Appendix E

Opinion Surveys on the Little Rock Public School District

March and April 1996
All data are expressed as percentages
General Survey N = 800 African American Survey N = 400 Teacher Survey N = 467
All Households
African American
White Public School Parents Private School Parents African American African American White
N = 800 N = 211 N = 564 N = 146 N = 77 N = 400 N = 86 N = 356

Trends in the LRSD

What grade would you give the LRSD on its overall performance?
Excellent or good 25 46 17 50 7 36 38 23
Average 30 28 30 34 31 34 48 50
Poor or very poor 25 10 31 14 31 17 14 28
Don't know 20 16 22 1 31 13 0 0
What grade would you give the LRSD school where your oldest child attends (or where you teach)?
Excellent or good 68 67 72 69 * 66 62 60
Average 24 24 21 23 * 23 23 25
Poor or very poor 6 5 5 6 * 11 15 16
Would you say the LRSD has improved from five years ago, stayed the same or gotten worse?
Improved 19 27 16 27 10 24 22 7
Stayed the same 24 26 23 28 23 28 28 19
Gotten worse 41 35 44 34 44 37 45 67
Don't know 16 12 17 12 22 11 5 7
Would you vote for a tax increase to support the LRSD?
Yes 49 59 46 64 39 52 * *
No 39 26 43 25 49 35 * *
Don't Know 11 14 11 10 12 14 * *
What grade would you give the overall performance of public schools in the nation?
Excellent or good 26 32 24 27 21 27 44 44
Average 35 33 36 33 33 38 49 49
Poor or very poor 8 5 10 3 8 8 7 7
Don't know or not sure 31 30 31 36 39 28 0 0
Why do you have your children in private school?
Lack of discipline and safe schools * * * * 30 * * *
Provides Christian or religious values * * * * 26 * * *
Better academics * * * * 18 * * *
General private school preference * * * * 8 * * *
Special family issues * * * * 7 * * *
Busing in the LRSD * * * * 1 * * *
Refused to answer * * * * 2 * * *
All other * * * * 10 * * *
What would be your conditions to enroll your children in the LRSD?
Better safety and discipline * * * * 35 * * *
Will not re-enroll in LRSD * * * * 25 * * *
Improvements in LRSD administration * * * * 7 * * *
Christian atmosphere * * * * 7 * * *
Better academics * * * * 7 * * *
Cost * * * * 5 * * *
Neighborhood schools * * * * 4 * * *
Other * * * * 8 * * *
Refused to answer * * * * 2 * * *
What is the primary source of information you use to judge the quality of the LRSD?
Newspapers 30 21 33 10 31 * * *
Personal experience 21 23 19 49 20 * * *
Radio and/or television 19 21 18 10 16 * * *
Other adults in the community 9 4 11 3 12 * * *
Parents of students 8 9 8 8 13 * * *
Students 5 10 4 11 4 * * *
School board/faculty members 4 3 4 3 3 * * *
The morale at the LRSD school where I teach is...
Better than five years ago * * * * * * 15 10
About the same as five years ago * * * * * * 19 17
Worse than five years ago * * * * * * 44 51
No answer because taught at another school * * * * * * 21 21
Over the last five years have you observed.... (increase or decrease)...in the number of parents involved in the school where you have taught?
Increase * * * * * * 31 19
No change * * * * * * 20 33
Decrease * * * * * * 49 49
What do you think has improved the LRSD in the last five years? (Top five response categories)
Teachers and teaching 17 25 13 18 13 26 * *
Academic standards 14 13 15 15 13 24 * *
Discipline and safety 13 14 12 15 38 15 * *
Parents / Community support 12 4 17 10 13 3 * *
What one thing would you change to improve the LRSD's overall performance? (Top four responses)
Teachers and academics 15 30 13 29 29 26 * *
Stronger student discipline 18 5 20 9 8 24 * *
Stop violence and improve safety 9 15 9 5 17 11 * *
Neighborhood schools 14 5 14 5 8 0 * *

