A recently released USC Rossier School of Education and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) poll indicates that Californians still strongly support standardized testing as an indicator of the success of both students and teachers.
The poll, conducted in both English and Spanish online from Aug. 27-30, surveyed more than 1,000 registered California voters. It asked questions about standardized testing, teacher performance and the effect Gov. Jerry Brown has had on education.
“Most of the political experts say that parents think their children are tested too frequently, but our poll shows just the opposite,” Dan Schnur, poll director and director of the Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics, said in a press release.
Only 25 percent of parents with school-aged children said the state should test students less, 66 percent advocated for testing in each grade level.
Many voters also believed that teachers’ jobs and salaries should be dependent on standardized testing.
A slight majority of voters said that paying teachers more for successful test performance would improve public education. A plurality also said that if a school fails, teachers are the main party to blame.
There was less of a solid trend in voters’ opinions on Brown’s contributions to the state’s education system. Forty-two percent of voters approved of his handling of education, 46 percent disapproved.
More than 60 percent of voters, however, said they were not very familiar with the policies Brown has enacted, specifically a new funding formula. Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula aims to fund schools based on need, increasing funding to districts with many English Language Learners and low-income students. Another 71 percent of voters polled claimed ignorance about the Common Core State Standards California that he has implemented.
Voters were also asked whom they would choose among Brown and three potential Republican challengers. Brown won all three matchups by wide margins.
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