local parcel taxes to provide more funds for their public schools. We have found majority support for this idea since first asking about it in April 2009. Today, likely voters are divided (51% yes, 47% no) and support falls well below the two -thirds vote that would be required to pass a parcel tax . Majorities of Democrats (69%) and independents (54%) would vote yes, while most Republicans (65%) would vote no. Majorities across regions would vote yes: Inland Empire (64%), Los Angeles (63%), Central Valley (61%), San Francisco Bay Area (59%) , and Orange/San Diego (54%). About seven in 10 Asians (69%), blacks (72%) , and Latinos (73%) would vote yes ; whites are divided (46% yes, 51% no). Support declines sharply as age increases (76% 18 –34, 59% 35 –54, 45% 55 and older) . Those earning less than $80,000 would vote yes, while those with higher incomes are divided (48% yes, 50% no). Renters (72%) are far more likely than homeowners (49%) to support a parcel tax . “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 60% 69% 33% 54% 51% No 37 29 65 43 47 Don’t know 3 2 2 3 3 A reform to Proposition 13 that would make it easier to pass local school parcel tax measures has been a topic in legislative discussions lately. A slim majority of Californians (51%) say it is a good idea to replace the two -thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent vote requirement to pass local parcel taxes for local public schools; four in 10 (42%) say it is a bad idea. In January, 57 percent said it was a good idea ; Californians were divided in April 2011 and 2009. Today, likely voters are divided. S ix in 10 Democrats (61%) say it is a good idea, and a similar share of Republicans (62%) disagree. Independents are divided (46% good idea, 47% bad idea). Residents of the Inland Empire (57%) and Los Angeles (53%) say it is a good idea; those in other regions are divided. Latinos (63%), Asians (56%) , and blacks (54%) say it is a good idea ; whites say it is a bad idea (54%). “Do you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea to replace the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local parcel taxes for the local public schools?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Good idea 51% 61% 34% 46% 47% Bad idea 42 33 62 47 48 Don’t know 7 6 4 6 5 April 2013 Californians and Education 13 PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES KEY FINDINGS  Approval of both Governor Brown’s overall job performance and his handling of K–12 education has increased somewhat from April 2011. Approval of the state legislature has also increased in both areas. ( page 14)  More than half of Californians are very concerned that students in lower-income areas are less likely than others to be ready for college (56%) and that schools in these areas face a shortage of good teachers (52%). Just under half are very concerned that English Learners score lower than others on standardized tests. (page 16)  Thirty-six percent of Californians are aware that the state’s per pupil spending is lower than in other states. (page 17 )  Three in four say it is very important for local schools to offer career technical education and to prepare students for college. Fewer— but still more than half—say it is very important to offer civics education and to reduce K–3 class sizes. (page 18)  Consistent with findings from recent years, about six in 10 Californians say state funding for their local schools is not enough. ( page 20)  A slim majority of Californians are confident that standardized tests accurately reflect a student’s progress and abilities. (page 21)  Three in four public school parents continue to say their child’s school has been affected a lot or somewhat by recent state budget cuts. Parents across demographic groups overwhelmingly say they want their child to at least graduate from college. Most are confident their local schools have the resources to help their child achieve these educational goals, but just one in four are very confident. (page 23) 38 2623 1621 2531 29 2118 15182231 0 20 40 60 80 Apr 2007 Apr 2008 Apr 2009 Apr 2010 Apr 2011 Apr 2012 Apr 2013 Percent all adults Job overall K–12 public education Approval Ratings of the California Legislature 40 4346 24 2732 0 20 40 60 80 Apr 2011 Apr 2012 Apr 2013 Percent all adults Job overall K–12 public education Approval Ratings of Governor Brown 28 43 353640 44 38 4145 34 0 20 40 60 80 100 Apr 2009 Apr 2010 Apr 2011 Apr 2012 Apr 2013 Percent public school parents Affected somewhat Affected a lot Child's Public School Affected by State Budget Cuts PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 14 APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS As Governor Brown seeks support for his approach to school finance during this legislative session, his approval rating stands at 46 percent. About half approved in March (49%) and January (51%). Approval a year ago (43%) was similar to today . Half of likely voters appro ve. Democrats (64%) are much more likely than independents (45%) and Republicans (25%) to approve. San Francisco Bay Area residents (57%) are the most likely— and Orange/San Diego residents (37%) least likely —to approve. Blacks ( 69%), Latinos (53%), and Asians (50 %) are more likely than w hites (40%) to approve. When it comes to Governor Brown’s handling of K –12 education, one in three Californians approve (32%) , four in 10 disapprove (42%), and one in four (26%) are unsure. Likely voters are slightly more disapproving (31% approve, 49% disapprove, 21% don’ t know). Democrats (45%) are more likely than independents (24%) and Republicans (14%) to approve. Fewer than four in 10 across regions and demographic groups approve of his handling of K –12 education. A t hird of public school parents (33%) approve. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling…?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind His job as governor of California Approve 46% 64% 25% 45% 49% Disapprove 31 20 64 35 41 Don't know 22 16 11 20 10 The state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system Approve 32 45 14 24 31 Disapprove 42 31 67 46 49 Don't know 26 24 19 30 21 Three in 10 Californians approve of the legislature’s job performance while about half disapprove. Likely voters have higher disapproval ratings (64%). Approval ratings among all adults today are lower than in January (41%) but 6 points higher than a year ago (25%). Approval is higher among Democrats (3 8%) than independents (26 %) and Republicans (14 %). Approval declines with increasing education and income and is lower among those 35 and older (28% 35 –54, 29% 55 and older) than among younger residents (38% 18– 34). W hites (2 4%) are less approving than Asians (30%), blacks (3 5%) , and Latinos (43 %). Fifty percent of adults and six in 10 likely voters disapprov e of the legislature’s handling of K –12 education. Approval ratings among all adults (31%) are 9 points higher than last year (22%). Republicans are the most disapproving across parties. Latinos (44%) are the most likely to approve, followed by Asians (34%), blacks (26%), and whites (21%). Thirty -six percent of public school parents approve. “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 31% 38% 14% 26% 29% Disapprove 53 47 79 61 64 Don't know 15 15 7 13 7 The state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system Approve 31 34 16 23 23 Disapprove 50 45 72 54 60 Don't know 20 22 12 23 17 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 15 ASSESSING K–12 CHALLENGES When asked to assess three challenges in the state’s K –12 education system, residents are most like ly to view the high school dropout rate as a big problem (66 %). Far fewer view student achievement (36%) and teacher quality (28%) as big problems. The proportion viewing the high school dropout rate as a big problem has declined from two years ago (74% 2011) and is now in a range similar to past surveys (65% 2006, 66% 2007, 69% 2008, 70% 2009, 69% 2010, 6 6% today). The percentage calling student achievement a big problem is lower this year than in previous surveys (43% 2009, 48% 2010, 46% 2011, 36% today). The share calling teacher quality a big problem has declined from high levels in 2011 (44%) and 2010 (36%) and is within a range of past surveys (27% 2006, 28% 2007, 28% 2008, 29% 2009 , 28% today ). “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. How about…? ” High school dropout rate Student achievement Teacher quality Big problem 66% 36% 28% Somewhat of a problem 23 41 43 Not really a problem 5 17 25 Don’t know 6 5 4 Strong majorities of public school parents (65%) and majorities of Californians across parties, regions, and demographic groups say the dropout rate is a big problem . Blacks (73%) and Latinos (76%) are much more likely than whites (59%) and Asians (51%) to say this is a big problem. When it comes to student achievement, between 32 and 42 percent of residents across regions and parties say it is a big problem , and this perception increase s with education. About three in 10 younger and lower -income residents say achievement is a big problem , compared with about four in 10 among others. Blacks (50%) are more likely than whites (38%), Latinos (33%), and Asians (31%) to agree this is a big problem. Among public school parents, 29 percent say student achievement is a big problem. Twenty -six percent of public school parents say teacher quality is a big problem. The perception that teacher quality is a big problem is similar among Democrats (30%), Republicans (32%), and independents (35%) . Across income groups, this perception is highest among those earning $80,000 or more. Three in 10 or fewer across age, education, and gender groups hold this view. Asians (43%) and blacks (38%) are more likely than whites (26%) and Latinos (22%) to hold this view. Percent saying big problem H igh school dropout rate Student achievement Teacher quality All adults 66% 36% 28% Public school parents 65 29 26 Race/ Ethnicity Asians 51 31 43 Blacks 73 50 38 Latinos 76 33 22 Whites 59 38 26 Household income Under $40,000 73 31 23 $40,000 to $80,000 62 39 27 $80,000 or more 57 40 36 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 16 CONCERNS ABOUT INEQUITIES As the governor and legislature debate a school finance proposal that would provide more state funding for local districts with more low- income students and English Learners, how concerned are residents about inequities in college readiness, good teachers, and student test scores ? “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 Schools in lower-income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas English language learners in California’s schools today score lower on standardized tests than other students Very concerned 56% 52% 47% Somewhat concerned 29 30 33 Not too concerned 9 9 11 Not at all concerned 5 7 8 Don’t know 1 3 2 Fifty-six percent of adults and 60 percent of public school parents are very concerned that students in lower -income areas are less likely than other students to be ready for college when they finish high school. Concern was similar in recent surveys. Democrats (66 %) are much more likely than independents (50%) and Republicans (45%) to be very concerned. Three in four blacks (76%) are very concerned, compared with 64 percent of Latinos, 50 percent of whites, and 49 percent of Asians. Women (60%) are somewhat more likely than men (53%) to express this level of concern. Fifty -two percent of adults and 54 percent of public school parents are very concerned that schools in lower -income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas. This level of conc ern is 12 points lower than a year ago (64%). Democrats (64%) are much more likely than independents (50%) and Republicans (36%) to be very concerned. Blacks (71%) are more likely than Latinos (60%), Asians (57%), and whites (41%) to be very concerned. Con cern is higher among younger and less -affluent residents than among others. Forty -seven percent of adults and 48 percent of public school parents a re very concerned that English L earners in California’s schools today score lower on standardized tests than other students. The share saying they are very concerned has declined 9 points since last April (56%). Democrats (53%) are much more likely to be very concerned than independents and Republicans (40% each ). Latinos (54%) and blacks (53%) are more likely than Asians (44%) and whites (42%) to be very concerned about English L earners scoring lower than other students on standardized tests. Percent saying very concerned Students in lower-income areas are less likely to be ready for college Schools in lower-income areas have shortage of good teachers English language learners score lower on standardized tests All adults 56% 52% 47% Public school parents 60 54 48 Race/ Ethnicity Asians 49 57 44 Blacks 76 71 53 Latinos 64 60 54 Whites 50 41 42 Household income Under $40,000 61 57 53 $40,000 to $80,000 52 50 40 $80,000 or more 51 46 41 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 17 PERCEPTIONS OF CALIFORNIA’S RELATIV E RANKINGS A plurality of Californians think that the state’s per pupil spending for K –12 public education is below average (21% below average, 15% near the bottom) compared to other states; 25 percent say it is near the top or above average and 29 percent say it is average. According to the National Education Association’s Rankings and Estimates reports, in recent years California has consistently ranked near the bottom among states . Perceptions among Californians about per pupil spending have been within a similar range in recent years, while views were more negative in the late 1990s (47% April 1998) and early 2000s (51% February 2000). Democrats (42%), independents (40%), and Republicans (38%) are similarly likely to say that per pupil spending is below average. Orange/San Diego residents (30%) are less likely to say funding is below average when compared with residents in Los Angeles (35%), the San Francisco Bay Area ( 38 %), the Central Valley ( 38%), and the Inland Empire ( 38%). Blacks (44%) and whites (40%) are more likely to say per pupil spending is below average than Latinos (34%) and Asians (25%). “Where do you think California currently ranks in per pupil spending for K –12 public schools? Compared to other states, is Califor nia's spending near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Near the top/Above average 25% 26% 10% 25% 25% 21% Average 29 35 37 32 23 30 Below average/Near the bottom 36 25 44 34 40 38 Don’t know 11 14 10 8 12 11 Nearly half of adults say California’s student test scores are below average (31% below average, 16% near the bottom) compared to other states ; 34 percent say they are average, and only 12 percent say they are above average. According to test scores compiled by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics , in recent years California has consistently rank ed near the bottom in both math and reading scores for grades 4 and 8. Perceptions of California’s student test scores have been fairly similar since we first asked this question in 1998. Democrats ( 49%) and independents ( 52%) are less likely than Republicans (62%) to say test scores are below average. Blacks and whites (54% each ) are more likely than Asians (39%) and Latinos (37%) to hold this view. Negative perceptions of test scores increase with education and income. Between 44 and 49 percent across age groups say scores are below average. About one in four adults ( 22%), likely voters ( 28%), and public school parents ( 22%) correctly state that both per pupil spending and test scores in California are below average. “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?