Survey: 'Obama effect' sways public on charters, vouchers, teacher merit pay
Forget the facts. What does Obama think? People are much more supportive of charter schools and performance pay for teachers when they hear President Obama supports those policies, according to the latest survey from Education Next and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard.
Only 39 percent of Americans support charter schools until they're told President Obama supports them, too - in which case, support rises to 50 percent. On performance pay for teachers, support rises from 43 percent to 56 percent once Obama's support is considered. (That includes a 15 percentage point bump among Democrats and a 19 percentage point increase among teachers.)
On vouchers, support drops from 40 percent to 24 percent when Obama's opposition is factored in.
Should we be surprised? Is there any doubt President Bush's backing of No Child Left Behind made it more unpopular (even though liberal lions like Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. George Miller had a big hand in shaping it)? Or that Jeb Bush's name alone has been a drag on many policies he pushed?
Ron Matus, state education reporter