Survey Finds Perception Of Public Education Falls Short Of Reality

Feb 1, 2017

Jacksonville Public Education Fund President Trey Csar goes over the results of the Fourth Annual Public Education Perception Poll conducted in early January 2017.
Credit Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

People’s perception of public education in Duval County continues to be at odds with reality in some key areas, according to the fourth annual Public Education Perceptions Poll sponsored by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.

A random survey of 510 Duval County residents was conducted the second week of January by telephone.

JaxPEF President Trey Csar said the public doesn’t believe the schools are doing as well as they are and he points to the high school graduation rate as an example.

“We ask community members and respondents to this survey to name a number (from) zero-to-100 of what they think the public school graduation rate is? And it is a gargantuan gap between the 62 percent that they think and the 79 percent that is actual,” he said.

And, Csar added, some of the discrepancies are more worrisome than others. He cited the increase in the number of people who think all a kid needs to succeed is a high school diploma — an increase of 3.9 percent to 25 percent — and a 5.6 percent increase (24.7 percent) in residents who believe the school district is not doing its job.

Among the other findings: 84 percent of those polled favor letting parents choose their kids’ public school, while 74 percent of respondents said they’re OK paying higher taxes if the money goes to support education.

Csar said further conversation is needed to determine what’s causing the gap between perception and reality and figure out a way to close it. 

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org and on Twitter @cydwjctnews