California Poll: Economic Growth Depends on Improving Education

Published March 1, 1998

In a poll conducted last fall for the California Business Roundtable, 94 percent of California business leaders and 86 percent of California voters reported their support for setting performance and academic standards for public schools.

An even greater number, 97 percent of business leaders and 90 percent of voters, supported proposals that would place greater emphasis on learning the basics (3 Rs). A majority of respondents in both categories (80 percent business leaders, 78 percent voters) favor a statewide test to measure achievement in California’s public schools.

Overall, respondents agreed that improving K-12 education is the most important policy effort for California’s future economic growth. Business leaders (88 percent) and voters (72 percent) also overwhelmingly support merit pay for public school teachers.

The survey was conducted in September 1997, by the Charlton Research Company, polling 400 California business leaders and 600 registered California voters. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent for business leaders and +/- for voters.