Press Release: WV K-12 Public Education — “State of Mountain State” Poll Results

DATE: October 31st, 2018
Amanda Kieffer, Communications Associate, The Cardinal Institute for WV Policy
PHONE: (304) 541-9551 | EMAIL: [email protected]

“State of the Mountain State” Poll Finds 80% of West Virginians Believe State Education System isn’t Educating Students Adequately 
Cardinal Institute survey further reveals 62% believe school choice
will improve state’s education system

Charleston, WV – Today the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy released the second installment of its inaugural “State of the Mountain State” poll – a comprehensive public policy poll which surveys West Virginians on their views regarding public policy issues. Today’s release focuses on the public’s perception of West Virginia’s education system.The poll found only 2% of respondents believe the state’s K-12 public education system is excellent and only 18% believe it is good. An astounding 80% believe the state’s education system is average or poor/failing (more than 1/3 of respondents believe it is poor/failing).

Respondents were also asked a series of questions regarding policies they believe would be likely to improve the education system. 62% of respondents agreed that giving parents more choice about where they can send their kids to school would help improve the education system. This is a particularly spectacular finding as West Virginia does not currently allow for any education choices except for those who can afford to pay out of pocket for homeschooling or private education.

“It is pretty clear that West Virginians believe that something is fundamentally broken in our education system,” said Garrett Ballengee, executive director of the Cardinal Institute. “We cannot allow a status quo wherein only 20% of West Virginians think the education system is excellent or good and 80% think it is average or poor/failing. Our children deserve better than that. The time for tinkering at the margins on our education system has passed, and there is a strong desire for something new, something different.”

Survey Note:
The survey was sponsored by the Cardinal Institute for WV Policy to better understand the perceptions and opinions of 405 West Virginia registered voters on a host of public policy issues. It was conducted by MBE, LLC. Some totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. The survey was conducted via online panel sampling during September 2018. Respondents self-identified as:
(42%) Democrat; (33%) Republican; (25%) Independent/other

About the Cardinal Institute
Founded in 2014, The Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy, Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit dedicated to research, develop and communicate effective free market economic public policies for West Virginia.

Education Questions
Regarding the state’s K through 12 public education system, do you believe West Virginia’s public education system is excellent, good, average, or poor/failing? [Results: Bold]

(2%) Excellent
(18%) Good
(46%) Average
(34%) Poor/Failing
(1%) Dk/Na/Rf (DNR)

Do you agree or disagree the following policies would noticeably improve education in West Virginia? Would that be strongly (agree/disagree) or just somewhat (agree/disagree)?



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