For you in the anti-choice crowd…

here are the full details of the School Choice poll I posted yesterday. It’s most certainly not a junk poll. If you still support the failed, antiquated, public school system that’s fine just come up with a better argument than “the poll is bogus.”

Like Demonbeck, I send my kids to a private school because I want them to get the best education I can acquire. I’m hardly a rich white guy so it hurts to pay the tuition for my daughter’s schooling. Would I personally benefit from a voucher system? You bet I would, but so would every family in Georgia.

The data from the poll is listed in full, below the fold. Be warned, it’s long.

Thanks to Randy Lewis for providing this data.

Buzz:
The commenters on PeachPundit seem to be hung up on the
school choice poll’s structure. The school choice poll was a sample of
1,200 likely Georgia voters. This is a massive sample for a state the size of
Georgia. It also has a full GA demographic sample and some very impressive
cross-tabs. Support for giving parents the ability to choose is across the board
— every demogaphic group, every region. Feel free to post my comments and the
full poll. Perhaps this should be a new posting at the top since it is so
long.

What possible reason could any decent human have against
giving people the freedom to choose?
Randy
Lewis

School Choice
Poll


Questions conducted March 20-22 and results are based on
telephone interviews with 1200 registered voters in Georgia, aged 18+. The
margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

1.
I am going to name several issues facing the State of Georgia, and I
would like you to select the one that is most important to you? (rotate)

Taxes

8%

Jobs and
Economic Growth

21%

Crime

18%

K-12
Education

33%

Undecided/Other

20%

2.

How would you rate
Georgia’s public school system?

Good

39%

Fair

18%

Poor

14%

Undecided

29%

3.
You rated
Georgia public schools as ____________, who is responsible for the situation of
Georgia’s public school system? (rotate)

School
Administrators

19%

Teachers

8%

Parents

6%

State
Government

24%

Teachers
Unions

19%

Undecided

24%

4.
In Georgia there is a debate over the direction of K-12
education. Some people promote an approach
that would allow parents the option of sending their children to the school of
their choice, whether that school is public or private. If this approach were adopted, tax dollars
currently allocated to a school district would be allocated to parents in the
form of a school voucher to help pay for the school they choose to send their
child to. How familiar are you with this approach to education?

Very Familiar

36%

Somewhat Familiar

44%

Not very Familiar

12%

Not Familiar at All

8%


5. Would you say that you are personally
favorable or unfavorable towards an approach which would allow Georgia parents
the ability to use a school voucher to choose which school to send their
children to?

Strongly
Favorable

41%

Somewhat
Favorable

17%

Neutral

11%

Somewhat
Unfavorable

8%

Strongly
Unfavorable

14%

Undecided

9%

6. The Georgia legislature is currently
debating a bill that would allow parents of children with special educational
needs to use a voucher to send their children to a private or public school of
their choice. Would you say that you are personally favorable or unfavorable to
this approach of allowing parents of children with disabilities to send their
children to the school of their choice?

Strongly
Favorable

37%

Somewhat
Favorable

22%

Neutral

13%

Somewhat
Unfavorable

9%

Strongly
Unfavorable

11%

Undecided

8%

7. How would you rate Georgia’s public
school system when it comes to how well they educate students with special
needs?

Good

17%

Fair

26%

Poor

17%

Don’t Know

40%

8. In your opinion, do you think private schools in
Georgia do a better job, worse job or about the same job as public schools at
meeting the challenges of educating special needs
children?

Better

54%

Worse

8%

About the same

18%

Don’t Know

20%

9. Would you say that you are personally
favorable or unfavorable towards an approach which would allow Georgia parents
the ability to use a special needs scholarship to choose which school to send
their children to?

Strongly
Favorable

35%

Somewhat
Favorable

27%

Neutral

9%

Somewhat
Unfavorable

11%

Strongly
Unfavorable

10%

Undecided

8%


10. If a private school offered the best
education available for a child with special needs, would you favor allowing
parents the option of using public funds to send their children to a private
school?

Strongly
Favorable

31%

Somewhat
Favorable

19%

Neutral

14%

Somewhat
Unfavorable

12%

Strongly
Unfavorable

13%

Undecided/Don’t
Know

11%

11. Some people believe that school choice
and vouchers should be available to all parents regardless of incomes and needs.
Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Strongly Agree

39%

Somewhat Agree

21%

Somewhat
Disagree

16%

Strongly
Disagree

18%

Undecided

6%

12. Some people believe that school choice
and vouchers should only be available to low-income families or to families with
children in failing public schools. Do you agree or disagree with this
statement?

