College Board/National Journal Poll

When It Comes to Expanding Pre-K, Americans Are Divided by Party and Race

Poll finds broader support for reducing class sizes and raising teacher salaries.

First Lady Michelle Obama says goodbye to pre-kindergarten students after visiting their classroom at Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School, a Chinese-immersion, International Baccalaureate, elementary school, in Washington on March 4, 2014.
National Journal
Ronald Brownstein
Add to Briefcase
Ronald Brownstein
April 16, 2014, 7:07 a.m.

What policies would do the most to in­crease op­por­tun­ity for chil­dren? The latest Col­lege Board/Na­tion­al Journ­al Next Amer­ica Poll finds re­l­at­ively broad con­sensus on what op­tions provide the most ef­fect­ive points of lever­age — but stub­born dif­fer­ences re­main between Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans, and between whites and minor­it­ies.

As the fol­low­ing tables show, minor­it­ies are con­sist­ently more likely than whites, and Demo­crats more likely than Re­pub­lic­ans, to be­lieve that each of eight pos­sible in­ter­ven­tions would be a “ma­jor factor” in help­ing more young people suc­ceed.

The gaps between Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans are widest on in­vest­ing more in health ser­vices for preg­nant wo­men and young chil­dren, provid­ing more col­lege aid, and ex­pand­ing ac­cess to pre-K. Still, a sol­id ma­jor­ity of Re­pub­lic­ans say more col­lege aid would help and even a slight ma­jor­ity of them be­lieve ex­pan­ded pre-K could ex­ert a ma­jor in­flu­ence on in­creas­ing op­por­tun­ity. The par­tis­an dif­fer­ences are much nar­row­er on re­du­cing class sizes in K-12 schools, in­creas­ing salar­ies to at­tract more tal­en­ted teach­ers, and ex­pand­ing vo­ca­tion­al-edu­ca­tion op­tions after high school.

Lar­ger ver­sion

Viewed through a ra­cial lens, whites are not­ably less en­thu­si­ast­ic than minor­it­ies about ex­pand­ing pre-K or health ser­vices for preg­nant wo­men and very young chil­dren — though in each case just over half of whites be­lieve the idea could have a ma­jor im­pact. In­ter­est­ingly, whites are also much less en­thu­si­ast­ic than minor­it­ies about “provid­ing more fam­il­ies pub­lic money to help at­tend private, rather than pub­lic, schools.” Both whites and non­whites are most op­tim­ist­ic about the im­pact of ex­pand­ing vo­ca­tion­al op­tions, with in­creas­ing col­lege aid a close second.

Gen­er­a­tion­al dif­fer­ences were telling, too. At least three-fifths of adults un­der 30 saw ma­jor im­pact in every op­tion ex­cept re­du­cing class sizes or provid­ing pub­lic aid for private schools. With these young adults, in­creas­ing col­lege aid, ex­pand­ing vo­ca­tion­al op­tions, and re­quir­ing more aca­dem­ic­ally chal­len­ging middle-school and high school courses topped the list. Seni­ors gen­er­ally ex­pressed sim­il­ar pri­or­it­ies, but far few­er of them — only about half in each case — ex­pec­ted ma­jor im­pact from ex­pand­ing pre-K or health ser­vices for preg­nant moth­ers and young chil­dren.

The Col­lege Board/Na­tion­al Journ­al Next Amer­ica Poll, con­duc­ted by Prin­ceton Sur­vey Re­search As­so­ci­ates In­ter­na­tion­al, sur­veyed 1,271 adults, in­clud­ing over­samples of Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans, His­pan­ics, and Asi­an-Amer­ic­ans, from March 18-26. The in­ter­views were con­duc­ted by land­line and cell phone in Eng­lish and Span­ish. The poll has a mar­gin of er­ror of plus or minus 3.9 per­cent­age points for the en­tire sample, and lar­ger mar­gins for ra­cial sub­groups.

What We're Following See More »
A CANDIDATE TO BE ‘PROUD’ OF
Chicago Tribune Endorses Gary Johnson
37 minutes ago
THE LATEST

No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."

FUNERAL FOR ISRAELI LEADER
Obama Compares Peres to ‘Giants of the 20th Century’
55 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

Speaking at the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, President Obama "compared Peres to 'other giants of the 20th century' such as Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth who 'find no need to posture or traffic in what's popular in the moment.'" Among the 6,000 mourners at the service was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama called Abbas's presence a sign of the "unfinished business of peace" in the region.

Source:
THE QUESTION
How Many New Voters Does the Clinton Campaign Aim to Register?
1 hours ago
THE ANSWER

Three million—a number that lays "bare the significant gap between Donald Trump’s bare-bones operation and the field program that Clinton and her hundreds of aides have been building for some 17 months."

Source:
“STANDING FOR PRINCIPLES”
Chicago Tribune Endorses Johnson
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

In a somewhat shocking move, the Chicago Tribune has endorsed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for president, saying a vote for him is one that voters "can be proud of." The editorial barely touches on Donald Trump, who the paper has time and again called "unfit to be president," before offering a variety of reasons for why it can't endorse Hillary Clinton. Johnson has been in the news this week for being unable to name a single world leader who he admires, after earlier this month being unable to identify "Aleppo," a major Syrian city in the middle of the country's ongoing war.

Source:
NEVER TRUMP
USA Today Weighs in on Presidential Race for First Time Ever
14 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."

Source:
×