New Pew Poll: Philadelphians View K-12 Education as Top Issue

Opinions mixed on value of charter schools

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A new poll from The Pew Charitable Trusts finds that Philadelphians view education as the top issue facing the city, have an extremely low opinion of the performance of the public school system, and favor replacement of the School Reform Commission with an elected school board.

In addition, city residents have mixed views on the value of charter schools and their role in the future of education in Philadelphia. A majority of respondents viewed charters in a positive light. But on the question of how to improve K-12 education in the city, a similar majority also backed the idea of spending more money on traditional public schools rather than creating additional charters and other new options.

Click here to download the complete poll results from the brief.

Key Findings

  • K-12 education viewed as top issue

    32% Share of 2015 Pew Philadelphia poll respondents who view K-12 education as city’s top issue

    Crime was considered the second-largest issue (23%), followed by jobs and the economy (22%).

  • The School Reform Commission

    4-1 Ratio by which 2015 Pew Philadelphia poll respondents who have an opinion favor eliminating the city’s School Reform Commission.

    If the School Reform Commission were eliminated, nearly two-thirds of respondents would prefer replacing it with an elected school board.

  • Rating Philadelphia schools

    77% Share of 2015 Pew Philadelphia poll respondents who give the city’s schools low marks.

    Most Philadelphians who gave the schools low marks rated them using the lowest grade available, “poor,” rather than “only fair.”

  • Improving the city’s school system

    55% Share of respondents who endorsed a statement calling for government to spend more on traditional public schools to improve education in Philadelphia.

    35% selected a second statement , which called for creation of more charter schools and other options. The rest had no opinion or said they could not choose.

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