Strongly Agree

17%

Somewhat Agree

18%

Somewhat
Disagree

37%

Strongly
Disagree

23%

Undecided

5%

13. Some have suggested that instead of a
school voucher, that the state should give a tax credit to parents to allow them
to select the public or private school of their choice. Would you favor this
approach?

Strongly Favor

35%

Somewhat Favor

18%

Somewhat Oppose

14%

Strongly Oppose

17%

Undecided

16%

14. If it were your decision, would you
select a public school, private school, or homeschooling for your children?

Private

43%

Public

27%

Home

16%

Undecided

9%

N/A

5%


15. Why would you
select a private school? (rotate)

Better curriculum

21%

Better teachers

36%

Stricter discipline

11%

Smaller classrooms

10%

Better able to address the needs of the students

14%

Other

8%

16. Who do you think is best prepared to make
educational choices for children, parents or school administrators?

Parents

82%

School Administrators

12%

Undecided

6%

17. One argument in favor of school choice
and vouchers is that it will improve K-12 education by allowing parents the
freedom to choose the best education for their child. Would you agree or
disagree with this statement?

Agree

53%

Disagree

29%

Undecided

18%

18. One argument against school choice is
that it will drain money from public schools. Would you agree or disagree with
this statement?

Agree

44%

Disagree

31%

Undecided

25%

19. What appeals
to you most about school choice and vouchers? (specify)

Parents choose the best school for children

38%

Provides better education and curriculum

21%

Competition improves education
overall

13%

Makes schools, teachers, and administrators more
accountable

11%

Other

9%

Don’t Agree with School Choice and
Vouchers

7%

Will save taxpayer money

1%


20. What causes you the most concerns about
school choice and vouchers?

Damages public education in poor schools/areas

31%

Not sure

21%

Other

17%

Overall quality of
education

10%

Capacity issues when choosing popular
schools

8%

Government control and/or interference on schools

4%

Abilities of the schools to
perform

3%

Source of funding

3%

Teachers will lose jobs

2%

Should use the money to fix public
education

1%

21. What appeals to you most about vouchers for special needs
students?

Allows parents
to choose the best school

35%

Allows parents
the choice of private schools

28%

Makes for
better schools for all students

14%

Other

11%

Gives special
needs students a better chance to succeed

6%

Special needs
students will know they are not alone

5%

No difference

1%

22. Thinking ahead to the next election, when a candidate for
State Senator or Representative supports school choice, would that make you more
likely to vote for them, less likely to vote for them, or make no difference
whatsoever in your choice of candidates?

More likely

54%

Less likely

13%

No Difference

17%

Undecided

16%

Now we have a few questions to make sure that we have an
accurate sampling of voters.

23. Are you registered to vote as a:

Democrat

40%

Libertarian

4%

Republican

47%

Other Party affiliation

1%

Independent/No Party affiliation

8%


24. Which of the following age categories do you fall into?

18-25

7%

25-35

19%

36-45

25%

46-55

28%

56-65

12%

Over 65

9%

25. If you have children in the household,
what age group do they fall into?

0-5

14%

6-10

28%

11-14

26%

15-18

23%

Combination

9%

26. Are you:

African-American

27%

Asian

2%

Hispanic

5%

White

65%

Other

1%

27. Are you:

Male

48%

Female

52%

23 comments

  1. Jamie Self of the GA Family Council was discussing these results on Tim Bryant’s (Athens-based) show this morning.

    I have an autistic brother; this an issue that is near and dear to my heart. I sincerely hope that SB 10 passes the House and reaches the Governor’s desk…

  2. Nicki says:

    Sorry, I still think it’s a junk poll. Particularly since it was sponsored by a coalition of groups in favor of “school choice” (or as the archdiocese of Atlanta might see it, “government funding of private schools” and it features several questions with assumptions built in which may not be accurate. There’s also the matter of the poll asking about vouchers which would allow parents to choose schools for their children when, in fact, they are not sufficient to allow parents free choice of schools. And then there’s sample size.

    And I’m amused that someone writing from a republican perspective would use “anti-choice” as a descriptive.

  3. Know Nothing says:

    Buzz,

    Unless you send your daughter to either Westminster or Lovett, you might as well move into an East Cobb or North Fulton school district and forgoe the private school tuition.

  4. Holly says:

    I’m a former teacher, so my opinion here comes from my point of view as someone who’s been in classroom. I’m going to sound awfully un-Republican for a moment, ha ha.