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Near the top/Above average 12% 18% 14% 17% 8% 15% Average 34 34 26 41 32 37 Below average/Near the bottom 47 39 54 37 54 44 Don’t know 6 10 6 5 6 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 18 IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS We asked about two programs in which funding assistance would be provided under the governor’s proposed school finance plan : reducing class sizes in kindergarten through third grade and making career technical education part of the curriculum . Fifty -three percent say it is very important to reduce K –3 class sizes (29% somewhat) and 74 percent say it is very important to offer career technical or vocational education (21% somewhat). Findings on career technical education were similar in April 2009 (71%) and 2007 (67%). Asked about two other broad goals, more than half (54%) say it is very important that civics be part of the curriculum (33% somewhat) , and most Californians (76%) say it is very important that their local public schools prepare students for college (19% somewhat). Since 2007, more than three in four Californians have said college preparation is very important . “Please tell me if each of the following is very important, somewhat important, or not too important to you. How important to you is it that your local public schools …?” Prepare students for college Include career technical or vocational education as part of the curriculum Include civics as part of the curriculum Reduce kindergarten through third grade class sizes Very important 76% 74% 54% 53% Somewhat important 19 21 33 29 Not too important 4 5 10 16 Don’t know – – 3 1 Eighty-seven percent of public school parents say preparing students for college is very important. Solid majorities across parties and demographic groups say this is very important. Latinos (91%) and blacks (90%) are much more likely than Asians (76%) and whites (63%) to hold this view . Those with incomes under $40,000 are more likely than others to say college preparation is very important . Most public school parents (78%) say it is very important to provide career technical education. Asians (62%) are less likely than whites (73%), blacks (76%), and Latinos (77%) to express this view. Sixty -one percent of public school parents say including civics in their local school curriculum is very important. Latinos (64%) and blacks (60%) are more likely than whites (49%) and Asians (42%) to say this. Adults under age 35 (43%) are much less likely than older res idents (60% 35 –54, 61% 55 and older) to consider this very important. Sixty -three percent of public school parents say reducing K –3 class sizes is very important. Latinos (68%) are most likely to hold this view followed by blacks (56%), whites (48%), and Asians (35%). Those earning under $40,000 are more likely than those with higher incomes to hold this view. Democrats (59%) are more likely than independents (49%) and Republicans (43%) to express this view. Percent saying very important Prepare students for college Include career technical or vocational education Include civics Reduce K–3 class sizes All adults 76% 74% 54% 53% Public school parents 87 78 61 63 Race/ Ethnicity Asians 76 62 42 35 Blacks 90 76 60 56 Latinos 91 77 64 68 Whites 63 73 49 48 Household income Under $40,000 84 76 55 58 $40,000 to $80,000 70 72 52 50 $80,000 or more 70 71 57 47 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 19 PREPARING STUDENTS FOR THE FUTURE Thirty-five percent of Californians consider college preparation the most important goal of the K–12 public education system. Fewer prioritize preparing students for the workforce (16%), teaching students the basics (16%), teaching students life skills (15%), or preparing students to be good citizens (12%). The share choosing college preparation is similar to April 2008 (35%) and 2007 (32%) and somewhat higher than in 2006 (26%). Nearly half of p ublic school parents (47%) say college preparation is most important. Latinos (56%) and blacks (47%) are far more likely than whites (23%) and Asians (21%) t o say this. Those with a high school education or less (45%) are much more likely than those with some college (29%) or college diplomas (27%) to choose college preparation and t hose earning less than $40,000 (42%) are more likely than middle- (31%) and upper-income (28%) residents to prioritize college preparation. Higher income earners are as likely to prioritize workforce preparation (25%) as college preparation (28%). “Pleas e think about California’s K –12 public education system more generally. In you r opinion, what is the most important goal of California’s K –12 public education system? ” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Preparing students for college 35% 21% 47% 56% 23% 47% Preparing students for the workforce 16 26 10 8 21 9 Teaching students the basics 16 19 17 9 19 10 Teaching students life skills 15 16 10 9 19 15 Preparing students to be good citizens 12 13 12 15 9 16 Other/All of the above (volunteered) 5 6 3 3 7 3 Don’t know 2 – – – 3 1 Fifty-four percent say their local public schools are doing an excellent (12%) or good job (42%) in preparing students for college; 39 percent say they are doing a not so good or poor job. N egative ratings are at a record low since we first asked this question in April 2006. A majority of whites (51%), Asians (55%) , and Latinos (59%) give positive ratings, while a majority of blacks (54%) give negative ratings. On preparing students for jobs and the workforce, 44 percent of adults give positi ve ratings, 49 percent offer negative ones. Negative ratings on job preparation are also at a record low. Latinos (55%) give positive ratings, Asians (54%) and blacks (69%) give negative ratings, and whites are divided (41% positive, 49% negative). “Are your local public schools doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job in…?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Preparing students for college Excellent 12% 22% 13% 12% 9% 17% Good 42 33 33 47 42 48 Not so good 28 34 37 25 28 20 Poor 11 6 17 11 11 12 Don’t know 7 4 1 4 10 3 Preparing students for jobs and the workforce Excellent 7 4 2 10 6 12 Good 37 33 20 45 35 46 Not so good 35 47 54 29 33 26 Poor 14 7 15 11 16 13 Don’t know 8 9 8 5 11 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 20 PERCEPTIONS OF LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS More than half of Californians give their local public schools positive ratings (16% A, 39% B) ; 27 percent give their local public schools a grade of C, while far fewer give negative ratings (9% D, 5% F) . Adults nationwide gave similar ratings of their community schools in a June 2012 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll (12% A, 36% B, 31% C, 13% D, 4% F). In our previous surveys, at least half of Californians have given the public schools in their neighborhoods grades of A or B since April 2005. Public school parents offer somewhat more positive ratings of local public schools than all adults (63% to 55%). Across regions, at least half of residents give positive ratings with Orange/San Diego residents the most p ositive (57%). Latinos (58%), Asians (57%) , and whites (54%) offer more positive ratings than blacks (43%) . Across age, education, and income groups , at least 49 percent of adults give As or Bs. “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?” All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire A 16% 16% 17% 15% 16% 17% 20% B 39 36 33 40 41 38 43 C 27 26 32 28 26 21 20 D 9 10 7 9 5 14 8 F 5 6 4 5 6 6 6 Don’t know 5 6 6 2 6 4 2 After years of budgets that included cuts to K –12 education , what do Californians think about the current level of state funding for their local public schools? Six in 10 think funding is not enough ( 63%), while 24 percent say it is just enough and 9 percent say it is more than enough. The share saying not enough is identical to last April (63%) and at least half of ad ults have said funding was inadequate since April 2008. Public school parents are somewhat more likely than all adults to think funding is not enough (7 0% to 63 %). Fifty- eight percent of likely voters think funding is not enough. Democrats (73%) are more likely than independents (57%) and Republicans (49%) to say funding is inadequate. Majorities across regions and demographic groups say funding is not enough. Across regions, Inland Empire residents (71%) are the most likely —and Orange/San Diego residents (56%) the least likely —to think funding is not enough. Blacks (80%) and Latinos (72%) are much more likely than Asians (58%) and whites (55%) to say funding for their local public schools is not enough. The belief that funding is inadequate declines as household incomes rise. Among those who favor the governor’s school funding plan, 69 percent say funding is not enough; 47 percent of those who oppose his plan also say funding is not enough. “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 Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites More than enough 9% 6% – 8% 12% 7% Just enough 24 29 18% 19 26 21 Not enough 63 58 80 72 55 70 Don’t know 5 7 2 2 7 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 21 STUDENT TESTING About half of Californians (11% very, 42% somewhat) are confident that standardized tests are an accurate indicator of a student’s progress and abilities , while 44 percent (27% not too, 17% not at all) are not confident. Public school parents are more positive : about two in three say they are confident (16% very, 49% somewhat) and one in three say they are not (21% not too, 13% not at all ). Californians were more confident in April 2006 than they are today (63% to 53%). Latinos (67%) are much more likely than Asians (54%), blacks (48%) , and whites (45%) to express confidence in standardized testing. Across regions, Inland Empire residents (62%) are the most likely an d San Francisco Bay Area residents (48%) are the least likely to express confidence. “How confident are you that standardized tests are an accurate indicator of a student's progress and abilities?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Very confident 11% 13% 9% 13% 9% 16% Somewhat confident 42 41 39 54 36 49 Not too confident 27 26 28 20 33 21 Not at all confident 17 18 23 10 21 13 Don’t know 2 3 1 2 1 1 When asked about the amount of standardized testing in their community, pluralities of Californians s ay that the amount of testing of students in elementary and middle schools (40%) and high school s (39%) is right . Fewer say there is too much (24% K–8, 21% high school) or not enough (29% K–8, 31% high school) testing . In December 2001, fewer said there was the right amount of testing at both levels (K –8: 33% right amount, 22% too much, 33% not enough; high school: 32% right amount, 16% too much, 39% not enough). Nearly half of public school parents (48%) say the amount of testing in elementary and middle schools is right; 42 percent say the amount of high school testing is right. Pluralities of Asians and whites say there is the right amount of testing at both levels, while blacks are divided between the right amount and not enough at both levels. Most Latinos say students in elementary and middle schools are tested the right amount but are divided when it comes to high school testing. Most who have confidence in standardized testing say the amount of testing is right; pluralities of those who are not confident say there is too much testing . “Do you think the amount of standardized testing of … in your community is too much, the right amount, or not enough?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Elementary and middle school students Too much 24% 19% 20% 17% 29% 24% Right amount 40 41 37 43 38 48 Not enough 29 32 39 35 22 25 Don’t know 8 7 4 5 10 3 High school students Too much 21 18 25 13 26 22 Right amount 39 41 37 41 38 42 Not enough 31 30 36 41 24 28 Don’t know 9 10 3 5 12 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 22 TEACHER EVALUATION When asked about three measures that could be used to evaluate teacher s, Californians and public school parents favor student achievement and improvement ( as measured by standardized tests ), as well as classroom observations by principals or other experts, with the highest share in both groups favoring classroom observations. Across racial/ethnic groups there is support for all three measures, with classroom observations receiving the highest support . A similar pattern emerges across regions , with majoriti es favoring achievement and improvement measures and more than eight in 10 supporting classroom observations. Majorities across age, education, and income groups favor all three measures . Once again, the highest shares favor observations, and majorities su pport student improvement and student achievement . “Please tell me if you think each of the following factors should or should not be used in evaluating teacher performance. How about…? Should this be used to evaluate teachers, or not?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites The academic achievement of students as measured by standardized tests Should 63% 51% 66% 76% 56% 71% Should not 35 42 32 23 41 28 Don’t know 3 7 2 1 3 1 The academic improvement of students as measured by standardized tests Should 68 60 67 78 63 77 Should not 29 34 33 19 35 22 Don’t know 3 6 – 3 2 1 Classroom observations made by school principals or other experts Should 84 76 80 87 84 86 Should not 15 21 20 12 14 14 Don’t know 2 3 – 1 1 1 There is less agreement among Californians about whether a statewide framework should be used in all schools for evaluating teachers or if each local school district should develop its own process. Half of Californians (51%) think the same framework should be used statewide, while 45 percent think the local school districts should be in control. Publi c school parents are more likely to prefer a single framework used statewide (59% to 37%). Residents in the Inland Empire (58%) and Los Angeles (53%) think the same framework should be used statewide, while residents in other regions are divided. At least half of whites (50%), Latinos (54%) , and blacks (55%) prefer a single statewide system, while 53 percent of Asians prefer that each school district develop its own system. More than half of those who think achievement, improvement, and classroom observations should be used for teacher evaluation say a single framework should be used statewide. “Do you think that the state government should require all local public school districts to use the same framework for evaluating teachers or do you think each local public school district should develop its own process for evaluating teachers?