Something to Agree Upon

It’s pretty obvious. We are living in a highly polarized political environment right now. From discussions about Nike campaigns to anonymous letters from inside the White House, many people are sticking to conversations about Bachelor in Paradise and the weather. And maybe even as you visit our blog, you are unsure of our “sway” as you read about environmental or school choice issues we address. For you, these concepts may code as “one side of the aisle” or another.

But here’s some good news that has been lost in recent headlines. Americans across the aisle do have things they agree on. Sometimes, in fact, the two parties split on agreement and disagreement in exactly the same way. Right as school was starting back up this year, Education Next published their 2018 survey on education policy entitled, “Public Support Climbs for Teacher Pay, School Expenditures, Charter Schools, and Universal Vouchers.”

PUBLIC support! Not democrat, not republican support! Much of this survey shows similar agreement and disagreement across party lines in several areas, especially teachers’ pay and school choice issues. Take, for example, the Democrat vs. Republican take on School Choice Tax Credits:

Although the public is not necessarily in complete agreement about Tax Credits, the exact same number of democrats and republicans supported the concept and almost the exact same number of people had no opinion or were opposed to the idea. But the encouraging part of this example is how the majority of people agreed and the agreement was not based on party affiliation.

EdNext had some interesting results related to words that have been highly politicized. For example, when not labeled “voucher,” both parties were more likely to support this policy idea: “A proposal has been made that would give all families with children in public schools a wider choice, by allowing them to enroll their children in private schools instead, with government helping to pay the tuition. Would you support or oppose this proposal?”

This week, we encourage readers to engage in discussion beyond the hot-button terms. Maybe you have the same concerns for your children or for those living in concentrated poverty that your neighbor has, but maybe you’ve been afraid to discuss them. The good news is we’ve got a topic for you that you will probably agree on.  Read more of the result and public reaction here:

“Public Support Climbs for Teacher Pay, School Expenditures, Charter Schools, and Universal Vouchers.”

“The Public Agrees With Teachers . . . And Betsy DeVos?!”

“Public Opinion Shifts in Favor of School Choice”

Image via Marina del Castell