Indiana residents indicated a growing concern about how well schools are performing and provided some support for proposed changes in the latest statewide survey of Hoosiers’ opinions about education conducted by the Center for Evaluation & Education Policy (CEEP) at Indiana University. The 2010 Public Opinion Survey on K-12 Education in Indiana asked a representative sample of state residents their opinion on a variety of topics relating to schools, including several matters now before the Indiana General Assembly, in late November and early December.

“It made sense that we ask questions about the key issues that would be discussed by policymakers during the session and take the pulse of Hoosiers on those major issues,” said Terry Spradlin, CEEP Director of Education Policy. Spradlin presented the full report to a meeting of the Indiana State Board of Education in Indianapolis on Feb. 8. He is co-author of the survey report, along with CEEP Director Jonathan Plucker and Rod Whiteman, graduate research associate with CEEP.

Reflecting a possible change in how the state of Indiana evaluates schools, this year’s survey asked respondents to assign a letter grade to Indiana public school quality. The largest response was for a “C” grade (37.1%), with “B” the second highest response (31.4%). Hoosiers opinion of schools is lower from the last survey in 2008 when the “Good” category—equivalent to a “B”—received the largest response, with “Fair” or “C” the second highest answer.

The entire survey, including demographic data and methodology, may be downloaded from ceep.indiana.edu/projects/PDF/2010_POS.pdf.

CEEP, one of the country's leading nonpartisan education policy and program evaluation centers, promotes and supports rigorous evaluation and research primarily, but not exclusively, for educational, human services and nonprofit organizations. Center projects address state, national and international education questions. CEEP is part of the IU School of Education. To learn more about CEEP, go to ceep.indiana.edu.

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