• Polling

A Guide for Advocates on Education

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
Key takeaways
  • Biden and Democrats lead on education priorities like funding and school quality, though Democrats and Republicans are equally trusted on teaching children what they need to learn in order to succeed, which is seen as the top priority tested.
  • Americans are most concerned about Democrats taking away parents’ control of what is taught at school.
  • Messaging emphasizing Democrats’ historic support of education, teachers, and school mask mandates all improve favorability across a range of education issues.

Biden and Democrats Hold Advantages on Range of Education-Related Issues

Across a range of issues on education, parents trust Biden and Democrats more than Republicans: strongest issues are mask requirements (+15), valuing teachers (+13), student loan debt (+12), and school quality (+12).

Americans Prioritize Teaching Children What They Need to Learn to Be Successful, Funding, and Quality of Schools

While Biden and the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are equally trusted on the top priority of teaching children what they need to know in order to succeed, Democrats win on top issues like funding and school quality.

Top Concerns on Democrats’ Handling of Education Are Critical Race Theory and Parental Control of What Students Learn

While no issue is “very concerning” to more than 42% of Americans, Americans have more concerns about Democrats on parental control and critical race theory than pandemic education issues, driven largely by Republicans.

Focusing on Democrats’ Historic Support of Access to Education, Teachers, and Pandemic Safety Is Strongest

Majorities of parents say each of the education-focused items below make them more favorable to Democrats.

Biden and Democrats Can Make Inroads on Education Issues

While Democrats have advantages on many education issues, after messaging, they also win on ensuring children learn what they need to succeed (from 0 to +9) and are tied on making sure parents have input in the classroom (from -5 to 0). They also widen their advantages on school funding (+8 to +16) and helping teachers feel valued (+7 to +19).

About The Study

This release features findings from a national online survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted December 3-6, 2021. Additional interviews were conducted among 99 Hispanic voters, 99 African American voters, 99 independents without a partisan lean, and 70 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org