Desegregation Policies

Would you prefer to send your child to (or teach in)....
Racially segregated school 9 7 11 8 9 8 12 7
Racially integrated school 60 71 56 69 65 68 55 51
Don't know or not sure 28 18 32 21 26 20 4 3
Refused to answer 3 4 2 3 0 4 0 0
No preference (teachers only) * * * * * * 30 38
Do you think it is possible for neighborhood schools in the LRSD to offer an education of similar quality throughout the city?
Yes 77 63 83 76 83 67 61 87
No 14 26 8 19 5 17 34 8
Don't know 9 11 9 6 12 16 6 6
Has desegregation had a positive, negative or no effect on the quality of education in the LRSD?
Positive 25 44 18 37 13 33 36 11
Negative 41 18 50 28 55 22 42 66
No effect 15 19 14 22 9 24 17 11
Don't know or not sure 18 19 18 12 23 22 6 12
How effective has cross-town busing been?
Very or somewhat effective 25 52 16 41 13 42 45 17
Not at all effective 58 31 68 45 73 35 44 76
Don't know 17 17 16 14 14 22 11 8
How effective are the incentive schools?
Very or somewhat effective 33 41 31 36 36 39 46 25
Not at all effective 23 18 25 29 16 13 39 62
Don't know or not sure 43 40 44 36 48 47 15 14
How effective are the magnet schools?
Very or somewhat effective 53 58 52 54 60 51 87 86
Not at all effective 15 10 16 15 4 9 9 11
Don't know 32 31 32 31 36 39 4 3
Would you favor or oppose the creation of neighborhood elementary schools in the LRSD even if it meant creating single race schools?
Strongly favor or favor 68 46 76 60 81 49 56 88
No preference 11 15 10 12 12 16 2 4
Oppose or strongly oppose 21 39 14 28 8 35 42 8
Would you favor or oppose the creation of neighborhood junior high schools in the LRSD even if it meant creating single race schools?
Strongly favor or favor 63 42 72 55 74 38 47 81
No preference 13 16 13 13 14 19 5 6
Oppose or strongly oppose 24 42 16 32 12 44 49 14
Would you favor or oppose the creation of neighborhood senior high schools in the LRSD even if it meant creating single race schools?
Strongly favor or favor 60 38 68 52 66 35 41 72
No preference 15 18 13 14 17 19 6 7
Oppose or strongly oppose 26 44 18 34 17 46 54 22
Raising test scores of African American students to 90 percent of test scores of white students by the Year 2000. In your opinion is this goal...
Very realistic * * * * * * 17 2
Somewhat realistic * * * * * * 29 13
Somewhat unrealistic * * * * * * 27 34
Very unrealistic * * * * * * 25 49
Don't know/not sure * * * * * * 2 3
Do you feel that you are adequately informed about the desegregation plan?
Yes 49 43 52 47 60 * * *
No 38 42 36 46 29 * * *
Don't know or not sure 13 15 12 7 12 * * *
What importance do you apply to the two desegregation goals of racial balance and high quality education? Would you say...?
Racial balance is the most important goal 1 2 1 3 1 3 1 3
Quality education is the most important goal 69 51 76 62 78 50 63 87
The two desegregation goals are equally important 26 41 21 32 17 36 34 8
Don't know or not sure 4 6 3 3 4 12 2 1

