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At Least One Poll Goes Obama's Way

President Obama may be losing the electorate on spending, health insurance and grandma's life prospects, but his education policies seem to be winning the nation's heart. The 41st annual Phi Delta Kappa International/Gallup poll of attitudes toward public schools, released this week, shows Americans, like their leader, strongly favor public charter schools and merit pay for teachers.

Like the president, the 1,003 poll respondents are disenchanted with the No Child Left Behind Act, which seeks to force change in schools that do not raise achievement. But they still want annual testing to see how their kids and their schools are doing. The count on NCLB is 48 percent unfavorable and 28 percent favorable. Sixty-six percent favor and 34 percent oppose annual testing.

The margin in favor of charter schools is 64 percent to 33 percent, up from a narrower 49 to 41 percent finding in 2005. Respondents favor merit pay 72 to 21 percent.

And not that anybody cares but me, but these erudite poll respondents think we education reporters are doing a swell job, sort of. Seventy four percent say they are well informed about their local public school situation, compared to 26 percent who say they are not. I must also reveal that when asked if they thought the new media gave a fair and accurate picture of the schools in their community, the vote was closer: 56 percent yes and 42 percent no.

By Jay Mathews  | August 27, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
 
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Comments

Jay,
I don't quite see how you see this poll "going Obama's way." Only 45 percent of respondants gave him an A or a B. That seems lukewarm to me.

Posted by: catoctin_joe | August 31, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

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