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Same framework 51% 46% 55% 54% 50% 59% Each district should develop its own 45 53 45 41 46 37 Don’t know 4 1 – 5 4 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 23 PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS’ PERSPECTIVES Most public school parents say that their child’s school has been affected a lot (40%) or somewhat (34%) by state budget cuts, while just 22 percent say their child ’s school ha s not been affected. Since April 2009, more than seven in 10 have said their child ’s school was affected a lot or somewhat. At least six in 10 across regions say t heir child’s school has been affected at least somewhat. Latino parents are twice as likely as white parents (53% to 26%) to say their child’s school has been affected a lot . This perception is more prevalent among parents with incomes under $40,000 (47%) than among middle- (33%) and upper -income (29%) parents. When asked what grade level they hope their youngest child will achieve , most public school parents say four -year degree s (39%) or graduate degrees (41%). Since we began asking this question in April 2005 , at least eight in 10 public school parents have had hopes of their child earning a four -year or graduate degree. Aspirations for graduate degree s are far more widely held among whites than Latinos (59% to 21 %) and among those with college degrees than those without (73% to 31%). Graduate-level aspiration s increase sharply with rising inc ome (25% under $40,000, 48% $40,000 to 80,000, 62% $80,000 or more). “What do you hope will be the highest grade level that your youngest child will achieve: some high school, high school graduate, two -year community college gradua te or career technical training, four-year college graduate, or a graduate degree after college?” Public school parents only All public school parents Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Latinos Whites High school or less 12% 18% 6% 7% 16% 7% Two-year or career technical 6 8 5 4 9 4 Four- year graduate 39 46 41 28 50 30 Graduate degree 41 25 48 62 21 59 Don’t know 2 3 – – 3 – The vast majority of public school parents are very (25%) or somewhat confident (53%) that their local schools have the resources and information needed to prepare their child for the grade level they hope they achieve. Confidence has increased somewhat since we first asked this question in 2009, during the worst of the economic downturn , but the percentage saying they are very confident is similar ( 2009: 24 % very, 4 5% somewhat; 2010: 24% very, 4 6% somewhat; today: 25% very, 53 % somewhat). The share saying very confident is somewhat higher among whites than Latinos (28% to 21 %) and much higher among college graduates than others (36% to 21%); it increases with household income. “How confident are you that your local K –12 schools have the resou rces and information needed to prepare this child for that grade level?” Public school parents only All public school parents Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Latinos Whites Very confident 25% 20% 25% 33% 21% 28% Somewhat confident 53 56 59 44 54 57 Not too confident 22 24 15 22 25 15 When asked about confidence in their own resources and information to prepare their child for their educational goals , eight in 10 public school parents are very (43%) or somewhat confident (36%). The share saying very confident is 10 points lower than in 2005 (53%). Whites (51%) and college graduates (61%) are much more likely than Latinos (37%) and those without college degrees (38%) to be very confident. Being very confident increases with income (33% under $40,000, 47% $40,000 to 80,000, 57% $80,000 or more) . April 2013 Californians and Education 24 REGIONAL MAP April 2013 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 Jui Shrestha. This survey on Californians and Education is supported with fu nding from The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, The Silver Giving Foundation, and the Stuart Foundation. The PPIC Statewide Survey invites input, comments, a nd suggestions from policy and public opinion experts and from its own advisory committee but survey methods, questions, and content are determined solely by PPIC’s survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,705 California adult residents, including 1,194 interviewed on landline telephones and 51 1 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from April 2 –9, 2013. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -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 househol d 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. Cel l phones were 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 to help defray the 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. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRBI , we used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009– 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) through the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample —region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education— with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2011 state -level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics —which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS —and 2012 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 26 The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,705 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3. 7 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1, 423 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4 percent; for the 1, 134 likely voters, it is ± 4.4 percent ; for the 416 public school parents, it is ±7 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wordi ng, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting 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, Yolo, 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 of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adu lts, registered voters, likely voters, and public school parents, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a t hird of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter groups. We also present results for non -Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population, and non -Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, likely voters, and public school parents, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline- to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters—so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participat ion, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in a national survey by Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup . Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org . April 2013 Californians and Education 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND EDUCATION April 2 –9, 2013 1,705 C alifornia Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3. 7% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 D UE TO ROUNDING 1. First, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 46% approve 31 disapprove 22 don’t know 1a. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Brown is handling the state's kin dergarten through 12th grade public education system? 32% approve 42 disapprove 26 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 31% approve 53 disapprove 15 don’t know 2a. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling the state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system? 31% approve 50 disapprove 20 don’t know 3. As you may know, Governor Brown’s proposed budget plan for the next fiscal year includes new K –12 school funding that will mostly go to local school districts that have more [ rotate ] English language learner s [and] lower -income students. Do you favor or op pose this proposal? 71% favor 21 oppose 7 don’t know 4. If the state were to give extra funding to local school districts that have more [rotate ] English language learner s [and] lower -income students, how confident are you that local school districts w ould use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 15% very confident 41 somewhat confident 22 not too confident 19 not at all confident 2 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 28 Next, [rotate questions 5 and 6] 5. 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? 49% big problem 34 somewhat of a problem 13 not much of a problem 4 don’t know 6. How much of a problem is the overall state budget situation for California’s K –12 public schools today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 57% big problem 28 somewhat of a problem 10 not much of a problem 5 don’t know 7. To significantly improve the quality of California’s K –12 public schools, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? [rotate responses 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. 39% use funds more wisely 9 increase state funding 50 use funds more wisely and increase funding 3 don’t know 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 8 to 10] 8. How about teacher quality? 28% big problem 43 somewhat of a problem 25 not really a problem 4 don’t know 9. How about the high school drop -out rate? 66% big problem 23 somewhat of a problem 5 not really a problem 6 don’t know 10. How about student achievement? 36% big problem 41 somewhat of a problem 17 not really a problem 5 don’t know Next, [rotate questions 11 to 13] 11. 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? 52% very concerned 30 somewhat concerned 9 not too concerned 7 not at all concerned 3 don’t know 12. How concerned are you that E nglish language learner s in California’s schools today score lower on standardized tests than other students? Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this issue? 47% very concerned 33 somewhat concerned 11 not too concerned 8 not at all concerned 2 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 29 13. 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? 56% very concerned 29 somewhat concerned 9 not too concerned 5 not at all concerned 1 don’t know On another topic, [rotate questions 14 and 15] 14. Where do you think California currentl y 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 13 above average 29 average 21 below average 15 near the bottom 11 don’t know 15. 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 bott om? 3% near the top 9 above average 34 average 31 below average 16 near the bottom 6 don’t know 15a.Next, please think about California’s K –12 public education system more generally. In your opinion, what is the most important goal of California’s K– 12 public education system — [rotate] (1) preparing students for college, (2) prepa ring students for the workforce, (3) teaching students the basics, (4 ) teaching students life skills, [or] (5) preparing students to be good citizens? 35% preparing student s for college 16 preparing students for the workforce 16 teaching students the basics 15 teaching students life skills 12 preparing students to be good citizens 3 all of the above (volunteered) 2 other (volunteered) 2 don’t know Please tell me if each of the following is very important, somewhat important, or not too important to you. [rotate questions 16 to 18] 16. How important to you is it that your local public schools prepare students for college? 76% very important 19 somewhat important 4 not too important – don’t know 17. How important to you is it that your local public schools include career technical or vocational education as part of the curriculum? 74% very important 21 somewhat important 5 not too important – don’t know 17a.How important to you is it that your local public schools include ci vics as part of the curriculum? 54% very important 33 somewhat important 10 not too important 3 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 30 18. How important to you is it that your local public schools reduce kindergarten through third grade class sizes? 53% very important 29 somewhat important 16 not too important 1 don’t know [rotate questions 19 and 20] 19. Are your local public schools do ing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job in preparing students for college? 12% excellent 42 good 28 not so good 11 poor 7 don’t know 20. Are your local public schools doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job in preparing students for jobs and the workforce? 7% excellent 37 good 35 not so good 14 poor 8 don’t know 21. On another topic, how confident are you that standardized tests are an accurate indicator of a student's progress and abilities —very confident, somewhat confident , not too confident, or not at all confident? 11% very confident 42 somewhat confident 27 not too confident 17 not at all confident 2 don’t know [rotate questions 22 and 23] 22. Do you think the amount of standardized testing of elementary and middle school students in your community is too much, the right amount, or not enough? 24% too much 40 the right amount 29 not enough 8 don’t know 23. Do you think the amount of standardized testing of high school students in your community is too much, the r ight amount, or not enough? 21% too much 39 the right amount 31 not enough 9 don’t know On another topic, please tell me if you think each of the following factors should or should not be used in evaluating teacher performance. [rotate questions 24 to 26] 24. How about the academic achievement of students as measured by standardized tests? Should this be used to evaluate teachers, or not? 63% should 35 should not 3 don’t know 25. How about the academic improvement of students as measured by standardized tests? Should this be used to evaluate teachers, or not? 68% should 29 should not 3 don’t know 26. How about classroom observations made by school principals or other experts? Should these be used to evaluate teachers, or not? 84% should 15 should not 2 don’t know 27. Do you think that the state government should require all local public school districts to use the same framework for evaluating teachers or do you think each local public school district should develop its own process for evaluating teachers? 51% state government should require dis tricts to use same framework 45 school districts should develop their own process 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 31 28. 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? 16% A 39 B 27 C 9 D 5 F 5 don’t know 29. Do you think the current level o f state funding for your local public schools is more than enough, just enough, or not enough? 9% more than enough 24 just enough 63 not enough 5 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? 65% yes 32 no 3 don’t know 31. What if there was a measure on your local ballot to increase local parcel taxes to provid e more funds for the local public schools? Would you vote yes or no? 60% yes 37 no 3 don’t know 32. Do you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea to replace the two -thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local parcel taxes for the local public schools? 51% good idea 42 bad idea 7 don’t know 33. Next, 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? 36% the local schools 43 the local school districts 16 the state government 1 other (volunteered) 3 don’t know 34. As you may know, some of the funding the state provides to K –12 public sc hool districts is earmarked for specific programs and goals. Would you favor or oppose giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent? 78% favor 17 oppose 5 don’t know 35. If the state were to give local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, how confident are you that local school districts would use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 16% very confident 57 somewhat confi dent 17 not too confident 7 not at all confident 2 don’t know 36. Next, do you think that school districts in lower -income areas of the state have the same amount of resources —including good teachers and classroom materials —as school districts in wealthier areas, or not? 19% yes, have the same amount of resources 75 no, do not have the same amount of resources 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 32 [rotate blocks: questions 37, 38 and 39, 40] [rotate questions 37 and 38] 37. Do you think school districts that have more low -income students should or should not get more of any new state funding than other school districts? 63% should 32 should not 5 don’t know 38. Do you think school districts that have more English language learner s should or should not get more of any new state funding than other school districts? 51% should 44 should not 5 don’t know [rotate questions 39 and 40] 39. If it means less funding for other school districts, do you think school districts that have more low -income students should or shoul d not get more funding from the state? 66% should 30 should not 5 don’t know 40. If it means less funding for other school districts, do you think school districts that have more English language learner s should or should not get more funding from the s tate? 54% should 41 should not 6 don’t know 41.If the state were to give extra funding to local school districts that have more [rotate] English language learner s [and] lower -income students, do you think the academic achievement of these students woul d or would not improve? ( I f it would, ask: Do you think it would improve a lot or somewhat?) 33% improve a lot 41 improve somewhat 20 would not improve 6 don’t know 42. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 69% yes [ask q42a] 31 no [skip to q 43b] 42a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q43] 29 Republican [skip to q43a] 6 another party (specify) [skip to q44] 21 independent [skip to q43b] 43. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 55% strong 43 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q44] 43a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 48% strong 50 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q44] 43b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 21% Republican Party 45 Democratic Party 24 neither (volunteered) 10 don’t know 44. Next, would you consider yourself to be p o litically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 12% very liberal 17 somewhat liberal 30 middle -of -the -road 24 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 33 45.