Readers Identify Lack of Funding as #1 Challenge for U.S. Schools


This week’s ASCD SmartBrief  ED Pulse poll question was based upon a similar question included in the recent annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. (See report here!)  This survey asks U.S. adults for their opinions on a wide variety of topics that relate to public education. On this question that asks for the greatest challenges facing public schools, ASCD SmartBrief readers join the Gallup Poll adults in reporting that a lack of funding is the great challenge today (69%).

The ASCD SmartBrief readers, being primarily made up of educators, report this at a higher rate than did the U.S. adults in the Gallup Poll. Only one other challenge was mentioned by more than 10% of the ASCD SmartBrief readers, with 16% selecting overcrowding as the biggest challenge. (Of course, overcrowding can be a result of a lack of funding so this challenge can be also considered part of the primary challenge of lack of funds.) The next most frequently given challenge was lack of discipline, selected by 8% of the total. The final two challenges, drug use and violence, were each given by about 1%.

This single-choice survey question was included in ASCD SmartBrief, a daily education news roundup e-newsletter, which has 217,000 subscribers. Using ED Pulse, the weekly online poll, data was collected from 653 readers, starting on August 30, 2012. Online surveys do not provide a random sample, as participants are self-selected, meaning that a margin of sampling error cannot be calculated or quoted. In addition, the population and sample are limited to those with access to computers and an online network. However, online surveys have been shown to produce results that have proven to be reliable predictors of outcomes, including election results.

If you have a question on education that you would like to see addressed in a future ED Pulse poll, feel free to submit it in the comment section below, along with any other comments.