    The idea that parents of special education parents could get vouchers to send their children to private schools is not a good idea. Private schools, as a rule, do not have many (or any) teachers certified to teach special education classes, nor are most of the ones in my area set up to deal with students with severe disabilities. Actually, in Richmond County, where I taught, not even all the public high schools in the county were equipped to work with severe and profound students, so those students were enrolled at the schools – often out of district – that were.

    Parents who would send their students in need of special education classes to schools that don’t offer them actually would hurt their children with this program more than help them. I understand that the concept behind the legislation is well-intentioned, but I’m skeptical it will work as proposed.

  5. polsaa says:

    The fact that the survey was sponsored by a leading pro-voucher organiztion automatically makes the results highly suspect. Moreover, as a survey research specialist, I can tell you that, whatever your opinion on this issue, these questions are clearly biased. The survey presents only one side of the issue and asks whether repondents agree with that side. The appropriate way to ask about a controversial issue like this is to present both sides of the issue and ask which side respondents agree with. A question posing a tradeoff between the pro- and anti-voucher sides of the issue would almost certainly have produced very different results. In addition, some questions on the survey simply don’t make sense. There is a question about party registration in Georgia, but there is no party registration in Georgia. Yet everybody appears to have answered.

  6. Mad Dog says:

    Anti-choice on abortion
    Anti-choice on national defense
    Anti-choice on fiscal responsibility

    Pro-choice on military service
    Pro-choice on taxation
    Pro-choice on private education

    Must be the GOP

  7. Demonbeck says:

    Anti-choice on improved education in Georgia
    Anti-choice on national defense
    Anti-choice on personal responsibility

    Pro-choice on killing babies
    Pro-choice on union control
    Pro-choice on surrendering to terrorism

    Must be the Democrats

  8. joe says:

    Question number 2: How would you rate
    Georgia’s public school system?

    Good =39%.

    This is a junk poll. In every rating, Georgia schools come out 45th out of 51 (or worse).

    They must have only polled products of Georgia schools.

  9. Icarus says:

    Joe,

    I went to Georgia’s public schools for elementary through grad school, and I’ve found that they produce three kinds of people, Those who can count, and those that can’t.

  10. Federalist says:

    This poll was bogus. It does not matter how many observations are made when the poll is biased. Note that a majority of people in Ga think that the education system is Good or Fair, only a third knew what the voucher plan proposes (and half of them do not know what the voucher plan is, but they want to seem intelligent and informed). These are the two key survery questions in this study. How can 59% of people polled support a plan for vouchers if 66% have little or no idea what the plan calls for. This is why we have representative government, so the intelligent capable people are making the decisions. Over 80% polled in this survey said they trust their choice, not the school administrators…well, I for one do not trust uneducated parents to make decisions. I do not think I can trust a parent to make the correct decision about their child’s education. It is not anti-choice, it is pro-reason.

  11. buzzbrockway says:

    Over 80% polled in this survey said they trust their choice, not the school administrators…well, I for one do not trust uneducated parents to make decisions. I do not think I can trust a parent to make the correct decision about their child’s education. It is not anti-choice, it is pro-reason.

    That’s dangerous thinking Federalist. To be sure there a plenty of idiots out there but to say they are not the ones who should make decisions for themselves and their families is very dangerous IMHO.

  12. nrallen says:

    darn, i do not know html very well….the rest of the answer…

    geeze you’re snippy. if anything i was trying to help you out. when the answer to the first two questions are “Undecided/Other” at 20% and 29% respectively, then as someone who deals with surveys and statistics everyday, i become very curious with the number of observations for the remainder of the pole

    but, you know, you keep screaming your knee-jerk reaction that the pole is obviously biased, without actually trying to raise above with real points about it being biased

  13. GOPeach says:

    “Having served as a public school teacher in Colorado and as the U.S. Secretary of Education’s Regional Representative, I have earned real world knowledge of how to best educate America’s children. Control over the education of our children must be in the hands of the parents. I believe in the ability of parents to choose the educational path best suited for their children. I support tax credits for families who choose to allow their children to attend any other institution whether it be a private, parochial, or home school. I oppose increased federal involvement in education, and broke ranks with my party to oppose the No Child Left Behind Act for that reason.”

    Congressman [President] Tom Tancredo
    http://www.teamtancredo.com/default.asp

  14. MidGaDawg says:

    Good to know what Tom Tancredo thinks. Of course, he believes in a lot of crazy things and is a non-factor in the presidential race. But it’s good to know his thoughts…

Comments are closed.