Monday, January 12, 2009

Overwhelming Support for Parental Options

Polling results from Richmond, Petersburg, and Norfolk neighborhoods in Virginia show support for more parental options. According to the press release by the Thomas Jefferson Institute and Black Alliance for Educational Options, (BAEO), parents in these areas have high levels of dissatisfaction with their public schools and are hugely in favor of school choice.
These results are quite similar to those released in Missouri in 2007. The Show Me Institute released those results here and findings were that parents overwhelming supported choice in Missouri as well.
Here are the details about Virginia's study.
My question is...if so many parents are in support of choice, why won't the unions and legislators let them have it?!

Black Neighborhoods in Richmond, Petersburg Norfolk:
Support for More Parental Options

1/9/2009 - Parents in majority black Petersburg, Richmond and Norfolk neighborhoods have high levels of dissatisfaction with their public schools and overwhelmingly support school choice for parents in their school division.

That's the conclusion of a recently-completed survey of more than 2,200 voters in overwhelming African-American voting precincts, conducted by the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy and the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO).

More than 57 % of survey respondents with school-aged children were dissatisfied with their public school system, versus only 31.2% who were satisfied.

More importantly, 76.3% of all respondents (parents and non-parents alike) favored giving parents more educational options for their children, including support for tax credits for businesses making donations to K-12 scholarship funds for low income students (65.1% support), personal tax credits for donations to K-12 scholarship funds for low-income students (68.3%), grants to allow students with disabilities to attend the private school of their choice (88.8%) and public charter schools (70.3%).

BAEO President Gerard Robinson, contributing author of Educational Freedom in Urban America: Brown v. Board After Half a Century, said the results contradicted what often passes for conventional wisdom. "Opponents of school choice often raise the specter of segregation in opposing choice, and it is true that choice was once used as a weapon to oppose integration. But what I think we're seeing now is a new generation whose focus is on educational excellence for their children, rather than re-fighting battles that have largely been won."

"There are a whole range of successful options available that have never been used in Virginia," Robinson continued. "Parents and non-parents alike know it is time to provide new opportunities for Virginia children at risk of failure."

Jefferson Institute vice president Chris Braunlich noted support for choice was highest where student performance was at its worst. "The levels of support for all parental choice options was highest in Petersburg, where only one of seven schools is fully accredited. After years of watching the education system fiddle around the edge of reform without results, Petersburg voters are very clear: they want to see wholesale change take place. The children of Petersburg are still without the opportunity to learn and to graduate with the skills that will make them successful."

1 comment:

Martin said...

It is nice that new opportunities are provided for Virginia children at risk of failure.