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ISSUES I: EDUCATION
Supplementary Education Surveys
Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University

June 29, 2000

These studies were conducted by telephone April 27 - May 2 (Part 1) and April 28 - May 3, 2000 (Part 2) among a nationally representative sample of 1,017 adults (Part 1) and 1,029 adults (Part 2) age 18 and older. The margin of error for results based on the full sample in either poll is plus or minus 3 percentage points, and plus or minus 4 percentage points for results based on half samples. Field work was conducted by ICR/International Communications Research of Media, Pa.

*= less than 0.5 percent

Part 1

1. How important will the issue of education and schools be to you in deciding which candidate to support in the November presidential election - very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?

Very important
53
Somewhat important
28
Not too important
9
Not important at all
10
Don't Know
1

(Asked of respondents who replied that education will be very or somewhat important in choosing a candidate in question 1. More than one response was accepted.)
2. When you think about education and schools, what kinds of issues or problems concern you the most

Violence/school safety/guns/gangs
36
Quality of teachers
19
Overcrowding/class size/Student-teacher ratio
11
Funding for schools/not enough funds
11
Discipline/student behavior/lack of respect
10
Students not being taught the basics/Not learning enough
10
Cost of education
5
Teachers not paid enough
5
Drugs
5
Religion or prayer needed back in schools
4
Parents should be more involved
3
Computers/Computer education needed
3
Racial issues/Students not treated equally
2
Vouchers are needed
1
Quality of education in general
27
Other
3
None/Don't Know
8

Part 2

(Asked of one-half respondents)
1a. Some people say the president has an important role to play in handling education and the schools. Other people say that most education issues should be handled at the state and local level. Which comes closer to your view?

President has important role
22
Should be handled at state/local level
74
Don't Know
4

(Asked of one-half respondents)
2. How important is it that the next president be an inspiring leader who can offer a broad vision of ways that state and local governments can improve public education in their communities? Should that be a top priority for the next president, an important priority but not his top priority, or not an important priority for the next president?

A top priority for the next president
41
An important priority but not his top priority
48
Not an important priority for the next president
6
Not something the president should be involved in at all
1
Don't know
4

(Asked of one-half respondents)
3. How important is it that the next president work to pass new federal legislation and spending programs designed to improve public education? Should that be a top priority for the next president, an important priority but not his top priority, or not an important priority for the next president?

A top priority for the next president
39
An important priority but not his top priority
49
Not an important priority for the next president
8
Not something the president should be involved in at all
1
Don't know
3

(Asked of one-half respondents)
4. Which is more important for the next president to do: Work to influence local leaders to improve their schools, or work to get new federal legislation and programs passed?

Work to influence local leaders to improve their schools
56
Work to get new federal legislation and programs passed
37
Don't know
7

(Asked of one-half respondents)
1b. Which is more important to you:

Having a president who would mainly try to get state and local governments to make changes to improve public education
61
Having a president who would mainly try to pass new federal legislation and increase spending to improve public education
33
Don't know
6

© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company


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