Texas Curriculum Decisions and the Separation of Church and State


Source: Anna Greenberg, Missy Egelsky, and Jessica Keating

Client: Texas Freedom Network Education Fund

Downloads

Survey Memo (PDF - 4 K)

Texas Freedom Network Press Release (PDF - 3 K)

Executive Summary

A recent survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund finds that Texas voters want experts, not politicians, to make decisions about public school curricula and textbook content. Voters also believe that separation of church and state is a key principle of the American Constitution.

Key Findings

Texas voters believe the public school curriculum should be set by teachers and scholars, not politicians. Nearly three-quarters of Texas voters (72 percent) say that teachers and academic scholars should be responsible for writing curriculum standards and textbook requirements for Texas’ public schools. Only 19 percent prefer that an elected school board decide curriculum.

Support for teachers and experts making curriculum decisions is broad, extends across partisan lines, and includes parents of young children. Self-identified Republicans (63 percent) and political independents (76 percent) agree that politicians should not decide the content of children’s education. Overall, 78 percent of parents prefer that teachers and scholars make curriculum decisions, with 69 percent feeling that way strongly.

The majority of Texas voters believe that separation of church and state is a key principle of the Constitution. Sixty-eight percent of likely voters agree that it is a core principle, including 51 percent who strongly agree. Only one-quarter of voters (26 percent) disagree that the separation of church and state is a key principle of the Constitution.

Agreement about the separation of church and state as a core tenet of the Constitution extends across party lines. Nearly 6-in-10 Republicans (59 percent) believe in the importance of this principle, as well as 76 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of political independents.

Methodology:

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner designed and administered a representative statewide survey of 601 likely voters (2010 general election), and supplemented the base sample with a web oversample of 219 young likely voters (ages 18-29; total N=292) and a phone oversample of 152 suburban/exurban likely voters (total N=241). The margin of sampling error for the total sample is +/- 4.0 percentage points. The survey was conducted May 4 - 12, 2010.

About Greenberg Quinlan Rosner

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner is the world's premium research and strategic consulting firm, working with corporations, issue groups, and political campaigns throughout the United States and around the world. Find out more about us, along with the latest research and commentary from our principals and analysts, at www.greenbergresearch.com.

For press inquiries, please contact Dan Quinn with the Texas Freedom Network: 512.322.0545 or Greenberg Quinlan Rosner: 202.478.8300.