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 24% great deal 36 fair amount 30 only a little 9 none 1 don’t know [d1 to d4a: demographic questions] D4b.[public school parents only] Would you say your child’s public school has or has not been affected by rec ent state budget cuts? ( if it has: Has it been affected a lot or somewhat?) 40% affected a lot 34 affected somewhat 22 not affected 5 don’t know D4c. [public school parents only] How much, if anything, have you heard about the “Common Core State Standar ds,” a new set of English and math standards that the state will roll out in 2014? Have you heard a lot, a little, or nothing at all? 9% a lot 36 a little 54 nothing at all 1 don’t know D4d. [public school parents only] What do you hope will be the highest grade level that your youngest child will achieve: some high school; high school graduate; two- year community college graduate or career technical training; four -year college graduate; or a graduate degree after college? 1% some high school 11 high school graduate 6 two-year community college graduate or career technical training 39 four -year college graduate 41 a graduate degree after college 2 don’t know D4e. [public school parents only] How confident are you that you have the resources and in formation needed for this child to reach that grade level —very confident, somewhat confident, or not too confident? 43% very confident 36 somewhat confident 20 not too confident – don’t know D4f. [public school parents only] How confident are you that your local K –12 schools have the resources and information needed to prepare this child for that grade level —very confident, somewhat confident, or not too confident? 25% very confident 53 somewhat confident 22 not too confident – don’t know [d5 to d16: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen General Manager and Polling Director Capital Insight Washington Post Media Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento 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 Gary K. Hart, Chair Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Robert M. Hertzberg Vice Chair man Mayer Brown, LLP Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company 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 CEO of PPIC. Gary K. Hart 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 copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 3 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-2013/s_413mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8869) ["ID"]=> int(8869) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:36" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(4281) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "S 413MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "s_413mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "S_413MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "526465" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(86240) "CONTENTS About the Survey 2 Press Release 3 Fiscal Attitudes and Policy Preferences 6 Perceptions and Attitudes 13 Regional Map 24 Methodology 25 Questionnaire and Results 27 education APRIL 2013 & P P I C S TAT E W I D E S U R V E Y Californians Mark Baldassare Dean Bonner Sonja Petek Jui Shrestha in collaboration with The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, The Silver Giving Foundation, and the Stuart Foundation April 2013 Californians and Education 2 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Sur vey provides policymakers, the media, and the public with objective, advocacy- free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. This is the 133rd PPIC Statewide Sur vey in a series that was inaugurated in April 1998 and has generated a database of responses from more than 280,000 Californians. Suppor ted with funding from The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, The Silver Giving Foundation, and t he Stuar t Foundation, the current sur vey seeks to inform state policymakers, encourage discussion, a nd raise public awareness about K –12 public education issues. T his is the ninth annual PPIC Statewide Sur vey since 2005 to focus on this topic. California has the largest K –12 public education system in the nation. According to the California Depar tment of Education and the Education Data Par tnership (Ed- Data), the state ser ved more than six million students and employed more than 280,000 teachers in 958 school districts and about 9,900 public schools during the 2011–12 school year. California also has a highly diverse student population: more than half (56%) are economically disadvantaged, nearly a quar ter (22%) are English Learners , and about one in 10 (11%) require special education ser vices . Latinos (52 %) make up the largest racial/ethnic group of students, followed by whites ( 26%), Asians (12%, including Native Hawaiians , Pacific Islanders, and Filipino s), and blacks (7%). For the first time in many years, the budget proposed for the 2013– 14 fiscal year does not include spending cuts to the state’s K –12 public schools. This is due in large par t to an improving economy and the passage of the Proposition 30 tax initiative last fall. Nevertheless, the proposed amount of K –12 funding is below the peak spending levels of 2007. Governor Brown has again called for a key finance reform that was unsuccessful last year. This reform is twofold: it will give local school districts greater flexibility over how to spend state funds by doing away with most categorical programs and it will direct most of the new state revenues to districts with more low- income and English Learner students. The governor will release his revised budget proposal in May and lawmakers must pass a budget in June. In this context, this sur vey repor t presents the responses of 1,705 C alifornia adult residents on:  Fiscal attitudes and policy preferences, including perceptions of resource equity, suppor t for the governor’s targeted K–12 funding proposal, opinions about whether targeted funding will result in improved academic achievement, suppor t in general for directing funds to low -income students and to English Learners, suppor t for increased local flexibility over spending decisions, and confidence that local districts would use increased flexibility and targeted money wisely .  Perceptions and attitudes, including approval ratings of the governor and legislature, overall and on K– 12 education; assessments of and concerns about key challenges facing schools; program atic priorities, ratings of local public schools, and attitudes toward student testing and teacher evaluation. It also examines public school parents’ experiences and perspectives .  Time trends and the extent to which Californians may differ in their perceptions, attitudes, and preferences based on their political party affiliation, likelihood of voting, region of residence, race/ethnicity, whether they have children attending a California public school, and other demographics. This repor t may be downloaded free of charge from our website ( www.ppic.org ). If you have questions about the sur vey, please contact sur vey@ppic.org . Tr y our PPIC Statewide Sur vey interactive tools online at http://ww w.ppic.org/main/sur vAdvancedSearch.asp. April 2013 Californians and Their Government 6 FISCAL ATTITUDES AND POLICY PREFERENCES KEY FINDINGS  Seven in 10 Californians favor Governor Brown’s targeted K–12 funding proposal , which would direct extra funding to school districts that have more low er-income students and English Learners . Support was similar in January. A considerable majority (74%) believe targeted funding will help these students academically at least somewhat. (page s 8, 9)  Californians are more likely to support the general idea of extra funding for low -income students (63%) than for English Learners (51 %). Latinos are the most likely among racial/ethnic groups to favor each idea ; support declines as income rises . ( page 9 )  The vast majority of Californians continue to support fiscal decisionmaking at the local level: 43 percent say local school districts and 36 percent say local schools should control how state funding is spent locally . An overwhelming majority continue to favor an increase in local flexibility, another component of Governor Brown’s school proposal . ( page 10 )  If the state were to provide extra funding to districts with more disadvantaged students, more than half of Californians are confident (15% very, 41% somewhat) that the districts would use this money wisely. If the state were to give districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, nearly three in four Californ ians are confident (16% very, 57 % somewhat) districts would use this money wisely. (page 11 )  Californians are somewhat more likely to favor (51%) than oppose (42%) lowering the vote to 55 percent for voters to pass local parcel taxes for local schools; voters are deeply divided along party lines. (page 12 ) 7978 1517 0 20 40 60 80 100 April 2012April 2013 Percent all adults Favor Oppose Giving Local School Districts More Flexibility overHow State Funding Is Spent 33 41 20 6 Improve a lot Improve somewhat Would not improve Don't know How Much Would Targeted K–12 Funding Improve Academic Achievement 7571 2121 0 20 40 60 80 100 JanuaryApril Percent all adults Favor Oppose Governor's TargetedK–12Funding Proposal All adults PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 7 EDUCATIONAL QUALITY AND STATE FUND ING Most Californians (83%) consider the quality of education to be at least somewhat of a problem for California’s K –12 public schools, with about half of adults (49%) and a solid majority of likely voters (64%) saying it is a big problem. Since May 1998, between 46 and 58 percent of Californians have said educational quality is a big problem. Republicans (65%) and independents (60%) are more likely than Democrats (50%) to hold this view. This perception increases as education and income levels rise and is higher among those age 35 and older than among younger residents. Majorities of blacks (60%), whites (57%), and Asians (51 %) say quality is a big problem; just 32 percent of Latinos agree. Most Californians (85%) say the state budget situation is also at least somewhat of a problem for the state’s K –12 public schools, with 57 percent of adults and 65 percent of likely voters calling it a big problem. The share saying it is a big problem is slightly lower than it was last April (65%). S ix in 10 or more across parties say the budget is a big problem for schools. Californians with a high school education or less and with household incomes under $40,000 are more likely than others to hold this view. Whites (65%) and blacks (60%) are more likely than Asians (53%) and L atinos (47%) to hold this view. “How much of a problem is … for California’s K–12 public schools today?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Quality of education Big problem 49% 51% 60% 32% 57% 42% Somewhat of a problem 34 34 26 41 31 38 Not much of a problem 13 10 12 24 8 18 Don’t know 4 6 2 3 4 1 State budget situation Big problem 57 53 60 47 65 57 Somewhat of a problem 28 25 27 33 26 28 Not much of a problem 10 12 9 18 4 13 Don’t know 5 10 5 3 5 2 To significantly improve the quality of California’s K –12 public schools, 39 percent say existing funds should be used more wisely, 9 percent say the amount of state funding needs to be increased, and 50 percent say both of these approaches are needed. Today’s preference for both approaches is similar to our findings in April 2007. Between 2008 and 2012, opinion among Californians was closely divided between this dual approach and just using funds more wis ely. Today, l ikely voters are divided. Democrats (58%) and independe nts (54%) favor a dual approach; Republicans (67%) prefer using existing funds more wisely. Those earning under $80,000 prefer a dual approach; those with higher incomes are divided. Latin os (52%), Asians (57%), and blacks (66%) prefer a dual approach; whites (51%) prefer better use of funds. “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, w e need to increase the amount of state funding, or we need to use existing state funds more wisely and increase the amount of state funding.” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Use existing funds more wisely 39% 31% 67% 41% 44% Increase amount of funding 9 9 3 3 6 Do both 50 58 29 54 48 Don’t know 3 1 1 2 1 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 8 RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION Three in four Californians believe that school districts in lower-income areas do not have the same resources —including good teachers and classroom materials —as school districts in wealthier areas. At least 75 percent have held this view since we first asked this question in April 2005. The belief that resources are unequal is widespread, with more than six in 10 across parties, regions, and demographic groups saying districts in lower -income areas lack the resources of their wealthier counterparts. “Do you think that school districts in lower-income areas of the state have the same amount of resources —including good teachers and classroom materials— as school districts in wealthier areas, or not?” All adults Party Public school parents Dem Rep Ind Yes, have the same 19% 16% 23% 13% 22% No, do not have the same 75 82 69 82 75 Don’t know 6 3 8 5 4 Because of the achievement gap that persists between disadvantaged students and others, there has been ongoing discussion in recent years among policymakers, educators, and researchers about whether and how the state government should direct extra funding to needier students. In his January budget plan, Governor Brown proposed giving most of any new K –12 funding to school districts that have more English Learners and lower -income students. A strong majority of Californians (71%) —but fewer like ly voters (60%) —favor this proposal. In January, s upport was similar among all adults (75%) , but it was somewhat higher among likely voters (68%) than it is today. While 80 percent of Democrats (similar to January) and 62 percent of independents (down 13 points) favor the proposal, Republicans are divided (45% favor — down 7 points —and 42% oppose). Across racial/ethnic groups, strong majorities of Latinos, blacks, and Asians favor the governor’s plan; fewer whites (59%) favor it. Support declines with rising levels of household income and education ; it is much higher among adults under 35 than among older adults . “As you may know, Governor Brown’s proposed budget plan for the next fiscal year includes new K –12 school funding that will mostly go to local school districts that have more English language l earners and lower- income students. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?” Favor Oppose Don’t know All adults 71% 21% 7% Likely voters 60 31 9 Public school parents 72 23 5 Party Democrats 80 15 5 Republicans 45 42 12 Independents 62 30 8 Race/Ethnicity Asians 73 17 9 Blacks 79 21 – Latinos 88 8 4 Whites 59 32 9 Household income Under $40,000 83 11 6 $40,000 to $80,000 68 25 7 $80,000 or more 58 34 7 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 9 RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION (CONTINUED) Will targeting money in this way lead to improvements in academic achievement among English Lear ners and lower -income students? Three in four Californians say yes: 33 percent say achievement will improve a lot and 41 percent say somewhat . Twenty percent anticipate no improvement. Among those who favor the plan, 87 percent are optimistic (42% improve a lot, 45% somewhat). Among those who oppose it, 43 percent think it would help (10% a lot, 33% somewhat). Among partisans, Democrats (81%) are the most optimistic (70% independents, 50% Republicans). Optimism declines as income, education, and age increas e. Majorities across racial/ethnic groups expect at least some improvement, but Latinos (54%) are the most likely to say achievement would improve a lot (42% blacks, 26% Asians, 16% whites). When asked more generally about the idea of providing districts that have more low -income students with more of any new state funding, 63 percent of adults, 52 percent of likely voters, and 73 percent of public school parents express support. Last April, 68 percent of adults favored this idea. Partisans are divided (69 % favor among Democrats; 62% oppose among Republicans), while a majority of independents (59%) express support. Support is much higher among those earning under $40,000 (76%) than among those earning more (59% $40,000 to $80,000, 51% $80,000 or more). Solid majorities of Latinos, blacks, and Asians favor targeted fund ing for districts with more low- income students, while whites are divided. “Do you think school districts that have more low-income students should or should not get more of any new state funding than other school districts?