AASA Public Opinion Polls

Effective communication about public education is critical to the ongoing success of the Stand Up for Public Education campaign. At the beginning of this campaign, it was clear that educators needed good information about how the public developed its opinions about public schooling, what sources of information they trusted, and what messages worked. This polling has resulted in clear, useful information that enables school system leaders to communicate effectively about public education.



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AASA Summary Presentations

Promoting Public Schools and Discussing Federal Issues: A Blueprint for School System Leaders 2005 (PowerPoint, Members Only)
Delivered at AASA's National Conference on Education, this presentation summarizes AASA’s polling work to date with an emphasis on promoting public schools. While covering a broad array of issues and topics, the presentation touches on

  • Sources of information about public schools
  • Information the public wants to see about public schools
  • If the public is getting positive or negative information about public schools
  • If the public feels that public schools are going in the right direction or wrong direction
  • Credibility of sources about public education
  • Message testing about the importance of school leadership
  • Believability of different messages from different sources
  • Message testing regarding using a common sense approach to testing special education students
  • Who has the best ideas about how to improve schools
  • Agreement with the No Child Left Behind accountability system
  • Influence of state and federal labels
  • Opinion of high schools and high school reforms
  • Opinions on importance of preparing all students for college
  • Opinions on small high schools
  • Summary: effective advocacy


Effective Advocacy for Public Education: What Has AASA Learned? June 2004 (PowerPoint, Members Only)
This presentation highlights seven key lessons on effective advocacy:

  • Where the public gets information about schools
  • How the public seeks information about public schools
  • The role of bad news about schools
  • There is a bias against teenagers among the public that is unfounded
  • People tend to think schools are unsafe
  • Superintendents are a credible source of information about schools
  • The public wants more information about how schools are doing – but that doesn’t necessarily mean more test scores


Individual Poll Results:

The individual polls listed and linked below represent AASA's efforts to obtain a snapshot of public perception of public education. Though the surveys ask many similar questions, it is the change in results from survey to survey that illustrate the emphasis the public places on having a successulf public education system.


  • Public Education Study July 2006 (PowerPoint, Members Only)
    A snapshot of public opinion on public schools. This survey asked a range of questions addressing everything from the direction schools are moving in and where they need to go to community suggestions for improvement and involvement.


  • Nobody's Unpredictable: AASA Public Education Survey Sept. 2005 (PowerPoint, Members Only)
    Nobody's Unpredictable: AASA Public Education Survey Jan. 2005 (PowerPoint, Members Only)
    These surveys examined how the public perceives school leaders, the public schools, and the direction schools are moving in. It looked at what the general public sees as the main goal of public education.
  • Public Schools Study July 2005 (PowerPoint, Members Only)
    This survey looked at how participants perceived school and student performance, factors influencing test scores, and the best way to measure schools -- growth model vs. Adequate Yearly Progress.



  • Nobody's Unpredictable: Public Education Tracking Survey Aug/Oct. 2003 (PowerPoint, Members Only)
    This survey examined how participants rated and perceived public schools and the direction schools are moving in. The survey tested the Stand Up for Public Education campaign messaging, asked what characteristics define successful schools, and asked participants to rank the credibility of their education news sources.
  • AASA Quantitative Study Aug. 2003 (PowerPoint, Members Only)
    This poll addressed participant demographics, tested the messaging of the Stand Up for Public Education campaign and asked participants to rate public schools, evaluate their news sources, and assess the credibility of school news messaging. , and sources includes questions on the following issues: