Friday, August 24, 2012


By Tom Chorneau, SI&A Cabinet Report. |

Thursday, August 23, 2012  ::  New polling released Wednesday portends trouble for the two tax measures on the November ballot – but buried under the headlines are also troubling results for supporters of online learning and career tech.

An online survey of slightly more than 1,000 California voters by the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California and the Policy Analysis for California Education – found 55 percent support the governor’s Proposition 30 while 49 percent oppose Proposition 38, the tax measure sponsored by Los Angeles civil rights attorney Molly Munger.

Among the more telling results is the finding that almost 23 percent of independent voters strongly oppose the governor’s tax plan.

Setting aside politics, the poll also focused much of its attention to voter attitudes about what was being taught in California schools and the goals of public education.

Three out of four said that more should be invested in classroom technology while a strong majority favored making online education part of the school day.

That said, 54 percent said they disagreed with the statement that students should be able to take classes online instead of going to class. And 55 percent disagreed with the notion that investment in technology should be done even if it means hiring fewer teachers.

Career tech education, which has been boosted in many districts by the advent of linked learning programs and project-based learning, nonetheless still seems to carry the traditional vocational training stigma in the minds of most voters. Slightly more than 48 percent said they agree with the statement, career technical education is for students who don’t do well in school; meanwhile 45 percent disagreed.

“The poll shows a continued strong stigma associated with career-technical education as being for only certain types of students, stemming from the days when ‘vocational’ education was used as a vehicle to track poor and minority students into a second-class education,” said Dominic Brewer, a professor at the USC Rossier School. “Although high quality career and technical education is clearly needed to meet California’s labor market needs - and the poll shows voters recognize this - overcoming the lingering stigma is an uphill battle.”

The poll was taken over a four-day period ending August 7 and drawn from responses of 1,041 likely California voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

12 07 936 USC Education Poll August 2012 TOPLINE_FINAL[1]

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