On Education, Public Confidence in Democrats Has Plummeted (Opinion) – EdWeek

by | May 3, 2022 | Education

For decades, Democrats have enjoyed a big partisan advantage when it comes to education. The party’s support for school spending, energetic embrace of public education, and close ties to teachers’ unions and higher education have played well with a public that’s historically felt warmly towards its teachers, schools, and colleges.More recently, though, things may be changing. Amid debates over school closures and masking, critical race theory, parental rights, campus speech, and more, polling (like this and this) suggests that the party’s close association with schools and colleges may be hurting Democrats more than helping them. In much of this, Ruy Teixeira, a political scientist at the Center for American Progress and co-author of The Emerging Democratic Majority, has fretted that, “Democrats are losing the plot relative to the median voter.”This discussion is familiar to anyone who’s been around education of late. For instance, it was inescapable last fall after Virginia’s gubernatorial campaign gained national attention for the back-and-forth over parental rights and pandemic school policies. So, it seemed worth putting on my political science hat to see if there’s evidence of real movement in public opinion—or if this is just another overhyped media narrative.Fortunately, since 2003, public opinion researchers New Models and Winning the Issues, both using the same pollster, have regularly asked voters, “Which party [they] have more confidence in to handle the issue of education, the Republican Party or the Democratic Party?” Together, they polled this question a total of 78 times over the past 20 years.The time frame, uniform question, and consistent pollster make this question a terrific tool for spotting any trends. So, what do we see?Well, as I explained the oth …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This