LRSD Classroom Operations

What grade would you give the condition of LRSD school buildings?
Excellent or good 56 52 59 55 * * * *
Average 31 35 28 32 * * * *
Poor or very poor 11 9 13 11 * * * *
Don't know 2 3 0 2 * * * *
Values such as honesty, compassion, self-discipline and integrity are generally agreed to be important for young persons to learn. Should the LRSD...?
Increase its teaching of values 76 80 72 73 73 72 90 82
Continue as is 19 16 23 23 0 15 8 12
Decrease its teaching of values 1 1 2 1 9 4 2 1
Don't know or not sure 3 3 3 3 18 9 0 5
Do you perceive classroom discipline in the LRSD....?
Too rigid 2 3 1 4 0 4 1 1
About right 14 25 10 36 3 18 13 9
Too lax 70 57 75 51 79 61 80 89
Don't know or not sure 14 14 14 9 18 16 6 1
What do you think is the biggest problem in the LRSD? (Top seven responses) (multiple responses recorded)
Lack of student discipline 20 16 22 20 29 25 52 65
Fights, gangs, violence, and vandalism 14 25 18 20 16 18 14 12
Lack of parent or student support or interest 8 12 7 8 5 10 23 28
Desegregation plan 4 3 4 2 3 2 19 26
LRSD central office is top-heavy/out-of-touch 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 23
Busing 4 2 4 2 5 3 0 0
Bickering or lack of cooperation 3 5 3 6 2 6 12 9
Safe, orderly environment....Would you say this describes the LRSD?1
Very accurately or fairly accurately 56 63 50 64 27 * 70 46
Not very accurate or not at all accurate 42 34 49 35 64 * 30 53
Don't know or not sure 2 3 1 1 9 * 0 1
Students' progress is measured, reported....Would you say this describes the LRSD?1
Very accurately or fairly accurately 75 79 71 80 55 * 87 87
Not very accurate or not at all accurate 18 17 19 16 46 * 12 13
Don't know or not sure 7 4 9 3 0 * 1 0
Principals, teachers, parents agree on school goals.... Would you say this describes the LRSD?1
Very accurately or fairly accurately 67 79 58 76 36 * 73 61
Not very accurate or not at all accurate 28 19 35 21 64 * 27 38
Don't know or not sure 5 2 8 3 0 * 0 1
Parents and teachers have high expectations and demand achievement....Would you say this describes the LRSD?1
Very accurately or fairly accurately 73 84 63 79 36 * 78 65
Not very accurate or not at all accurate 22 14 29 17 64 * 22 33
Don't know or not sure 5 2 8 4 0 * 0 1
Does the LRSD provide you with adequate materials to meet the needs of your students?
Very adequate or adequate * * * * * * 67 61
Inadequate or very inadequate * * * * * * 32 39
Does the LRSD provide you with adequate technology to meet the needs of your students?
Very adequate or adequate * * * * * * 52 42
Inadequate or very inadequate * * * * * * 48 57
Does the LRSD provide you with adequate in-service training to meet the needs of your students?
Very adequate or adequate * * * * * * 78 73
Inadequate or very inadequate * * * * * * 22 27
Would you favor or oppose the use of fences around school grounds as a safety measure?
Strongly favor or favor * * * * * * 73 85
Oppose or strongly oppose * * * * * * 22 12
Would you favor or oppose the use of metal detectors as a safety measure?
Strongly favor or favor * * * * * * 83 79
Oppose or strongly oppose * * * * * * 14 16
Would you favor or oppose the use of identification cards as a safety measure?
Strongly favor or favor * * * * * * 71 66
Oppose or strongly oppose * * * * * * 26 29
Would you favor or oppose the use of closed circuit television as a safety measure?
Strongly favor or favor * * * * * * 74 73
Oppose or strongly oppose * * * * * * 22 16
Would your favor or oppose the use of school resource (police) officers as a safety measure?
Strongly favor or favor * * * * * * 92 89
Oppose or strongly oppose * * * * * * 6 8
As a teacher, do you think the immediate neighborhood of the school where you teach feels "ownership" of the school?
Yes * * * * * * 35 34
No * * * * * * 59 58
What is the best solution for the LRSD's 5,000 empty seats in the public schools?
Keep these schools open * * * * * * 15 12
Use these schools for other purposes * * * * * * 51 49
Close these schools and build new schools in growth areas * * * * * * 28 34
A charter school offers independence to faculty and staff in a school building and could include exemption from state and school district policies. A performance contract between the school, school board, and the state would be required. Would you be interested in teaching at a charter school?
Yes * * * * * * 42 50
No * * * * * * 34 14
Don't know or not sure * * * * * * 24 35
Severe student discipline problems may turn into violent situations. Do you perceive student violence within the schools or campuses in the LRSD to be...?
Very serious * * * * * * 31 46
Somewhat serious * * * * * * 51 48
Not very serious * * * * * * 16 5
Don't know or not sure * * * * * * 1 1
Has a child in your household been a victim of violence while attending the LR public schools?2
Yes 23 16 27 * * 14 * *
No 77 84 73 * * 83 * *
Don't know or not sure 0 0 0 * * 2 * *
Refused 0 0 0 * * 1 * *
If "yes" ... how serious was the violence against your child?2
Very serious 26 33 20 * * 39 * *
Somewhat serious 20 17 15 * * 39 * *
Not very serious 54 50 65 * * 22 * *
If "very serious"....did the violence result in an injury that required medical attention?2
Yes 44 50 50 * * 39 * *
No 56 50 50 * * 61 * *
Some columns may not add to 100 due to rounding. For purposes of brevity, "Don't Know" responses are sometimes not shown.
Notes:

1. These questions are identical to questions featured in the Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll, an annual survey sponored by the national education fraternity, Phi Delta Kappa. Phi Delta Kappa encourages use of its survey to advance the effectiveness of public education.

2. The three survey questions shown on this page should be interpreted together. For purposes of explanation, see the "White" response column shown under the general survey. Among 564 white households, 75 were found to have children enrolled in the LRSD and thus were asked about school violence. Among these 75 households, 20 responded "Yes" (27 percent as shown in the table) when asked if their child had been a victim of violence while at school. Among these 20 households, a second question asked about the severity of the incident and 4 households said the incident was "very serious" (20 percent as shown in the table). Among these 4 households, a third and final question asked whether or not medical attention was required and 2 households said "yes" (50 percent as shown in the table). A similar interpretation must be applied to responses in the "All Households" response column (LRSD households N = 153), the smaller African-American sample within the general survey (LRSD households N = 75), and in the stand alone African- American Survey (LRSD households N = 163).


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