Poll Indicates Louisiana Supports Jindal’s Education Reform

A new survey of Louisiana voters shows that many believe education is the biggest problem for Governor Bobby Jindal and state lawmakers to overcome, writes the Bayou Buzz.

Southern Media & Opinion Research Inc.’s survey found that 25 percent of respondents saw education as a priority, while 22 percent saw jobs and unemployment as a priority.

While the survey results show widespread dissatisfaction with public education in Louisiana, many of the respondents backed Jindal’s plan to reform public K-12 education, with 90 percent saying they support changes that would require tenured teachers to undergo periodic approval to keep their status.

Among the highlights:

36 percent of respondents gave public education in general a C, while 29 percent gave a D and 13 percent gave an F. Only 4 percent gave public education an A.

26 percent said the quality of public education is getting better; 31 percent said it’s getting worse; 41 percent said it’s staying the same.

53 percent were somewhat or very dissatisfied with public schools in their own parish compared to 14 percent who are very satisfied. African-Americans were most dissatisfied.

67 percent said they support Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to reform publicK-12 education in Louisiana.

Respondents seemed more likely to give passing grades to public schools in their own parishes. Though, African-Americans generally give local public schools lower grades.

The results show that fifty-three percent of respondents were somewhat or very dissatisfied with public schools in their own parish compared to 14 percent who are very satisfied.

Supporters of the current teacher tenure system won’t take much relief from the survey with only 11 percent of respondents saying teacher tenure should be granted for life.

Eighty-eight percent, including overwhelming majorities in every demographic subset, said tenure should be renewed based on a periodic performance-based review.

Southern Opinion & Media Research, developed the poll and conducted it by telephone interviews in the early winter.