Governor Ted Strickland and state legislators are seriously debating the future of the Buckeye State's public education system--and much of that debate has grown more partisan than is probably healthy for the state and its children. Much of it also centers on money.
But what do Ohio's voters, taxpayers, and parents think about these and kindred issues? How do they view public schooling in 2009? Are they eager for reforms or generally content with things the way they are? Which changes do they favor? How confident are they that reforms will succeed? Indeed, how aware are they of the serious debates now swirling around the future of Ohio education?
In partnership with the independent education journal Catalyst Ohio (see here), we resolved to find out, and enlisted the expert help of the nonpartisan FDR Group (see here), a respected survey research firm led by veteran public opinion analysts Steve Farkas and Ann Duffett. The result is Checked Out: Ohioans' Views on Education 2009. This is the third such survey that we at Fordham have undertaken since 2005 on education issues in the Buckeye State. This makes it possible to track some key trends in public opinion over time.