In the News: How Does the ‘Trump Effect’ Change the Public’s View of Education?

Andrew Ujifusa writes about one of the more interesting findings from the new EdNext survey on the Politics K-12 blog. He notes:

People’s views of charter schools, tax-credit scholarships, the Common Core State Standards, and teacher merit pay were sharply affected in several instances when they were told where Trump stands on them.

He further explains:

The survey found that Republicans who were asked about four key policy issues, and then told of Trump’s opinion about them, moved closer to Trump’s view on three of those four issues. Specifically, there was a 15 percentage-point increase in support for charter schools among those identifying with the GOP when told of the president’s support for charters, and a 10 percentage-point bump in support for tax-credit scholarships. Meanwhile, support for the common core dropped by 5 percentage points when Republicans were told of Trump’s opposition to the standards.

Conversely, Democrats were less likely to support two of those four policies when informed of Trump’s opinion. The biggest drop in support among Democrats when informed of Trump’s views, 14 percentage points, was for his support of teacher merit pay. Support among Democrats for tax-credit scholarships also dropped by 7 percentage points when they were told that the president backed them.

Ultimately, the impact of Trump’s positions on the public’s opinion was basically nil when these disparate reactions were taken into account, according to a poll analysis by Samuel Barrows, Michael B. Henderson, Paul G. Peterson, and Martin R. West for Education Next.

Anya Kamenetz of NPR also wrote about this phenomenon in “Suprise, Trump’s Education Ideas are Polarizing.”

For more information about the survey, please read “The 2017 EdNext Poll on School Reform,” released on August 15, 2017.

— Education Next

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