On October 30, the National
Association of Elementary School Principals NAESP) released the results
of a September survey of 712 of its members. Principals responded to statements
about more than 20 hot-button education issues. Included:
Survey results summarized!
School principals have weighed in on the important election-year education
issues. In a survey of 712 K-8 school principals the
National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) conducted,
fully 96 percent agreed or strongly agreed that
- principals should have more control over hiring staff and managing
- the ratio of students to teacher in the early grades should be 18
- after-school programs should be expanded to give students in failing
schools extra help.
Vouchers, reconstitution (the closing and reorganization of failing
schools), and the establishment of more charter schools were among the
election-year issues that got the least support from the principals who
Click here for detailed results of the
"Clearly and overwhelmingly, principals believe smaller classes, stronger
leadership, after-school programs, and the Internet are good for schools
and students," said Vincent Ferrandino, the NAESP executive director, in
a statement released with the findings. "We look forward to working with
the next administration to keep our members' priorities and public education
at the top of the national agenda after Election Day."
mail-back survey had a 22 percent return rate. The respondents live in
small towns (27.6 percent), suburban areas (23.7 percent), rural areas
(22.5 percent), and urban areas (25.8 percent). Their schools are located
in mainly middle (50.2 percent) or low (40.3 percent) socioeconomic areas.
The National Association of Elementary School Principals, representing
28,500 members, does not endorse political candidates.
Following are the percentages of principals who agreed or
strongly agreed with each statement presented in the survey.
All numbers are rounded.
||Principals should be allowed to hire staff and manage
||In early grades, class size should be no larger than
18 students to one teacher.
||After-school programs should be expanded to give students
in failing schools extra help.
||Every classroom and library (not just every school)
should be wired for the Internet.
||Teachers, principals, and school board members should
be protected from lawsuits that arise from their efforts
to maintain discipline.
||Character education should be part of the curriculum
in every K-12 school.
||Parents, students, and teachers should meet on the first
day of school and sign a code of discipline.
||The Family and Medical Leave Act should be extended
to allow parents to attend parent-teacher conferences
and a first-day-of-school meeting.
||The federal government should fund universal voluntary
||Schools should establish zero tolerance policies for
disruption and allow teachers to remove students from
||The Head Start program should be moved to and administered
from the Department of Education instead of the Department
of Health and Human Services.
||All students should pass a high school exit exam to
receive a diploma.
||Schools receiving federal funds should test all students
in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math every year.
||Social promotion should be eliminated.
||Schools receiving federal funds should test all new
teachers for subject matter knowledge and teaching skills.
||States should publish school-by-school report cards
for parents and the public.
||Voluntary vocal prayer should be allowed in public schools.
||After-school programs should include faith-based organizations
||Schools determined to be failing should be closed and
reopened with a new principal and intensive training for
teachers who need it.
||Schools determined to be failing should allow families
to use Title I money on public or private school costs
or tutoring if the school doesn't improve within three
||Federal funds should be available for both public school
or private school choice.
||The number of charter schools should be increased.
For detailed data, see
NAESP Opinion Survey Data (requires
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