Year 2019

n=1000
asterisk (*) indicates less than one-half of one percent; numbers don't always total to 100% due to rounding.

1.
Which of these is the MOST important issue facing Idaho today in your view? Is it:

60 Public education
31 The economy
8 The Environment
1 Don’t know

2.
Which comes closest to your view about Idaho’s public school system?

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

4.
Which comes closer to your view? If Idaho spent more money on its public schools:

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

4B.
When trying to evaluate or compare the quality of the public schools in your community, which of these would you be most likely to consider?

47 Indicators like graduation rates or standardized test scores
38 Word of mouth or personal observation
12 News coverage or online content
3 Don’t know

4C.
Suppose you were the person responsible for running the public schools in your community, and you were trying to evaluate or compare their quality. Which would you be most likely to consider?

52 Indicators like graduation rates or standardized test scores
38 Word of mouth or personal observation
8 News coverage or online content
2 Don’t know

14.
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?

5 A
32 B
42 C
14 D
4 Fail (or F)
4 Don’t know

Q18-27
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.

18.
Advanced science and math like physics and calculus – is this absolutely essential, important but not essential, or not too important for the public schools in your community to teach students?

52 Absolutely essential
43 Important but not essential
5 Not too important
* Don’t know

19.
Basic reading, writing, and math – is this absolutely essential, important but not essential, or not too important for the public schools in your community to teach students?

96 Absolutely essential
4 Important but not essential
* Not too important
* Don’t know

20.
Basic science like biology – is this absolutely essential, important but not essential, or not too important for the public schools in your community to teach students?

73 Absolutely essential
25 Important but not essential
2 Not too important
* Don’t know

21.
Computers and technology – is this absolutely essential, important but not essential, or not too important for the public schools in your community to teach students?

76 Absolutely essential
22 Important but not essential
2 Not too important
* Don’t know

22.
Critical thinking – is this absolutely essential, important but not essential, or not too important for the public schools in your community to teach students?

78 Absolutely essential
18 Important but not essential
3 Not too important
2 Don’t know

23.
Farming, agriculture, and forestry – is this absolutely essential, important but not essential, or not too important for the public schools in your community to teach students?

36 Absolutely essential
54 Important but not essential
9 Not too important
* Don’t know

24.
Literature, music, and art – is this absolutely essential, important but not essential, or not too important for the public schools in your community to teach students?

47 Absolutely essential
46 Important but not essential
6 Not too important
1 Don’t know

25.
Practical job skills for office or industry – is this absolutely essential, important but not essential, or not too important for the public schools in your community to teach students?

64 Absolutely essential
33 Important but not essential
3 Not too important
* Don’t know

26.
Sports and physical education – is this absolutely essential, important but not essential, or not too important for the public schools in your community to teach students?

36 Absolutely essential
53 Important but not essential
11 Not too important
1 Don’t know

27.
U.S. history and civics – is this absolutely essential, important but not essential, or not too important for the public schools in your community to teach students?

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

28.
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?

16 Mostly focus on academic subjects
83 Just as important to teach the value of hard work, persistence, and responsibility
1 Don’t know

34.
Do you think that Idaho’s public schools should:

72 Teach to the same academic standards as the rest of the country because students need the same basic knowledge wherever they are
25 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.
3 Don’t know

34C.
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:

77 Generally a good idea
20 Generally a bad idea
3 Don’t know

34D.
Some suggest that before Idaho’s students are awarded a high school diploma, they should be required to pass a standardized test to show they have learned what they were supposed to. Do you think this is:

65 Generally a good idea
32 Generally a bad idea
2 Don’t know

34E.
Some suggest that Idaho’s public schools should allow experienced leaders from other fields, such as the military, law or business, to become school administrators through an alternative track that would be faster and simpler than traditional certification. Do you think this is:

65 Generally a good idea
30 Generally a bad idea
5 Don’t know

34F.
Some suggest that all public schools in the state should be rated, and the ratings should be publicized. The ratings would be based on multiple indicators, such as student growth, standardized test scores, and graduation rates. Do you think this is:

72 Generally a good idea
26 Generally a bad idea
2 Don’t know

34G.
Some suggest that Idaho should create a tax-funded voucher for up to six thousand dollars that families can use for any school – public, religious, or private. Families would pick the schools and the schools would get the money. Do you think Idaho should:

41 Make this available to all families, regardless of income
34 Not make this available at all
22 Make this available, but only to low-income families
4 Don’t know

34H.
Idaho has a new plan that identifies the state’s lowest performing public schools in order to help improve them. Have you heard about this new plan, or have you not heard of it?

12 Yes, have heard of it
88 No, have not
* Don’t know

34I.
The plan identifies public schools with ratings in the bottom 5 percent, helps them develop a turnaround plan, provides expert guidance, and allows three years to improve. Schools that serve low income families get extra funding. Does this plan sound like an excellent, good, only fair, or poor idea to you?

