K-12 Public Education through the Public’s Eye: Voters’ Perception of Public Education (2013)

The Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives has released the results of its fourth annual public opinion poll called K-12 Public Education through the Public’s Eye: Voters’ Perception of Public Education. The poll surveyed New Orleans’ voters’ opinions of the city’s public school system on a number of subjects, such as their confidence in the Orleans Parish School Board, what should be done about failing schools, and the impacts of school choice. Click here to read an analysis of the poll results. This is the first of two analyses; the second will present parent’s opinions of public schools in New Orleans.


There is strong support to bring in new charter operators for low-performing schools

  • 65 percent agreed that bringing in a charter organization to take over a failing school creates the best chance to improve student learning
  • 66 percent agreed that charter schools that persistently receive a school performance score of a D should be taken over by a different charter management organization

There is strong support for school choice

  • 54 percent felt that parents should be able to send their child to any open enrollment school in New Orleans
  • 50 percent agreed that school choice has had a positive impact on the quality of public education in New Orleans

There is no consensus on if and when to return all RSD schools to OPSB

  • Majority of African Americans say RSD schools should return to OPSB within two years
  • Majority of white and others say RSD schools should not return to OPSB

There is strong support for changes to the school board

  • 64 percent said OPSB should change the way it operates if schools are mandated to return
  • There is a strong preference for a local school board with some elected and some appointed members

Although 37 percent feel public schools are better after Katrina, responses varied by ethnicity

  • 53 percent of white and others said public schools are better after Katrina
  • 29 percent of African Americans said public schools are better after Katrina


This is the fourth year the Cowen Institute has provided the community a platform to express their opinions about public education.  The fourth annual public opinion poll was conducted by phone from March 15 to March 25, 2013 by Market Research Insight on behalf of the Cowen Institute. The sample population consisted of 294 randomly selected registered voters in Orleans Parish; the sample was representative of the ethnic distribution of the city. To download the full survey results, click here.


Click here for information on the 2009 opinion poll.

Click here for information on the 2010 opinion poll.

Click here for information on the 2011 opinion poll.

Please contact Debra Vaughan with any questions at dvaughan@tulane.edu or by calling 504-274-3659.

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