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Should 63% 64% 69% 83% 48% 73% Should not 32 33 28 15 45 25 Don't know 5 3 2 3 7 2 Support is lower for giving districts with more English Learners more new state funding. Half of Californians (51%) favor this idea, similar to findings last April (52%). A majority of likely voters oppose it (40% favor, 55% oppose). Republicans (72%) oppose this idea . A slim majority of Democrats favor it (54% favor, 40% oppose) . Independents are slightly more opposed (45% favor, 52% oppose). Across racial/ethnic groups, only Latinos (75%) express majority support. Support declines as income and age increase. Looking at the two questions together, 46 percent of Californians favor extra funding for both low -income students and English Learners, while 28 percent oppose both ideas. Among those who favor the governor’s K –12 funding proposal, 77 percent favor directing money to low -income students and 62 percent favor directing it to English Learners. “Do you think school districts that have more English language learners should or should not get more of any new state funding than other school districts?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Should 51% 48% 44% 75% 34% 63% Should not 44 44 51 24 59 35 Don't know 5 9 5 1 7 2 A controversial element of giving extra funding to districts with more disadvantaged students is whether this will mean less funding for better -off districts. When asked the same two questions about giving extra funding to districts with more low -income students and English Learners, but in the context of less funding for other districts, support largely stays the same (66% for low -income, 54% for English Lea rners). PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 10 LOCAL FLEXIBILITY The other component of Governor Brown’s K –12 funding proposal involves giving local school districts more flexibility over how they spend state funds by ending many of the programs that earmark money for particular goals. A bout eight in 10 Californians prefer local spending decisions to be made locally, either by the school districts (43%) or by the schools themselves (36%). Relatively few —16 percent —prefer the state government to control how state funding is spent in local public schools. Since we first asked this question in April 2008, about eight in 10 or more Californians have consistently said decisionmaking should occur at the local level, with the plurality choosing local school dis tricts. Among public school parents, three in four support local control . Strong majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups prefer local control, either by local school districts or local schools. Across regions, preference for local control is lowest in Los Angeles (73%) and highest in Orange/San Diego (84%) . Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (71%) are less likely than Asians (80%), blacks (82%), and whites (85%) to prefer local control. “Who do you think should have the most control in deciding how the money from state government is spent in local public schools— the local schools, the local school districts, or the state government?” All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Local schools 36% 28% 34% 36% 38% 51% 39% Local school districts 43 50 47 37 46 31 38 State government 16 18 18 20 10 15 19 Other/Don’t know 4 6 1 7 6 3 4 Nearly eight in 10 Californians (78%), likely voters (79%), and public school parents (78%) favor the idea of giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent. Results among Californians were nearly identical last April. Support is overwhelming across parties, regions, and demographic groups, with more than 70 percent saying they favor increasing flexibility at the local level. Regardless of preferences regarding local spending decisions, solid majorities favor increasing local flexibility (83% among those who prefer local schools, 82% among those who prefer districts, and 61% among those who prefer state government). And among both those who favor and oppose Governor Brown’s K –12 funding proposal, nearly eight in 10 express sup port for giving local districts more flexibility. “As you may know, some of the funding the state provides to K –12 public school districts is earmarked for specific programs and goals. Would you favor or oppose giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent?” All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire Favor 78% 79% 78% 74% 82% 81% 78% Oppose 17 18 15 20 14 16 17 Don’t know 5 4 7 6 4 3 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 11 CONFIDENCE IN LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS After being asked about Governor Brown’s proposal to give most of the new state funding to districts that have more English Learners and lower -income students, respondents were asked how confident they are that local school districts would use this money w isely. Fifty-six percent are either very (15%) or somewhat (41%) confident, while 41 percent are not too (22%) or not at all (19%) confident. Likely voters are evenly divided (49% very/somewhat confident; 50% not too/not at all confident). Most public school parents (59%) express confidence. While Democrats are optimistic (66% very/somewhat confident), Republicans take a pessimistic view (61% not too/not at all confident). Independents are divided. Majorities of Latinos (68%), blacks (68%), and Asians (59%) are at least somewhat confident, while whites are divided (48% very/somewhat confident; 51% not too/at all confident). Among those who favor the governor’s plan, 69 percent are confident that local school districts would use the money wisely. Those who op pose the plan are not confident (73% not too/at all confident). Among those who are either very or somewhat confident, more than eight in 10 believe student achievement would improve at least somewhat i f funds were directed this way. “If the state were to give extra funding to local school districts that have more English language learners and lower-income students, how confident are you that local school districts would use this money wisely?” All adults Party Public school parents Dem Rep Ind Very confident 15% 20% 8% 10% 18% Somewhat confident 41 46 29 37 41 Not too confident 22 18 28 26 22 Not at all confident 19 14 33 26 17 Don’t know 2 3 2 1 1 When asked about giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, 73 percent of Californians say they are very (16%) or somewhat (57%) confident that local school districts would use this money wisely. Similarly large majorities in January (23% very, 48% somewhat confident) and last April (14% very, 54% somewhat confident) said they were confident local school districts would use increased flexibility wisely. Unlike attitudes toward districts’ ability to spend targeted funding wisely, there is unanimity across parties about districts using flexible funding wisely, with three in four saying they are at least somewhat confident about this. Across regions and demographic groups, at least two in three are very or somewhat confident districts will use flexible funding wisely. “If the state were to give local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, how confident are you that local school districts would use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?” All adults Party Public school parents Dem Rep Ind Very confident 16% 18% 14% 11% 16% Somewhat confident 57 56 61 63 54 Not too confident 17 17 16 16 19 Not at all confident 7 8 8 10 8 Don’t know 2 1 1 – 3 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Their Government 12 WAYS TO RAISE REVENUES FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS Sixty- five percent of adults would vote yes (32% no) if their local school districts had a bond measure on the ballot to pay for school construction projects. At least six in 10 have said they would vote yes in the 13 times that we have asked this question since 1999. A majority of likely voters (56%) would vote yes , just above the 55 percent vote required to pass school bonds in California . Democrats (74%) and independents (61%) would vote yes, while Republicans would vote no (56%). Republicans were divided last year (45% yes, 48% no). Today, majorities across regions would vote yes, with support highest in Los Angeles (72%) and lowest in Orange/San Diego (54%) . The share saying they would support a bond declines as age, education , and income increase. Latinos (81%), blacks (79%), and Asians (68%) would vote yes; whites are divided (51% yes, 46% no). Three in four public school parents (75%) would vote yes. Six in 10 Californians would vote yes to increase local parcel taxes to provide more funds for their public schools. We have found majority support for this idea since first asking about it in April 2009. Today, likely voters are divided (51% yes, 47% no) and support falls well below the two -thirds vote that would be required to pass a parcel tax . Majorities of Democrats (69%) and independents (54%) would vote yes, while most Republicans (65%) would vote no. Majorities across regions would vote yes: Inland Empire (64%), Los Angeles (63%), Central Valley (61%), San Francisco Bay Area (59%) , and Orange/San Diego (54%). About seven in 10 Asians (69%), blacks (72%) , and Latinos (73%) would vote yes ; whites are divided (46% yes, 51% no). Support declines sharply as age increases (76% 18 –34, 59% 35 –54, 45% 55 and older) . Those earning less than $80,000 would vote yes, while those with higher incomes are divided (48% yes, 50% no). Renters (72%) are far more likely than homeowners (49%) to support a parcel tax . “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 60% 69% 33% 54% 51% No 37 29 65 43 47 Don’t know 3 2 2 3 3 A reform to Proposition 13 that would make it easier to pass local school parcel tax measures has been a topic in legislative discussions lately. A slim majority of Californians (51%) say it is a good idea to replace the two -thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent vote requirement to pass local parcel taxes for local public schools; four in 10 (42%) say it is a bad idea. In January, 57 percent said it was a good idea ; Californians were divided in April 2011 and 2009. Today, likely voters are divided. S ix in 10 Democrats (61%) say it is a good idea, and a similar share of Republicans (62%) disagree. Independents are divided (46% good idea, 47% bad idea). Residents of the Inland Empire (57%) and Los Angeles (53%) say it is a good idea; those in other regions are divided. Latinos (63%), Asians (56%) , and blacks (54%) say it is a good idea ; whites say it is a bad idea (54%). “Do you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea to replace the two-thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local parcel taxes for the local public schools?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind Good idea 51% 61% 34% 46% 47% Bad idea 42 33 62 47 48 Don’t know 7 6 4 6 5 April 2013 Californians and Education 13 PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES KEY FINDINGS  Approval of both Governor Brown’s overall job performance and his handling of K–12 education has increased somewhat from April 2011. Approval of the state legislature has also increased in both areas. ( page 14)  More than half of Californians are very concerned that students in lower-income areas are less likely than others to be ready for college (56%) and that schools in these areas face a shortage of good teachers (52%). Just under half are very concerned that English Learners score lower than others on standardized tests. (page 16)  Thirty-six percent of Californians are aware that the state’s per pupil spending is lower than in other states. (page 17 )  Three in four say it is very important for local schools to offer career technical education and to prepare students for college. Fewer— but still more than half—say it is very important to offer civics education and to reduce K–3 class sizes. (page 18)  Consistent with findings from recent years, about six in 10 Californians say state funding for their local schools is not enough. ( page 20)  A slim majority of Californians are confident that standardized tests accurately reflect a student’s progress and abilities. (page 21)  Three in four public school parents continue to say their child’s school has been affected a lot or somewhat by recent state budget cuts. Parents across demographic groups overwhelmingly say they want their child to at least graduate from college. Most are confident their local schools have the resources to help their child achieve these educational goals, but just one in four are very confident. (page 23) 38 2623 1621 2531 29 2118 15182231 0 20 40 60 80 Apr 2007 Apr 2008 Apr 2009 Apr 2010 Apr 2011 Apr 2012 Apr 2013 Percent all adults Job overall K–12 public education Approval Ratings of the California Legislature 40 4346 24 2732 0 20 40 60 80 Apr 2011 Apr 2012 Apr 2013 Percent all adults Job overall K–12 public education Approval Ratings of Governor Brown 28 43 353640 44 38 4145 34 0 20 40 60 80 100 Apr 2009 Apr 2010 Apr 2011 Apr 2012 Apr 2013 Percent public school parents Affected somewhat Affected a lot Child's Public School Affected by State Budget Cuts PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 14 APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS As Governor Brown seeks support for his approach to school finance during this legislative session, his approval rating stands at 46 percent. About half approved in March (49%) and January (51%). Approval a year ago (43%) was similar to today . Half of likely voters appro ve. Democrats (64%) are much more likely than independents (45%) and Republicans (25%) to approve. San Francisco Bay Area residents (57%) are the most likely— and Orange/San Diego residents (37%) least likely —to approve. Blacks ( 69%), Latinos (53%), and Asians (50 %) are more likely than w hites (40%) to approve. When it comes to Governor Brown’s handling of K –12 education, one in three Californians approve (32%) , four in 10 disapprove (42%), and one in four (26%) are unsure. Likely voters are slightly more disapproving (31% approve, 49% disapprove, 21% don’ t know). Democrats (45%) are more likely than independents (24%) and Republicans (14%) to approve. Fewer than four in 10 across regions and demographic groups approve of his handling of K –12 education. A t hird of public school parents (33%) approve. