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Connecticut State and Community Public Education Poll - October 2002



Commissioned by:
New England Center for Educational Policy and Leadership
Neag School of Education
University of Connecticut

Conducted by:
The Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut and was administered by telephone from October 16-20 with a scientific sample of 726 Connecticut residents. Sampling for the statewide residents is +/-3.5% at the 95% level of confidence.

19. Thinking about the public schools in Connecticut as a whole, would you say that they provide an excellent, good, fair or poor education?

General Population:

  Excellent Good Fair Poor DK/REF
% % % % %
October 15-20, 2002 12 49 29 5 5
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20. Students are often given the grades of A, B, C, D, and Fail to denote the quality of their work. Suppose the public schools themselves, in (your community, in Connecticut, nationally), were graded the same way. What grade would you give the public schools:

General Population:

October 15-20, 2002

A B C D Fail DK/REF
% % % % % %
In your community 17 42 29 6 2 6
In Connecticut 7 40 33 5 1 13
Nationally 3 22 46 9 1 19
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21. In terms of academic achievement, do you think the public schools in Connecticut expect kids to learn too much, too little or are the expectations about right?

General Population:

Too Much Too Little About Right DK/REF
% % % %
October 15-20, 2002 10 38 46 6
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22. As you may know, there's been a lot of talk lately, about the statewide achievement testing program in Connecticut's schools. Overall, do you think the state's testing program has helped to improve the quality of schools and student learning in Connecticut a lot, a little, or not at all?

General Population:

Helped a lot Helped a little Not helped at all DK/REF
% % % %
October 15-20, 2002 19 46 23 11
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23. What about the public schools in your community? Overall do you think the state testing program has helped improve the quality of your schools a lot, a little, or not at all?

General Population:

Helped a lot Helped a little Not helped at all DK/REF
% % % %
October 15-20, 2002 17 45 25 13
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24. How confident are you that the test scores on the state tests are an accurate indicator of a student's progress and school achievement--very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not at all confident?

General Population:

Very Confident Somewhat Confident Not too Confident Not at all Confident DK/REF
% % % % %
October 15-20, 2002 8 46 25 14 6
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25. For each of the following, please tell me whether it helps to improve student achievement a lot, a little, not much, or not at all?

General Population:

October 15-20, 2002

Helps a lot Helps a little Doesn't help much Doesn't help at all DK/REF
% % % % %
Smaller class sizes 80 13 2 3 3
More hours of instruction 39 34 11 14 2
Higher teacher salaries 33 30 14 18 4
Special training of teachers beyond a college degree 55 29 6 5 5
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26. To the best of your knowledge, which of these provides the most funding for public schools in Connecticut?

General Population:

Federal Government State Government Local or city Government DK/REF
% % % %
October 15-20, 2002 13 34 40 12
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27. Overall, do you think the funding for public schools in Connecticut is enough to meet their needs, or not enough to meet their needs?

General Population:

Enough Not enough DK/REF
% % %
October 15-20, 2002 26 66 8
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28. Would you be willing or not willing to pay higher taxes so that school funding could be increased?

General Population:

Willing Not willing DK/REF
% % %
October 15-20, 2002 53 41 6
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29. (Among those willing to pay higher taxes) What kind of tax increase do you think would be best?

Sales Tax Income Tax Real estate Property Personal Property None Other DK/REF
% % % % % % %
October 15-20, 2002 39 26 17 11 0 2 4
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30. Is public school funding in Connecticut enough or not enough to meet the following needs?

General Population:

October 15-20, 2002

Enough Not Enough DK/REF
% % %
Building construction and maintenance 40 48 12
Operating costs to keep the schools running 48 40 11
Teachers salaries 48 40 12
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31. Do you favor or oppose giving parents education tax credits, or vouchers, to pay for their child's tuition at a private, or parochial school of their choice?

General Population:

Favor Oppose DK/REF
% % %
October 15-20, 2002 51 43 6
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32. Now I'm going to read a list of problems that schools might face. For each please tell me whether this is a major problem, a minor problem, or no problem at all for public schools in your community?

General Population:

October 15-20, 2002

Major Problem Minor Problem No problem at all DK/REF
% % % %
Buildings that are unsafe or unhealthy 24 33 37 6
Violence in Schools 31 39 25 4
Poor quality teachers 20 39 34 7
Overcrowded classrooms 45 32 17 7
Costs for mandated federal programs, such as special education 29 33 22 16
Lack of parent Involvement 46 28 20 6
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33. One proposal for containing costs of public education is to have children who engage in extra-curricular activities such as sports pay for their own supplies or equipment. Do you support or oppose such proposals for containing costs? Do you feel that way strongly or only somewhat?

General Population:

--------Support-------- --------Oppose--------
Strongly Somewhat Strongly Somewhat DK/REF
October 15-20, 2002 14% 23% 37% 21% 4%
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34. As you may have heard, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in a case called Sheff vs. O'Neill that all public schools in Connecticut must be racially, ethnically and economically equal. One way the state has tried to assist some school districts to meet the court's order is by using Magnet and Charter Schools. These schools operate special instructional programs and serve students from a wide geographic area. Do you think that these magnet and charter school programs have done too much, not enough, or about right amount to provide racial, ethnic and economic balance in Connecticut's public schools.

General Population:

Too Much Not enough Right Amount DK/REF
October 15-20, 2002 9% 31% 37% 23%
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