PDK poll: Pull the trigger, balance the budget

Seventy percent of Americans think parents should be able to take over low-performing schools, reports the annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll. I was surprised to see “parent trigger” support running so high.

Also surprising:  Balancing the budget is more important than improving education quality said 60 percent,  even though most said schools need more funding.

In 1996, 25 percent chose balancing the budget and 64 percent chose improving education writes Rick Hess. “This year, independents chose balancing the budget by a 2-to-1 margin. This suggests just how tough the road ahead may be for those clamoring for new federal edu-dollars.”

President Obama’s education support is slipping, Hess adds.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents gave him an A or a B on education, while 34% gave him a D or an F. This is down dramatically from ’09, when the comparable figures were 45% and 21%. Independents were more negative than positive, while Republicans were hugely critical–with just 7% giving him an A or a B, and 61% a D or an F. (So much for the notion that the President’s education efforts enjoy bipartisan support.) In the horse race on education, Obama leads Romney by a modest margin, 49-44; this is dramatically smaller than the 17-point advantage Obama enjoyed on John McCain in ’08.

As in past polls, Americans gave higher grades to their local schools — almost half gave an A or B — than to the nation’s schools, which earned a C from nearly  half.

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