In light of the governor’s comment that “education sucks,” we posted an on-line survey on Nov. 29 to get opinions about Governor Bentley’s performance, as well as a number of education-related issues.
(While a survey such as this can not control for who responds and how demographically representative they are, it can certainly offer insight and trend lines. In this case, of the more than 900 responses, 70 percent were public school teachers or administrators and 62 percent have either children or grandchildren in public schools.)
And it comes as no great surprise that respondents were brutal to the governor. (You can see all results here.) When asked if you approve or disapprove of the job the governor is doing, only 1.5 percent approve, while 93.9 percent disapprove. I have been looking at polling results for more than 40 years and I can not recall a favorable to unfavorable rating this bad.
When asked “Given his track record on public schools, which letter grade would you give Governor Bentley?” 71.2 percent give him an F and 20.9 percent a D. So 92.1 percent of respondents give him a failing grade.
Those who answered the survey are equally harsh when asked, “Do you believe Governor Bentley is pro-public schools or anti-public schools?” Some 87.3 say he does not support public schools, 1.9 percent say he is pro public schools and 10.7 had no answer.
When you stand in front of an audience and unequivocally castigate public schools, their teachers, administrators and students as the governor did recently, results such as these should not be a surprise.
certainly not when you look at his track record since January 2011 and see that he has signed into law the Alabama Accountability Act, the A-F school report cards and charter schools. Not to mention the role he played in hiring a non-educator to be state superintendent of schools this summer.
We also posted a survey on August 26. Both asked if the state school board should be appointed or elected. (The vast majority of state boards are appointed.) In the earlier poll, only 7.9 percent favored an appointed board, however, that has now more than doubled with 19.2 percent calling for an appointed board.
This is obviously in response to the present board and their “search” for a new state superintendent. Some 86.5 percent of those surveyed are concerned that someone was trying to tamper with this process, 96.2 percent believe the process was too political, 98.2 percent believe experience as an educator is beneficial when making decisions about public schools and 92.4 percent do not agree with the school board’s decision to hire Mike Sentance.
In light of this, it comes as no surprise that when asked to give a letter grade to the state school board, 88.8 percent said C, D, or F.
So these 900+ respondents have no confidence in the governor and only slightly more in the state board of education.