Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Poll Reveals How Latino Parents View School Quality

A new poll shows that Latino parents are more likely than other groups to say that a lack of  high-quality teachers at their children’s schools is an extremely serious problem, while black and white parents tend to point to school funding as a big problem.

Latino, black and low-income parents are also more likely to say their children’s schools have serious problems than white or wealthy parents.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research surveyed 1,025 parents of children in grades K-12 from June 21 to July 22, 2013. The survey also found that parents polled believe that parents and teachers play more of a role in determining school quality than education funding.

About three-quarters of the parents supported public funding for universal preschool for four-year-olds. Most parents said standardized tests are effective ways to measure school and individual student performance.

Other findings found significant differences in the views of Hispanic and white parents on important education issues:

  • About 90 percent of Hispanic parents support a publicly funded plan to offer preschool to all four-year-olds, compared with 76 percent of all parents and 70 percent of white parents (this is interesting since Hispanics have the lowest preschool attendance rate of any group).
  • Only about 40 percent of Hispanic parents said they volunteered at their child’s school, or donated to support it. This was dramatically lower than white parents, at 76 percent, and black parents, at 66 percent.
  • About 54 percent of Hispanic parents felt that they have a lot of influence in their child’s education, compared with 34 percent of white parents.
  • About 90 percent of Hispanics said it is very important that teachers have a college degree in the subject area or grade level in which they are teaching, compared with 71 percent of white parents. Additionally, 77 percent of Hispanics said it was important that teachers have master’s or other advanced degrees, compared with 22 percent of whites.
  • About 71 percent of Hispanics feel that teaching experience is important, compared with 37 percent of whites.
  • About 73 percent of Hispanic parents and 60 percent of black parents said they thought it was important that teachers share their values, compared with 43 percent of whites.
  • About 59 percent of Hispanics say they want to make it easier for schools to fire poor-performing teachers, compared with 80 percent of whites. All parents felt it was important for districts to help low-performing parents improve their performance.
  • Hispanic and black parents are more likely than white parents to support paying teachers more if their students do well on standardized tests. About 70 percent of Hispanics, 57 percent of blacks, and 39 percent of whites support this.
  • Hispanic and black parents are more likely to feel that it is very important that children be assessed to determine if they are making state standards. About 85 percent of Hispanics agree with this, compared with 69 percent of white parents. Additionally, about 42 percent of Hispanic parents and 12 percent of white parents say standardized tests measure school quality well.
  • Hispanic parents had a more positive outlook on the new common core standards than white parents.