Survey Questions
+ Responses

Year 2017

Which of these is the MOST important issue facing Idaho today in your view? Is it:

36 The economy
7 The environment
55 Public education
2 Don’t know

Which comes closest to your view about Idaho’s public school system?

7 It’s in very good shape and needs little change
69 It’s OK but it could be a lot better with some changes
20 There’s so much wrong with it that a complete overhaul is necessary
3 Don’t know

In your view, which level of government should take the MOST responsibility for improving Idaho’s public school system? Should it be:

32 Individual school districts
35 Idaho’s Department of Education
23 The Idaho Legislature
7 The governor’s office
4 Don’t know

Which comes closer to your view? If Idaho spent more money on its public schools:

47 The money would actually get to the classrooms and improve education
49 The money would actually get lost along the way
4 Don’t know

How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement: It is our fundamental responsibility as a society to provide a free, high-quality education to all children regardless of their families’ background or economic status.

74 Strongly agree
18 Somewhat agree
3 Somewhat disagree
4 Strongly disagree
1 Don’t know

Are you the parent or guardian of any children under 18 years old?

38 Yes, parent
62 No
Don’t know

Base: Parent
Thinking about your oldest child who is under 18, which of these do you think would be best for this child after he or she finishes high school?

60 To go to a 4-year college
13 To go to a community college
16 To go to a trade school
5 To get a job
5 Don’t know

[Q15 comes before Q14]

If you were asked for advice by a family that wanted top-notch public schools for their children, would you encourage them to move to your school district, or would you tell them they might be better off looking elsewhere?

53 Encourage them to move to district
38 Tell them might be better off looking elsewhere
9 Don’t know

Students are often given the grades A, B, C, D, and Fail to denote the quality of their work. Suppose the public schools themselves were graded in the same way. What grade would you give the public schools in your community?

9 A
35 B
44 NET A/B
36 C
13 D
4 Fail
53 NET C/D/F
3 Don’t know

Here are some things the public schools in your community could teach students. Please tell me if each is absolutely essential, important but not essential, or not too important for the public schools in your community to teach students.

Advanced science and math like physics and calculus

55 Absolutely essential
40 Important but not essential
5 Not too important
Don’t know

Basic reading, writing, and math

97 Absolutely essential
3 Important but not essential
Not too important
Don’t know

Basic science like biology

76 Absolutely essential
21 Important but not essential
3 Not too important
Don’t know

Computers and technology

79 Absolutely essential
19 Important but not essential
2 Not too important
Don’t know

Critical thinking

76 Absolutely essential
19 Important but not essential
4 Not too important
2 Don’t know

Farming, agriculture, and forestry

36 Absolutely essential
52 Important but not essential
12 Not too important
Don’t know

Literature, music, and art

54 Absolutely essential
41 Important but not essential
6 Not too important
Don’t know

Practical job skills for office or industry

59 Absolutely essential
36 Important but not essential
5 Not too important
1 Don’t know

Sports and physical education

41 Absolutely essential
49 Important but not essential
10 Not too important
Don’t know

U.S. history and civics

71 Absolutely essential
26 Important but not essential
2 Not too important
Don’t know

Do you think that the public schools in your community should mostly focus on teaching students academic subjects, or do you think it’s just as important for them to teach the value of such things as hard work, persistence, and responsibility?

22 Mostly focus on academic subjects
75 Just as important to teach the value of hard work, persistence, and responsibility
3 Don’t know

Do you think that student achievement is virtually all determined by student effort and what happens at home, or do you think that good teachers and good schools make a big difference too?

14 Virtually all determined by student effort and what happens at home
82 Good teachers and good schools make a big difference too
4 Don’t know

Do you think that Idaho’s public schools should:

66 Teach to the same academic standards as the rest of the country because students need the same basic knowledge wherever they are
31 Teach to the state’s own academic standards because what Idaho’s students need to learn is different from the rest of the U.S.
4 Don’t know

Many factors can be used to evaluate the performance of Idaho’s public schools. Do you think that using students’ standardized test scores as ONE of those factors is:

48 Generally a good idea
48 Generally a bad idea
5 Don’t know

Many factors can be used to evaluate the performance of teachers. Do you think that using students’ standardized test scores as ONE of those factors is:

38 Generally a good idea
58 Generally a bad idea
4 Don’t know

Some suggest that the best way to measure teacher effectiveness is to assess students’ skills and knowledge when they first come to a teacher and to measure them again when students leave to see what progress was made. Do you think this is:

83 Generally a good idea
15 Generally a bad idea
2 Don’t know

As you may know, Idaho has adopted the I-SAT, the Idaho Standards Achievement Test. The test satisfies the federal government’s requirement that all students be tested in math and reading each year in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. How much do you support or oppose the I-SAT?

20 Strongly support
50 Somewhat support
18 Strongly oppose
9 Somewhat oppose
3 Don’t know

When it comes to each of the following, do you think Idaho should expand, reduce, or leave things as they are?