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling…?” All adults Party Likely voters Dem Rep Ind His job as governor of California Approve 46% 64% 25% 45% 49% Disapprove 31 20 64 35 41 Don't know 22 16 11 20 10 The state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system Approve 32 45 14 24 31 Disapprove 42 31 67 46 49 Don't know 26 24 19 30 21 Three in 10 Californians approve of the legislature’s job performance while about half disapprove. Likely voters have higher disapproval ratings (64%). Approval ratings among all adults today are lower than in January (41%) but 6 points higher than a year ago (25%). Approval is higher among Democrats (3 8%) than independents (26 %) and Republicans (14 %). Approval declines with increasing education and income and is lower among those 35 and older (28% 35 –54, 29% 55 and older) than among younger residents (38% 18– 34). W hites (2 4%) are less approving than Asians (30%), blacks (3 5%) , and Latinos (43 %). Fifty percent of adults and six in 10 likely voters disapprov e of the legislature’s handling of K –12 education. Approval ratings among all adults (31%) are 9 points higher than last year (22%). Republicans are the most disapproving across parties. Latinos (44%) are the most likely to approve, followed by Asians (34%), blacks (26%), and whites (21%). Thirty -six percent of public school parents approve. “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 31% 38% 14% 26% 29% Disapprove 53 47 79 61 64 Don't know 15 15 7 13 7 The state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system Approve 31 34 16 23 23 Disapprove 50 45 72 54 60 Don't know 20 22 12 23 17 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 15 ASSESSING K–12 CHALLENGES When asked to assess three challenges in the state’s K –12 education system, residents are most like ly to view the high school dropout rate as a big problem (66 %). Far fewer view student achievement (36%) and teacher quality (28%) as big problems. The proportion viewing the high school dropout rate as a big problem has declined from two years ago (74% 2011) and is now in a range similar to past surveys (65% 2006, 66% 2007, 69% 2008, 70% 2009, 69% 2010, 6 6% today). The percentage calling student achievement a big problem is lower this year than in previous surveys (43% 2009, 48% 2010, 46% 2011, 36% today). The share calling teacher quality a big problem has declined from high levels in 2011 (44%) and 2010 (36%) and is within a range of past surveys (27% 2006, 28% 2007, 28% 2008, 29% 2009 , 28% today ). “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. How about…? ” High school dropout rate Student achievement Teacher quality Big problem 66% 36% 28% Somewhat of a problem 23 41 43 Not really a problem 5 17 25 Don’t know 6 5 4 Strong majorities of public school parents (65%) and majorities of Californians across parties, regions, and demographic groups say the dropout rate is a big problem . Blacks (73%) and Latinos (76%) are much more likely than whites (59%) and Asians (51%) to say this is a big problem. When it comes to student achievement, between 32 and 42 percent of residents across regions and parties say it is a big problem , and this perception increase s with education. About three in 10 younger and lower -income residents say achievement is a big problem , compared with about four in 10 among others. Blacks (50%) are more likely than whites (38%), Latinos (33%), and Asians (31%) to agree this is a big problem. Among public school parents, 29 percent say student achievement is a big problem. Twenty -six percent of public school parents say teacher quality is a big problem. The perception that teacher quality is a big problem is similar among Democrats (30%), Republicans (32%), and independents (35%) . Across income groups, this perception is highest among those earning $80,000 or more. Three in 10 or fewer across age, education, and gender groups hold this view. Asians (43%) and blacks (38%) are more likely than whites (26%) and Latinos (22%) to hold this view. Percent saying big problem H igh school dropout rate Student achievement Teacher quality All adults 66% 36% 28% Public school parents 65 29 26 Race/ Ethnicity Asians 51 31 43 Blacks 73 50 38 Latinos 76 33 22 Whites 59 38 26 Household income Under $40,000 73 31 23 $40,000 to $80,000 62 39 27 $80,000 or more 57 40 36 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 16 CONCERNS ABOUT INEQUITIES As the governor and legislature debate a school finance proposal that would provide more state funding for local districts with more low- income students and English Learners, how concerned are residents about inequities in college readiness, good teachers, and student test scores ? “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 Schools in lower-income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas English language learners in California’s schools today score lower on standardized tests than other students Very concerned 56% 52% 47% Somewhat concerned 29 30 33 Not too concerned 9 9 11 Not at all concerned 5 7 8 Don’t know 1 3 2 Fifty-six percent of adults and 60 percent of public school parents are very concerned that students in lower -income areas are less likely than other students to be ready for college when they finish high school. Concern was similar in recent surveys. Democrats (66 %) are much more likely than independents (50%) and Republicans (45%) to be very concerned. Three in four blacks (76%) are very concerned, compared with 64 percent of Latinos, 50 percent of whites, and 49 percent of Asians. Women (60%) are somewhat more likely than men (53%) to express this level of concern. Fifty -two percent of adults and 54 percent of public school parents are very concerned that schools in lower -income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas. This level of conc ern is 12 points lower than a year ago (64%). Democrats (64%) are much more likely than independents (50%) and Republicans (36%) to be very concerned. Blacks (71%) are more likely than Latinos (60%), Asians (57%), and whites (41%) to be very concerned. Con cern is higher among younger and less -affluent residents than among others. Forty -seven percent of adults and 48 percent of public school parents a re very concerned that English L earners in California’s schools today score lower on standardized tests than other students. The share saying they are very concerned has declined 9 points since last April (56%). Democrats (53%) are much more likely to be very concerned than independents and Republicans (40% each ). Latinos (54%) and blacks (53%) are more likely than Asians (44%) and whites (42%) to be very concerned about English L earners scoring lower than other students on standardized tests. Percent saying very concerned Students in lower-income areas are less likely to be ready for college Schools in lower-income areas have shortage of good teachers English language learners score lower on standardized tests All adults 56% 52% 47% Public school parents 60 54 48 Race/ Ethnicity Asians 49 57 44 Blacks 76 71 53 Latinos 64 60 54 Whites 50 41 42 Household income Under $40,000 61 57 53 $40,000 to $80,000 52 50 40 $80,000 or more 51 46 41 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 17 PERCEPTIONS OF CALIFORNIA’S RELATIV E RANKINGS A plurality of Californians think that the state’s per pupil spending for K –12 public education is below average (21% below average, 15% near the bottom) compared to other states; 25 percent say it is near the top or above average and 29 percent say it is average. According to the National Education Association’s Rankings and Estimates reports, in recent years California has consistently ranked near the bottom among states . Perceptions among Californians about per pupil spending have been within a similar range in recent years, while views were more negative in the late 1990s (47% April 1998) and early 2000s (51% February 2000). Democrats (42%), independents (40%), and Republicans (38%) are similarly likely to say that per pupil spending is below average. Orange/San Diego residents (30%) are less likely to say funding is below average when compared with residents in Los Angeles (35%), the San Francisco Bay Area ( 38 %), the Central Valley ( 38%), and the Inland Empire ( 38%). Blacks (44%) and whites (40%) are more likely to say per pupil spending is below average than Latinos (34%) and Asians (25%). “Where do you think California currently ranks in per pupil spending for K –12 public schools? Compared to other states, is Califor nia's spending near the top, above average, average, below average, or near the bottom?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Near the top/Above average 25% 26% 10% 25% 25% 21% Average 29 35 37 32 23 30 Below average/Near the bottom 36 25 44 34 40 38 Don’t know 11 14 10 8 12 11 Nearly half of adults say California’s student test scores are below average (31% below average, 16% near the bottom) compared to other states ; 34 percent say they are average, and only 12 percent say they are above average. According to test scores compiled by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics , in recent years California has consistently rank ed near the bottom in both math and reading scores for grades 4 and 8. Perceptions of California’s student test scores have been fairly similar since we first asked this question in 1998. Democrats ( 49%) and independents ( 52%) are less likely than Republicans (62%) to say test scores are below average. Blacks and whites (54% each ) are more likely than Asians (39%) and Latinos (37%) to hold this view. Negative perceptions of test scores increase with education and income. Between 44 and 49 percent across age groups say scores are below average. About one in four adults ( 22%), likely voters ( 28%), and public school parents ( 22%) correctly state that both per pupil spending and test scores in California are below average. “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?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Near the top/Above average 12% 18% 14% 17% 8% 15% Average 34 34 26 41 32 37 Below average/Near the bottom 47 39 54 37 54 44 Don’t know 6 10 6 5 6 5 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 18 IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS We asked about two programs in which funding assistance would be provided under the governor’s proposed school finance plan : reducing class sizes in kindergarten through third grade and making career technical education part of the curriculum . Fifty -three percent say it is very important to reduce K –3 class sizes (29% somewhat) and 74 percent say it is very important to offer career technical or vocational education (21% somewhat). Findings on career technical education were similar in April 2009 (71%) and 2007 (67%). Asked about two other broad goals, more than half (54%) say it is very important that civics be part of the curriculum (33% somewhat) , and most Californians (76%) say it is very important that their local public schools prepare students for college (19% somewhat). Since 2007, more than three in four Californians have said college preparation is very important . “Please tell me if each of the following is very important, somewhat important, or not too important to you. How important to you is it that your local public schools …?” Prepare students for college Include career technical or vocational education as part of the curriculum Include civics as part of the curriculum Reduce kindergarten through third grade class sizes Very important 76% 74% 54% 53% Somewhat important 19 21 33 29 Not too important 4 5 10 16 Don’t know – – 3 1 Eighty-seven percent of public school parents say preparing students for college is very important. Solid majorities across parties and demographic groups say this is very important. Latinos (91%) and blacks (90%) are much more likely than Asians (76%) and whites (63%) to hold this view . Those with incomes under $40,000 are more likely than others to say college preparation is very important . Most public school parents (78%) say it is very important to provide career technical education. Asians (62%) are less likely than whites (73%), blacks (76%), and Latinos (77%) to express this view. Sixty -one percent of public school parents say including civics in their local school curriculum is very important. Latinos (64%) and blacks (60%) are more likely than whites (49%) and Asians (42%) to say this. Adults under age 35 (43%) are much less likely than older res idents (60% 35 –54, 61% 55 and older) to consider this very important. Sixty -three percent of public school parents say reducing K –3 class sizes is very important. Latinos (68%) are most likely to hold this view followed by blacks (56%), whites (48%), and Asians (35%). Those earning under $40,000 are more likely than those with higher incomes to hold this view. Democrats (59%) are more likely than independents (49%) and Republicans (43%) to express this view. Percent saying very important Prepare students for college Include career technical or vocational education Include civics Reduce K–3 class sizes All adults 76% 74% 54% 53% Public school parents 87 78 61 63 Race/ Ethnicity Asians 76 62 42 35 Blacks 90 76 60 56 Latinos 91 77 64 68 Whites 63 73 49 48 Household income Under $40,000 84 76 55 58 $40,000 to $80,000 70 72 52 50 $80,000 or more 70 71 57 47 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 19 PREPARING STUDENTS FOR THE FUTURE Thirty-five percent of Californians consider college preparation the most important goal of the K–12 public education system. Fewer prioritize preparing students for the workforce (16%), teaching students the basics (16%), teaching students life skills (15%), or preparing students to be good citizens (12%). The share choosing college preparation is similar to April 2008 (35%) and 2007 (32%) and somewhat higher than in 2006 (26%). Nearly half of p ublic school parents (47%) say college preparation is most important. Latinos (56%) and blacks (47%) are far more likely than whites (23%) and Asians (21%) t o say this. Those with a high school education or less (45%) are much more likely than those with some college (29%) or college diplomas (27%) to choose college preparation and t hose earning less than $40,000 (42%) are more likely than middle- (31%) and upper-income (28%) residents to prioritize college preparation. Higher income earners are as likely to prioritize workforce preparation (25%) as college preparation (28%). “Pleas e think about California’s K –12 public education system more generally. In you r opinion, what is the most important goal of California’s K –12 public education system? ” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Preparing students for college 35% 21% 47% 56% 23% 47% Preparing students for the workforce 16 26 10 8 21 9 Teaching students the basics 16 19 17 9 19 10 Teaching students life skills 15 16 10 9 19 15 Preparing students to be good citizens 12 13 12 15 9 16 Other/All of the above (volunteered) 5 6 3 3 7 3 Don’t know 2 – – – 3 1 Fifty-four percent say their local public schools are doing an excellent (12%) or good job (42%) in preparing students for college; 39 percent say they are doing a not so good or poor job. N egative ratings are at a record low since we first asked this question in April 2006. A majority of whites (51%), Asians (55%) , and Latinos (59%) give positive ratings, while a majority of blacks (54%) give negative ratings. On preparing students for jobs and the workforce, 44 percent of adults give positi ve ratings, 49 percent offer negative ones. Negative ratings on job preparation are also at a record low. Latinos (55%) give positive ratings, Asians (54%) and blacks (69%) give negative ratings, and whites are divided (41% positive, 49% negative). “Are your local public schools doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job in…?