(The Center Square) – A majority of Coloradans hold a “favorable opinion” about charter schools in the state, part of a survey released on Friday found.
The survey, conducted by Magellan Strategies with the help of Chalkbeat Colorado, is the second installment in a poll done to gauge Coloradans’ opinions on education issues. The first installment was released last month.
The part of the survey released on Friday found that 52% of respondents said they hold positive views of charter schools. That support level increased to 62% among respondents in households with at least one student.
More than 54% of respondents also said they would oppose local policies that would restrict charter schools from opening in their area.
“There are dramatic differences in charter school favorability ratings by party affiliation,” Magellan said of the survey results.
Among Republican respondents, 79% said they favor charter schools, while 47% of unaffiliated respondents and 36% of Democrats who responded view charter schools favorably.
When asked to define charter schools, many Republican and Republican-leaning voters defined them as “having more freedom, higher standards, and being free from a biased and liberal agenda.”
Democratic and left-leaning voters described charter schools as “for-profit entities that restrict enrollment and do not serve all students in a school district,” according to the survey.
The survey also found that more than 70% of respondents believe their public schools should be evaluated by metrics other than standardized test scores. Support was mostly measured among Democratic voters, 88% of whom supported the idea compared to 69% of unaffiliated voters and 52% of Republicans.
However, voters were split concerning whether the state should be able to intervene in low-performing school districts. A plurality of voters, 44%, said the state should intervene compared to 40% who said they state should not.
The first installment of the survey found that 44% of Colorado voters believe the state’s public schools are headed in the wrong direction.
Magellan conducted the survey, which has a +/- 3.3% margin of error, among registered Colorado voters between April 26 and May 1.
Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.
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