Poll: What Americans Want in Education Policy

Published January 29, 2014

U.S. adults say the most effective education reforms are smaller class sizes, increasing technology, and accountability, a new survey has found. The national sample of 1,000 respondents ranked vouchers the fourth most effective education reform, followed by limiting teachers unions, merit pay, and longer school days.

“Just because longer school days are not popular to some doesn’t mean we should do away with the idea,” cautioned Robert Enlow, president of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, which sponsored the survey. “Some parents need their children to spend more time in school. School choice would afford them the flexibility to find schools with that offering.”

Friedman’s education reform questions were embedded in Harvard University’s 2012 Cooperative Congressional Election Study. The questions also asked respondents which school choice model they favored most. Individual education tax credits and tax-credit scholarships tied for first, followed by education savings accounts, which deposit families’ state education dollars in an account they control.

Survey respondents also rated the nation’s public schools between “poor” and “fair.”

Learn more:
“School Choice Signals: A Research Review and Survey Experiment,” Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, January 2014: http://edchoice.org/SchoolChoiceSignals.

—Staff Reports