High school internships and work experience

80 Expand
2 Reduce
16 Leave as is
3 Don’t know

Online learning

48 Expand
13 Reduce
34 Leave as is
6 Don’t know

Pre-Kindergarten education

51 Expand
9 Reduce
37 Leave as is
3 Don’t know

Vocational education classes

75 Expand
1 Reduce
21 Leave as is
3 Don’t know

School districts in wealthier communities can generally offer better academic programs and higher teacher salaries than districts in poorer communities. Which comes closer to your view:

20 Inequalities in school funding are an unavoidable part of life
75 It is Idaho’s responsibility to make up the difference so that poorer districts can compete with wealthier ones
5 Don’t know

I’m going to read you a list of proposals for helping students in poorer school districts and ask if you strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, or strongly disapprove of that proposal.

Create after-school programs to help struggling students catch up academically

74 Strongly approve
21 Somewhat approve
3 Strongly disapprove
2 Somewhat disapprove
1 Don’t know

Create pre-school programs for at-risk children so that they enter school ready to learn

60 Strongly approve
28 Somewhat approve
8 Strongly disapprove
3 Somewhat disapprove
1 Don’t know

Create tax-funded vouchers that special-needs and low-income families can use to pay for private schools, religious schools, or learning programs

28 Strongly approve
30 Somewhat approve
21 Strongly disapprove
19 Somewhat disapprove
2 Don’t know

Encourage small districts to pool their resources and share costs so they can improve the programs they offer students

53 Strongly approve
38 Somewhat approve
5 Strongly disapprove
3 Somewhat disapprove
2 Don’t know

Encourage successful charter schools to replicate in communities whose public schools are failing

40 Strongly approve
33 Somewhat approve
13 Strongly disapprove
10 Somewhat disapprove
3 Don’t know

Offer financial incentives to encourage top-notch teachers to teach in schools that serve at-risk students

49 Strongly approve
37 Somewhat approve
9 Strongly disapprove
5 Somewhat disapprove
1 Don’t know

As far as you know, is there a charter school in your area, or not?

68 Yes, charter school in area
21 No
11 Don’t know

Base: Yes, charter school in area
Which do you think generally offers a better education in your area? Is it:

54 The charter schools
26 The regular public schools
6 No difference
2 Depends
13 Don’t know

How much do you know about charter schools – a great deal, quite a bit, only some, very little, or nothing at all?

8 A great deal
26 Quite a bit
39 Only some
19 Very little
8 Nothing at all
Don’t know

Charter schools are public schools that have a lot more control over their own budget, staff, and curriculum, and are free from many existing regulations. In general, how much do you favor or oppose charter schools?

31 Strongly favor
42 Somewhat favor
16 Somewhat oppose
8 Strongly oppose
4 Don’t know

Here are three ways charter schools are different from regular public schools. Please tell me which is the MOST appealing to you.

17 Charter schools have more control over their budgets
61 Charter schools can specialize in teaching students who have specific interests and talents
17 Charter schools can hire and fire staff more easily
2 None are appealing
3 Don’t know

Base: Parent
Have any of your children ever attended a:

11 Private non-religious school
16 Private religious school
16 Charter school
73 Regular public school
8 Don’t know

Base: Parent
If money were not an issue and you could choose from all of the following options, would you prefer that your child attend a:

20 Private non-religious school
23 Private religious school
20 Charter school
35 Regular public school
3 Don’t know

Now I have just a few questions for statistical purposes.

What is the highest level of school you have completed?

4 Less than high school
17 High school graduate
29 Some college or trade school, no degree
13 Associate’s degree/2-year degree
24 Bachelor’s degree/4-year degree
13 Graduate degree
Don’t know

Are you a recent transplant to Idaho, meaning in Idaho less than 10 years, have you lived in Idaho for many years, or are you a native Idahoan?

11 Recent transplant, meaning in Idaho less than 10 years
42 Lived in Idaho for many years
47 Native Idahoan
Don’t know

If you had to generalize about the economic well-being of the families in your area, would you say the families TEND TO BE mostly affluent, mostly middle class, or mostly poor?

5 Mostly affluent
72 Mostly middle class
22 Mostly poor
1 Don’t know

To ensure we include a representative sample, I need your age, so please stop me when I read your age category.

13 18 to 24
18 25 to 34
17 35 to 44
19 45 to 54
16 55 to 64
10 65 to 74
7 75 or older

And are you of Hispanic or Latino origin?

11 Yes
89 No
Don’t know

Do you consider yourself to be:

87 White
11 Hispanic
4 Native American or Pacific Islander
1 Black or African American
1 Asian
1 Something else
Don’t know

I’m going to read some ranges of annual household income. Please stop me when I read the one that best describes your TOTAL household income in 2015.

14 Under $25,000
20 $25,000 to less than $45,000
29 $45,000 to less than $75,000
17 $75,000 to less than $100,000
17 $100,000 or more
3 Don’t know

Would you say the area you live in is:

26 Rural
36 A small town
15 Suburban
22 Urban or city
1 Don’t know

GENDER [Interviewer Record]

46 Male
54 Female