PACE and USC Rossier Polls

How does the public view California’s schools and education policy effectiveness? Do voters understand the challenges that California faces, and are they prepared to make the tough choices and tradeoffs that potential solutions entail? Recent polling conducted by PACE and the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California seeks to learn more about how Californians perceive and understand the challenges now facing California’s education system, and the challenges that must be addressed to move the system forward.

PACE and USC Rossier plan to conduct several polls each year, examining how the public perceives the broad “condition of education” as well as addressing specialized topics. In our August 2012 poll, for example, we focused on two policy areas – (i) the use of technology in schools and (ii) career and technical education. In our April 2012 poll we focused on teacher issues and Governor Brown’s proposal for a weighted pupil funding system.

Taken together, our April and August PACE/USC Rossier Polls present a clear and in some ways encouraging picture. Californians appear have come on their own to many of the same conclusions as the ‘Getting Down to Facts’ study about the most important steps necessary to improve the state's public schools. For now, though, they remain skeptical that the changes they would like to see can in fact be accomplished. We hope that our new polling data will inform policy discussions in Sacramento and help to move California’s schools and students closer to the high expectations that voters hold for them.

September 2015


PACE/USC Rossier Poll shows voters greatly overestimate the hours students spend on state testing each year, but support annual testing for all students

Levels of support for the Common Core are generally higher – and levels of opposition are lower – in California than in the rest of the nation. The PACE/USC Rossier School of Education Poll shows a strong majority still know little or nothing about the new standards, however, and many voters are misinformed about the details. More than one in four California voters (26%) had not heard of the Common Core State Standards, the poll showed.

August 2015


PACE/USC Rossier Poll shows voters have little knowledge of Local Control Funding Formula reform meant to dramatically alter public school finance and accountability in the state

As optimism about the state of California’s public schools continues to rise, a strong majority of California voters would back the reauthorization of Proposition 30 to channel additional money to public campuses, according to a new poll released Thursday.

June 2014

A strong majority of California voters oppose the state’s tenure and layoff policies for public school teachers, according to a new poll released just days after the landmark Vergara court case invalidated both statutes as unconstitutional.

September 2013

PACE/USC Rossier Poll shows support for keeping power with local educators and school boards, but not without accountability

Despite calls from Sacramento to reduce standardized testing in California public schools, voters strongly support the use of state standardized tests, both as an essential way to measure student performance and as an important element in teachers’ evaluations, a new PACE/USC Rossier School of Education Poll shows.

August 2012

A slim majority of Californians favor enacting Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s ballot initiative that would raise taxes in order to avoid further spending reductions in education and public safety, according to results from a new Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)/USC Rossier School of Education Poll released today. But the arguments against the initiative carry much greater weight with voters, imperiling the initiative’s chances of passage when Californians cast their ballots less than three months from now.

May 2012

Californians strongly believe local school districts should hold more control over how money is spent in public schools, and a majority favor higher spending in poor districts even if it means shifting money away from their own communities, according to results from a new PACE/USC Rossier School of Education online poll released Thursday.

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