Awareness and Support of Charters Has Grown to New Levels According to New CCSA Statewide Polling
September 30, 2011 Each year, CCSA conducts statewide public opinion polling to chart the awareness levels and support for charter schools among other things. In 2011, awareness of and support for charters grew to new levels. More than 67% of respondents reported knowing about charters and 47% indicated support. This year, for the first time, it has become clear that the base support for charters exceeds 40% of the population; while the opposition is roughly 15 to 20%. These findings tell us that the public now has the information necessary to determine whether or not they support charter public schools.
Although opponents of charters often use what appear to be strong arguments against charters, when the debates are put to the general public, supporters of charter schools won each of the hypothetical debates. And the strongest predictor of opinion about charter schools remains the experiences, direct or indirect, that people have with them. This year, almost nine out of 10 respondents with some experience described it as positive. But public exposure to charter schools has been too infrequent. Levels of exposure left almost two-thirds of the population with neither direct nor indirect exposure to charter schools. The keys to growing support for charter lie with continuing the positive experiences, broadening public exposure to the schools and responding to the common myths about charters. Student, parents, teachers and other supporters can play a central role in this effort.
How Members and Their Supporters Can Help:
- We know we win the debates that opponents use against charters, so please use the CCSA materials designed to help charter parents and supporters dispel these common myths.
- We know that the most influential factor driving public opinion is the public's experience with charters, but not enough members of the public have a direct or even indirect connection. Ask your students, parents, teachers, and supporters to tell a friend, family member, co-worker, or neighbor about their experience with your charter. Ask them to use social media like their Facebook or Twitter feeds to spread their story to their network.
- Share your school story proactively with others more broadly and ask your supporters to respond when they hear or read untrue statements
- Share your school story with CCSA by sending newsletters, press releases, videos and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org