14 Excellent
50 Good
23 Only fair
11 Poor
3 Don’t know

34J.
If three years pass and a school fails to improve, which of these do you think would be the MOST effective action?

50 Replace the school’s leadership or staff
42 Give the school more time and resources
5 Gradually close down the school and reassign its students to better schools
3 Don’t know

Q37-41
When it comes to each of the following, do you think Idaho should expand, reduce, or leave things as they are?

37.
High school internships and work experience – do you think Idaho should expand, reduce, or leave things as they are?

84 Expand
1 Reduce
13 Leave as is
3 Don’t know

39.
Online learning – do you think Idaho should expand, reduce, or leave things as they are?

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

40.
Pre-Kindergarten education – do you think Idaho should expand, reduce, or leave things as they are?

55 Expand
5 Reduce
38 Leave as is
3 Don’t know

41.
Vocational education classes – do you think Idaho should expand, reduce, or leave things as they are?

78 Expand
1 Reduce
18 Leave as is
4 Don’t know

41A.
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:

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

41B.
Idaho’s per pupil spending is among the lowest in the nation. Does this surprise you, or not?

11 Yes, surprises me
89 No, does not
1 Don’t know

41C.
The average public school teacher salary in Idaho has gone up by about 9 percent in the past few years. Does this surprise you, or not?

37 Yes, surprises me
62 No, does not
1 Don’t know

41D.
The budget for Idaho’s public schools has gone up by about 20 percent in the past few years. Does this surprise you, or not?

44 Yes, surprises me
56 No, does not
* Don’t know

41E.
Suppose that Idaho increased spending on education through higher teacher salaries and bigger school budgets for several years in a row, but student achievement did not improve. Which of these would you want to do:

85 Look for other strategies to improve student achievement
13 Stay the course and continue to increase spending
3 Don’t know

12.
Are you the parent or guardian of any children under 18 years old?

39 Yes, parent
61 No

42.
As far as you know, is there a charter school in your area, or not?

73 Yes, charter school in area
19 No
8 Don’t know

42A.
Base: Charter school in area (n=725)
Which do you think generally offers a better education in your area?

57 The charter schools
25 The regular public schools
5 (volunteered) No difference
4 (volunteered) Depends
9 Don’t know

43.
How much do you know about charter schools – a great deal, quite a bit, only some, very little, or nothing at all?

10 A great deal
23 Quite a bit
39 Only some
22 Very little
7 Nothing at all
* Don’t know

44.
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
45 Somewhat favor
15 Somewhat oppose
6 Strongly oppose
5 Don’t know

44A.
Parent who opposes charter schools (n=71)
Imagine you decided to change your child’s school and a charter school matched what you were looking for.

62 Would you seriously consider it even though it was a charter school
36 Would the fact that it was a charter school stop you from seriously considering it
2 Don’t know

44B.
In Idaho, local property taxes or bonds cannot be used to pay for charter school buildings. Some suggest that the state should make it easier to build and expand charter schools by providing other types of funding, such as loan guarantees. Do you think this is:

56 Generally a good idea
38 Generally a bad idea
5 Don’t know

52.
Parent of child under 18 (n=375)
Have any of your children ever attended a:
(Does not total to 100% due to multiple response categories)

10 Private non-religious school
19 Private religious school
23 Charter school
75 Regular public school
11 Don’t know

53.
Base: Parent of child under 18 (n=389)
If money were not an issue and you could choose from all of the following options, would you prefer that your child attend a:

14 Private non-religious school
27 Private religious school
23 Charter school
32 Regular public school
3 Don’t know

54A.
Base: Parent of child under 18 (n=390)
Do you have a child who has an Individualized Education Program or Plan, also known as an I-E-P, or not?

18 Yes, have child with IEP
79 No, do not
4 Don’t know


Now I have just a few questions for statistical purposes.

62.
Would you say the area you live in is:

24 Rural
32 A small town
19 Suburban
25 Urban or city
1 Don’t know

56B.
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?

7 Mostly affluent
72 Mostly middle class
20 Mostly poor
1 Don’t know

56.
What is the highest level of school you have completed?

2 Less than high school
16 High school graduate
30 Some college or trade school, no degree
15 Associate’s degree/2 year degree
24 Bachelor’s degree/4 year degree
12 Graduate degree
* Don’t know

57.
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
16 45 to 54
17 55 to 64
13 65 to 74
8 75 or older

57A.
And are you of Hispanic or Latino origin?

12 Yes
87 No
1 Don’t know/Refused

58.
Do you consider yourself to be:
(Does not total to 100% due to multiple response categories)

84 White
12 Hispanic
3 Native American or Pacific Islander
* Black or African American
1 Asian
1 Something else
4 Don’t know

59.
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 2017.

12 Under $25,000
20 $25,000 to less than $45,000
28 $45,000 to less than $75,000
20 $75,000 to less than $100,000
20 $100,000 or more
1 Don’t know


GENDER [Interviewer Record]

50 Male
50 Female