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Preparing students for college Excellent 12% 22% 13% 12% 9% 17% Good 42 33 33 47 42 48 Not so good 28 34 37 25 28 20 Poor 11 6 17 11 11 12 Don’t know 7 4 1 4 10 3 Preparing students for jobs and the workforce Excellent 7 4 2 10 6 12 Good 37 33 20 45 35 46 Not so good 35 47 54 29 33 26 Poor 14 7 15 11 16 13 Don’t know 8 9 8 5 11 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 20 PERCEPTIONS OF LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS More than half of Californians give their local public schools positive ratings (16% A, 39% B) ; 27 percent give their local public schools a grade of C, while far fewer give negative ratings (9% D, 5% F) . Adults nationwide gave similar ratings of their community schools in a June 2012 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll (12% A, 36% B, 31% C, 13% D, 4% F). In our previous surveys, at least half of Californians have given the public schools in their neighborhoods grades of A or B since April 2005. Public school parents offer somewhat more positive ratings of local public schools than all adults (63% to 55%). Across regions, at least half of residents give positive ratings with Orange/San Diego residents the most p ositive (57%). Latinos (58%), Asians (57%) , and whites (54%) offer more positive ratings than blacks (43%) . Across age, education, and income groups , at least 49 percent of adults give As or Bs. “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?” All adults Region Public school parents Central Valley San Francisco Bay Area Los Angeles Orange/ San Diego Inland Empire A 16% 16% 17% 15% 16% 17% 20% B 39 36 33 40 41 38 43 C 27 26 32 28 26 21 20 D 9 10 7 9 5 14 8 F 5 6 4 5 6 6 6 Don’t know 5 6 6 2 6 4 2 After years of budgets that included cuts to K –12 education , what do Californians think about the current level of state funding for their local public schools? Six in 10 think funding is not enough ( 63%), while 24 percent say it is just enough and 9 percent say it is more than enough. The share saying not enough is identical to last April (63%) and at least half of ad ults have said funding was inadequate since April 2008. Public school parents are somewhat more likely than all adults to think funding is not enough (7 0% to 63 %). Fifty- eight percent of likely voters think funding is not enough. Democrats (73%) are more likely than independents (57%) and Republicans (49%) to say funding is inadequate. Majorities across regions and demographic groups say funding is not enough. Across regions, Inland Empire residents (71%) are the most likely —and Orange/San Diego residents (56%) the least likely —to think funding is not enough. Blacks (80%) and Latinos (72%) are much more likely than Asians (58%) and whites (55%) to say funding for their local public schools is not enough. The belief that funding is inadequate declines as household incomes rise. Among those who favor the governor’s school funding plan, 69 percent say funding is not enough; 47 percent of those who oppose his plan also say funding is not enough. “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 Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites More than enough 9% 6% – 8% 12% 7% Just enough 24 29 18% 19 26 21 Not enough 63 58 80 72 55 70 Don’t know 5 7 2 2 7 2 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 21 STUDENT TESTING About half of Californians (11% very, 42% somewhat) are confident that standardized tests are an accurate indicator of a student’s progress and abilities , while 44 percent (27% not too, 17% not at all) are not confident. Public school parents are more positive : about two in three say they are confident (16% very, 49% somewhat) and one in three say they are not (21% not too, 13% not at all ). Californians were more confident in April 2006 than they are today (63% to 53%). Latinos (67%) are much more likely than Asians (54%), blacks (48%) , and whites (45%) to express confidence in standardized testing. Across regions, Inland Empire residents (62%) are the most likely an d San Francisco Bay Area residents (48%) are the least likely to express confidence. “How confident are you that standardized tests are an accurate indicator of a student's progress and abilities?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Very confident 11% 13% 9% 13% 9% 16% Somewhat confident 42 41 39 54 36 49 Not too confident 27 26 28 20 33 21 Not at all confident 17 18 23 10 21 13 Don’t know 2 3 1 2 1 1 When asked about the amount of standardized testing in their community, pluralities of Californians s ay that the amount of testing of students in elementary and middle schools (40%) and high school s (39%) is right . Fewer say there is too much (24% K–8, 21% high school) or not enough (29% K–8, 31% high school) testing . In December 2001, fewer said there was the right amount of testing at both levels (K –8: 33% right amount, 22% too much, 33% not enough; high school: 32% right amount, 16% too much, 39% not enough). Nearly half of public school parents (48%) say the amount of testing in elementary and middle schools is right; 42 percent say the amount of high school testing is right. Pluralities of Asians and whites say there is the right amount of testing at both levels, while blacks are divided between the right amount and not enough at both levels. Most Latinos say students in elementary and middle schools are tested the right amount but are divided when it comes to high school testing. Most who have confidence in standardized testing say the amount of testing is right; pluralities of those who are not confident say there is too much testing . “Do you think the amount of standardized testing of … in your community is too much, the right amount, or not enough?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Elementary and middle school students Too much 24% 19% 20% 17% 29% 24% Right amount 40 41 37 43 38 48 Not enough 29 32 39 35 22 25 Don’t know 8 7 4 5 10 3 High school students Too much 21 18 25 13 26 22 Right amount 39 41 37 41 38 42 Not enough 31 30 36 41 24 28 Don’t know 9 10 3 5 12 8 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 22 TEACHER EVALUATION When asked about three measures that could be used to evaluate teacher s, Californians and public school parents favor student achievement and improvement ( as measured by standardized tests ), as well as classroom observations by principals or other experts, with the highest share in both groups favoring classroom observations. Across racial/ethnic groups there is support for all three measures, with classroom observations receiving the highest support . A similar pattern emerges across regions , with majoriti es favoring achievement and improvement measures and more than eight in 10 supporting classroom observations. Majorities across age, education, and income groups favor all three measures . Once again, the highest shares favor observations, and majorities su pport student improvement and student achievement . “Please tell me if you think each of the following factors should or should not be used in evaluating teacher performance. How about…? Should this be used to evaluate teachers, or not?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites The academic achievement of students as measured by standardized tests Should 63% 51% 66% 76% 56% 71% Should not 35 42 32 23 41 28 Don’t know 3 7 2 1 3 1 The academic improvement of students as measured by standardized tests Should 68 60 67 78 63 77 Should not 29 34 33 19 35 22 Don’t know 3 6 – 3 2 1 Classroom observations made by school principals or other experts Should 84 76 80 87 84 86 Should not 15 21 20 12 14 14 Don’t know 2 3 – 1 1 1 There is less agreement among Californians about whether a statewide framework should be used in all schools for evaluating teachers or if each local school district should develop its own process. Half of Californians (51%) think the same framework should be used statewide, while 45 percent think the local school districts should be in control. Publi c school parents are more likely to prefer a single framework used statewide (59% to 37%). Residents in the Inland Empire (58%) and Los Angeles (53%) think the same framework should be used statewide, while residents in other regions are divided. At least half of whites (50%), Latinos (54%) , and blacks (55%) prefer a single statewide system, while 53 percent of Asians prefer that each school district develop its own system. More than half of those who think achievement, improvement, and classroom observations should be used for teacher evaluation say a single framework should be used statewide. “Do you think that the state government should require all local public school districts to use the same framework for evaluating teachers or do you think each local public school district should develop its own process for evaluating teachers?” All adults Race/Ethnicity Public school parents Asians Blacks Latinos Whites Same framework 51% 46% 55% 54% 50% 59% Each district should develop its own 45 53 45 41 46 37 Don’t know 4 1 – 5 4 4 PPIC Statewide S urvey April 2013 Californians and Education 23 PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS’ PERSPECTIVES Most public school parents say that their child’s school has been affected a lot (40%) or somewhat (34%) by state budget cuts, while just 22 percent say their child ’s school ha s not been affected. Since April 2009, more than seven in 10 have said their child ’s school was affected a lot or somewhat. At least six in 10 across regions say t heir child’s school has been affected at least somewhat. Latino parents are twice as likely as white parents (53% to 26%) to say their child’s school has been affected a lot . This perception is more prevalent among parents with incomes under $40,000 (47%) than among middle- (33%) and upper -income (29%) parents. When asked what grade level they hope their youngest child will achieve , most public school parents say four -year degree s (39%) or graduate degrees (41%). Since we began asking this question in April 2005 , at least eight in 10 public school parents have had hopes of their child earning a four -year or graduate degree. Aspirations for graduate degree s are far more widely held among whites than Latinos (59% to 21 %) and among those with college degrees than those without (73% to 31%). Graduate-level aspiration s increase sharply with rising inc ome (25% under $40,000, 48% $40,000 to 80,000, 62% $80,000 or more). “What do you hope will be the highest grade level that your youngest child will achieve: some high school, high school graduate, two -year community college gradua te or career technical training, four-year college graduate, or a graduate degree after college?” Public school parents only All public school parents Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Latinos Whites High school or less 12% 18% 6% 7% 16% 7% Two-year or career technical 6 8 5 4 9 4 Four- year graduate 39 46 41 28 50 30 Graduate degree 41 25 48 62 21 59 Don’t know 2 3 – – 3 – The vast majority of public school parents are very (25%) or somewhat confident (53%) that their local schools have the resources and information needed to prepare their child for the grade level they hope they achieve. Confidence has increased somewhat since we first asked this question in 2009, during the worst of the economic downturn , but the percentage saying they are very confident is similar ( 2009: 24 % very, 4 5% somewhat; 2010: 24% very, 4 6% somewhat; today: 25% very, 53 % somewhat). The share saying very confident is somewhat higher among whites than Latinos (28% to 21 %) and much higher among college graduates than others (36% to 21%); it increases with household income. “How confident are you that your local K –12 schools have the resou rces and information needed to prepare this child for that grade level?” Public school parents only All public school parents Household income Race/Ethnicity Under $40,000 $40,000 to $80,000 $80,000 or more Latinos Whites Very confident 25% 20% 25% 33% 21% 28% Somewhat confident 53 56 59 44 54 57 Not too confident 22 24 15 22 25 15 When asked about confidence in their own resources and information to prepare their child for their educational goals , eight in 10 public school parents are very (43%) or somewhat confident (36%). The share saying very confident is 10 points lower than in 2005 (53%). Whites (51%) and college graduates (61%) are much more likely than Latinos (37%) and those without college degrees (38%) to be very confident. Being very confident increases with income (33% under $40,000, 47% $40,000 to 80,000, 57% $80,000 or more) . April 2013 Californians and Education 24 REGIONAL MAP April 2013 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 Jui Shrestha. This survey on Californians and Education is supported with fu nding from The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, The Silver Giving Foundation, and the Stuart Foundation. The PPIC Statewide Survey invites input, comments, a nd suggestions from policy and public opinion experts and from its own advisory committee but survey methods, questions, and content are determined solely by PPIC’s survey team. Findings in this report are based on a survey of 1,705 California adult residents, including 1,194 interviewed on landline telephones and 51 1 interviewed on cell phones. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Interviewing took place on weekend days and weekday nights from April 2 –9, 2013. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer -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 househol d 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. Cel l phones were 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 to help defray the 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. Live landline and cell phone interviews were conducted by Abt SRBI, Inc., in English and Spanish, according to respondents’ preferences. Accent on Languages, Inc., translated new survey questions into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. With assistance from Abt SRBI , we used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009– 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) through the University of Minnesota’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series for California to compare certain demographic characteristics of the survey sample —region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education— with the characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the ACS figures. To estimate landline and cell phone service in California, Abt SRBI used 2011 state -level estimates released by the National Center for Health Statistics —which used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the ACS —and 2012 estimates for the West Census Region in the latest NHIS report. The estimates for California were then compared against landline and cell phone service reported in this survey. We also used voter registration data from the California Secretary of State to compare the party registration of registered voters in our sample to party registration statewide. The landline and cell phone samples were then integrated using a frame integration weight, while sample balancing adjusted for differences across regional, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, telephone service, and party registration groups. PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 26 The sampling error, taking design effects from weighting into consideration, is ±3.7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for the total unweighted sample of 1,705 adults. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 3. 7 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for unweighted subgroups is larger: For the 1, 423 registered voters, the sampling error is ±4 percent; for the 1, 134 likely voters, it is ± 4.4 percent ; for the 416 public school parents, it is ±7 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wordi ng, question order, and survey timing. We present results for five geographic regions, accounting 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, Yolo, 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 of other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adu lts, registered voters, likely voters, and public school parents, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately. We present specific results for non- Hispanic whites and also for Latinos, who account for about a t hird of the state’s adult population and constitute one of the fastest -growing voter groups. We also present results for non -Hispanic Asians, who make up about 14 percent of the state’s adult population, and non -Hispanic blacks, who comprise about 6 percent. Results for other racial/ethnic groups —such as Native Americans —are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, likely voters, and public school parents, but sample sizes are not large enough for separate analysis. We compare the opinions of those who report they are registered Democrats, registered Republicans, and decline- to-state or independent voters; the results for those who say they are registered to vote in other parties are not large enough for separate analysis. We also analyze the responses of likely voters—so designated by their responses to voter registration survey questions, previous election participat ion, and current interest in politics. The percentages presented in the report tables and in the questionnaire may not add to 100 due to rounding. