The Public Policy Institute of California, or PPIC, released new education survey results Wednesday that showed strong support for Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed Local Control Funding Formula, which would give more money to school districts with a higher percentage of low-income and English learner students. Despite much controversy over perceived "winners and losers" in the debate over how much funding each district should receive, the survey showed that state residents agreed that districts with the neediest students should get more money to educate them, even if that means some other districts would get less money.
Here's a rundown of some of the poll's key findings: 46 percent of Californians approve of Gov. Jerry Brown's job performance, down from 51 percent in January, but up from 43 percent last year and 40 percent in 2011. 32 percent approve, and 42 percent disapprove, of the way the governor is handling the state's K-12 education system, an increase in support from 27 percent last year and 24 percent in 2011. 31 percent of Californians approve of the state Legislature, and 53 percent disapprove, with approval down from 34 percent last month. 71 percent of Californians and 60 percent of likely voters support the governor's plan to direct more money to English learners and low-income students.
N 74 percent of adults surveyed and 67 percent of likely voters say these students' academic achievement will improve with more funding.
N 66 percent of adults say school districts with low-income students should get more new state funding, even if this means less funding for other districts. 54 percent say school districts that have more English language learners should get more funding from the state, even if this means less funding for other districts. 89 percent of adults and 79 percent of likely voters support giving local districts more flexibility over how state money is spent. 63 percent of adults say the current level of state funding for their local public school is not enough. 49 percent of Californians think the quality of education is a big problem, down from 58 percent last year. 66 percent see the dropout rate as a big problem, down from 74 percent two years ago.
N 76 percent of Californians say preparing students for college is very important.
N 74 percent say it is very important to include career technical education, or vocational courses, in the curriculum. 54 percent say it is very important to include civics in the curriculum. 53 percent say reducing K-3 class size is very important. 56 percent of Californians say they are very concerned that graduating students in lower-income areas are less likely than other students to be ready for college. 52 percent say they are very concerned that schools in lower-income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared with schools in wealthier areas.
N 47 percent say they are very concerned that English language learners in California's schools today score lower on standardized tests than other students. 36 percent see student achievement as a big problem, down from 46 percent in 2011. 28 percent of Californians see teacher quality as a big problem, down from 44 percent two years ago.
N 51 percent of adults say it is a good idea to lower the vote threshold for passage of local school parcel taxes to 55 percent, while 42 percent say this is a bad idea. Likely voters were less supportive, with 47 percent in favor and 48 percent against this idea. 53 percent said they were somewhat or very confident that standardized tests are an accurate indicator of a student's progress and abilities. 40 percent said students in their communities received the "right amount" of testing in elementary and middle schools, compared with 24 percent who said they received too much, 29 percent who said not enough and 9 percent who didn't know.
N 39 percent said high school students in their communities received the "right amount" of testing, compared with 21 percent who said they received too much, 31 percent who said not enough and 9 percent who didn't know. 84 percent said teacher evaluations should include classroom observations made by school principals or other experts.
N 68 percent said teacher evaluations should include academic improvement of students as measured on standardized tests.
N 63 percent said teacher evaluations should include students' academic achievement on standardized tests.
SOURCE: Public Policy Institute of California
The complete survey results are available by visiting www.ppic.org/main. Click on "Publications."
For more details about the poll results, read the On Assignment blog at http://www.ibabuzz.com/onassignment.