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in our earlier surveys and to those in a national survey by Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup . Additional details about our methodology can be found at www.ppic.org/content/other/SurveyMethodology.pdf and are available upon request through surveys@ppic.org . April 2013 Californians and Education 27 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND EDUCATION April 2 –9, 2013 1,705 C alifornia Adult Residents: English, Spanish MARGIN OF ERROR ±3. 7% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMP LE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 D UE TO ROUNDING 1. First, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Jerry Brown is handling his job as governor of California? 46% approve 31 disapprove 22 don’t know 1a. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Brown is handling the state's kin dergarten through 12th grade public education system? 32% approve 42 disapprove 26 don’t know 2. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 31% approve 53 disapprove 15 don’t know 2a. Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling the state's kindergarten through 12th grade public education system? 31% approve 50 disapprove 20 don’t know 3. As you may know, Governor Brown’s proposed budget plan for the next fiscal year includes new K –12 school funding that will mostly go to local school districts that have more [ rotate ] English language learner s [and] lower -income students. Do you favor or op pose this proposal? 71% favor 21 oppose 7 don’t know 4. If the state were to give extra funding to local school districts that have more [rotate ] English language learner s [and] lower -income students, how confident are you that local school districts w ould use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 15% very confident 41 somewhat confident 22 not too confident 19 not at all confident 2 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 28 Next, [rotate questions 5 and 6] 5. 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? 49% big problem 34 somewhat of a problem 13 not much of a problem 4 don’t know 6. How much of a problem is the overall state budget situation for California’s K –12 public schools today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem? 57% big problem 28 somewhat of a problem 10 not much of a problem 5 don’t know 7. To significantly improve the quality of California’s K –12 public schools, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? [rotate responses 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. 39% use funds more wisely 9 increase state funding 50 use funds more wisely and increase funding 3 don’t know 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 8 to 10] 8. How about teacher quality? 28% big problem 43 somewhat of a problem 25 not really a problem 4 don’t know 9. How about the high school drop -out rate? 66% big problem 23 somewhat of a problem 5 not really a problem 6 don’t know 10. How about student achievement? 36% big problem 41 somewhat of a problem 17 not really a problem 5 don’t know Next, [rotate questions 11 to 13] 11. 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? 52% very concerned 30 somewhat concerned 9 not too concerned 7 not at all concerned 3 don’t know 12. How concerned are you that E nglish language learner s in California’s schools today score lower on standardized tests than other students? Are you very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned about this issue? 47% very concerned 33 somewhat concerned 11 not too concerned 8 not at all concerned 2 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 29 13. 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? 56% very concerned 29 somewhat concerned 9 not too concerned 5 not at all concerned 1 don’t know On another topic, [rotate questions 14 and 15] 14. Where do you think California currentl y 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 13 above average 29 average 21 below average 15 near the bottom 11 don’t know 15. 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 bott om? 3% near the top 9 above average 34 average 31 below average 16 near the bottom 6 don’t know 15a.Next, please think about California’s K –12 public education system more generally. In your opinion, what is the most important goal of California’s K– 12 public education system — [rotate] (1) preparing students for college, (2) prepa ring students for the workforce, (3) teaching students the basics, (4 ) teaching students life skills, [or] (5) preparing students to be good citizens? 35% preparing student s for college 16 preparing students for the workforce 16 teaching students the basics 15 teaching students life skills 12 preparing students to be good citizens 3 all of the above (volunteered) 2 other (volunteered) 2 don’t know Please tell me if each of the following is very important, somewhat important, or not too important to you. [rotate questions 16 to 18] 16. How important to you is it that your local public schools prepare students for college? 76% very important 19 somewhat important 4 not too important – don’t know 17. How important to you is it that your local public schools include career technical or vocational education as part of the curriculum? 74% very important 21 somewhat important 5 not too important – don’t know 17a.How important to you is it that your local public schools include ci vics as part of the curriculum? 54% very important 33 somewhat important 10 not too important 3 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 30 18. How important to you is it that your local public schools reduce kindergarten through third grade class sizes? 53% very important 29 somewhat important 16 not too important 1 don’t know [rotate questions 19 and 20] 19. Are your local public schools do ing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job in preparing students for college? 12% excellent 42 good 28 not so good 11 poor 7 don’t know 20. Are your local public schools doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job in preparing students for jobs and the workforce? 7% excellent 37 good 35 not so good 14 poor 8 don’t know 21. On another topic, how confident are you that standardized tests are an accurate indicator of a student's progress and abilities —very confident, somewhat confident , not too confident, or not at all confident? 11% very confident 42 somewhat confident 27 not too confident 17 not at all confident 2 don’t know [rotate questions 22 and 23] 22. Do you think the amount of standardized testing of elementary and middle school students in your community is too much, the right amount, or not enough? 24% too much 40 the right amount 29 not enough 8 don’t know 23. Do you think the amount of standardized testing of high school students in your community is too much, the r ight amount, or not enough? 21% too much 39 the right amount 31 not enough 9 don’t know On another topic, please tell me if you think each of the following factors should or should not be used in evaluating teacher performance. [rotate questions 24 to 26] 24. How about the academic achievement of students as measured by standardized tests? Should this be used to evaluate teachers, or not? 63% should 35 should not 3 don’t know 25. How about the academic improvement of students as measured by standardized tests? Should this be used to evaluate teachers, or not? 68% should 29 should not 3 don’t know 26. How about classroom observations made by school principals or other experts? Should these be used to evaluate teachers, or not? 84% should 15 should not 2 don’t know 27. Do you think that the state government should require all local public school districts to use the same framework for evaluating teachers or do you think each local public school district should develop its own process for evaluating teachers? 51% state government should require dis tricts to use same framework 45 school districts should develop their own process 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 31 28. 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? 16% A 39 B 27 C 9 D 5 F 5 don’t know 29. Do you think the current level o f state funding for your local public schools is more than enough, just enough, or not enough? 9% more than enough 24 just enough 63 not enough 5 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? 65% yes 32 no 3 don’t know 31. What if there was a measure on your local ballot to increase local parcel taxes to provid e more funds for the local public schools? Would you vote yes or no? 60% yes 37 no 3 don’t know 32. Do you think it’s a good idea or a bad idea to replace the two -thirds vote requirement with a 55 percent majority vote for voters to pass local parcel taxes for the local public schools? 51% good idea 42 bad idea 7 don’t know 33. Next, 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? 36% the local schools 43 the local school districts 16 the state government 1 other (volunteered) 3 don’t know 34. As you may know, some of the funding the state provides to K –12 public sc hool districts is earmarked for specific programs and goals. Would you favor or oppose giving local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent? 78% favor 17 oppose 5 don’t know 35. If the state were to give local school districts more flexibility over how state funding is spent, how confident are you that local school districts would use this money wisely? Are you very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident? 16% very confident 57 somewhat confi dent 17 not too confident 7 not at all confident 2 don’t know 36. Next, do you think that school districts in lower -income areas of the state have the same amount of resources —including good teachers and classroom materials —as school districts in wealthier areas, or not? 19% yes, have the same amount of resources 75 no, do not have the same amount of resources 6 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 32 [rotate blocks: questions 37, 38 and 39, 40] [rotate questions 37 and 38] 37. Do you think school districts that have more low -income students should or should not get more of any new state funding than other school districts? 63% should 32 should not 5 don’t know 38. Do you think school districts that have more English language learner s should or should not get more of any new state funding than other school districts? 51% should 44 should not 5 don’t know [rotate questions 39 and 40] 39. If it means less funding for other school districts, do you think school districts that have more low -income students should or shoul d not get more funding from the state? 66% should 30 should not 5 don’t know 40. If it means less funding for other school districts, do you think school districts that have more English language learner s should or should not get more funding from the s tate? 54% should 41 should not 6 don’t know 41.If the state were to give extra funding to local school districts that have more [rotate] English language learner s [and] lower -income students, do you think the academic achievement of these students woul d or would not improve? ( I f it would, ask: Do you think it would improve a lot or somewhat?) 33% improve a lot 41 improve somewhat 20 would not improve 6 don’t know 42. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 69% yes [ask q42a] 31 no [skip to q 43b] 42a.Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or are you registered as a decline -to -state or independent voter? 44% Democrat [ask q43] 29 Republican [skip to q43a] 6 another party (specify) [skip to q44] 21 independent [skip to q43b] 43. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 55% strong 43 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q44] 43a.Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 48% strong 50 not very strong 2 don’t know [skip to q44] 43b.Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 21% Republican Party 45 Democratic Party 24 neither (volunteered) 10 don’t know 44. Next, would you consider yourself to be p o litically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 12% very liberal 17 somewhat liberal 30 middle -of -the -road 24 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 4 don’t know PPIC Statewide Survey April 2013 Californians and Education 33 45.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics —a great deal, a fair amount, only a little, or none? 24% great deal 36 fair amount 30 only a little 9 none 1 don’t know [d1 to d4a: demographic questions] D4b.[public school parents only] Would you say your child’s public school has or has not been affected by rec ent state budget cuts? ( if it has: Has it been affected a lot or somewhat?) 40% affected a lot 34 affected somewhat 22 not affected 5 don’t know D4c. [public school parents only] How much, if anything, have you heard about the “Common Core State Standar ds,” a new set of English and math standards that the state will roll out in 2014? Have you heard a lot, a little, or nothing at all? 9% a lot 36 a little 54 nothing at all 1 don’t know D4d. [public school parents only] What do you hope will be the highest grade level that your youngest child will achieve: some high school; high school graduate; two- year community college graduate or career technical training; four -year college graduate; or a graduate degree after college? 1% some high school 11 high school graduate 6 two-year community college graduate or career technical training 39 four -year college graduate 41 a graduate degree after college 2 don’t know D4e. [public school parents only] How confident are you that you have the resources and in formation needed for this child to reach that grade level —very confident, somewhat confident, or not too confident? 43% very confident 36 somewhat confident 20 not too confident – don’t know D4f. [public school parents only] How confident are you that your local K –12 schools have the resources and information needed to prepare this child for that grade level —very confident, somewhat confident, or not too confident? 25% very confident 53 somewhat confident 22 not too confident – don’t know [d5 to d16: demographic questions] PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect Angela Blackwell Founder and CEO PolicyLink Mollyann Brodie Senior Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Director Bill Lane Center for the American West Stanford University James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen General Manager and Polling Director Capital Insight Washington Post Media Russell Hancock President and CEO Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Robert Lapsley President California Business Roundtable Carol S. Larson President and CEO The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and CEO La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Lisa Pitney Vice President, Government Relations The Walt Disney Company Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and CEO The California Endowment Most Reverend Jaime Soto Bishop of Sacramento Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento 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 Gary K. Hart, Chair Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Mark Baldassare President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and CEO GROW Elect María Blanco Vice President, Civic Engagement California Community Foundation Brigitte Bren Attorney Robert M. Hertzberg Vice Chair man Mayer Brown, LLP Walter B. Hewlett Chair, Board of Directors William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Mas Masumoto Author and Farmer Steven A. Merksamer Senior Partner Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross & Leoni , LLP Kim Polese Chairman ClearStreet, Inc. Thomas C. Sutton Retired Chairman and CEO Pacific Life Insurance Company 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 CEO of PPIC. Gary K. Hart 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 copyright notice below is included. Copyright © 201 3 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 09:41:36" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(8) "s_413mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:41:36" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:41:36" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(50) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_413MBS.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) }