New Dornsife poll discusses race, education

first_imgThe Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times released polling results on the topic of race relations and education for the month of April. They discussed their findings in a phone conference on Monday morning and a series of online interviews with the Los Angeles Times and Dornsife.The data conducted from the first poll found that most Californians felt race relations in their respective communities or cities were better in comparison to the state or nation as a whole and the latter data set revealed a divide between support or opposition for standardized testing in schools.The data from first poll revealed that 63 percent of the Californians polled believed that race relations in the city they resided in met a good or excellent standard, while 27 percent of the polled voters felt that relations were good or excellent in the nation as a whole. Sixty-five percent of the respondents said that California is better than in other parts of the country in terms of race relations, compared to 24 percent who said that race relations were the same and 6 percent who believed it was worse.In the first poll that surveyed popular opinion on the current state of schools, Director of the Unruh Institute Dan Schnur was interviewed about the results with Howard Blume, reporter for the Los Angeles Times. In the latter, Schnur discussed the results with Michael Finnegan, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times.“We asked California voters a whole series of questions on the state of race relations in California and the nation as a whole in the wake of a whole series of police shootings of African Americans that have generated a lot of controversy,” said Finnegan in an interview with the L.A. Times and Dornsife. “What we found is that voters in California see race relations in California as significantly better than they do race relations in the country as a whole and they also see race relations in their own communities as even better than they are statewide.”The surveys were conducted by Drew Lieberman, vice president at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Inc.; David Kanevsky, research director of American Viewpoint; Mike Madrid, principal of Grassroots Lab; and Dan Schnur, executive director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.In response to a question about the progression of race relations within the last decade, 37 percent of respondents found that race relations have began to improve throughout the nation, 32 percent reported race relations to be the same, and 29 percent reported race relations to have gotten worse.“There’s still a substantial amount of discrimination against African Americans and Latino Americans in particular, voters say,” Finnegan said. “African Americans and Latinos also report fairly substantial numbers experiencing discrimination themselves.”The poll found that 36 percent thought that law enforcement treats all groups the same, in comparison to 43 percent of voters who believe that the police are tougher on African Americans.During the conference, Schnur said that only a marginal percentage of respondents could have been informed with the death of unarmed black man who was shot by a South Carolina police officer in the beginning of April.Results from the poll also found that among the polled black voters, 77 percent said that police were tougher on African Americans in contrast to 16 percent who said that police treated them the same.“When we asked Californians about how law enforcement personnel — police and public safety officers, handled relationships with various communities, not only did African Americans feel like their relationships with the police were much worse, but, representatives of every other racial ethnic group felt that relationships between the police and African American community was much worse,” Schnur said in an interview with the L.A. Times and Dornsife.The poll also asked voters a specific question on immigration on whether people thought illegal immigrants in the country had a positive or negative impact on the economy. The data proved that more people thought immigrants had a positive effect on the economy. Similarly, it also found that more and more Republicans think that illegal immigrants had a positive effect on the economy.The second poll found partisan divides on the topic of education, specifically on standardized testing and areas of educational focus such as science and math or arts and music. Kanesky said that the gap among areas of educational focus might be contributed to a cultural divide, rather than variances in socioeconomic or racial factors.The poll results found a nearly 1:1 ratio with 47 percent of voters in agreement with the fact that standardized testing hurts education in California, and 46 percent who believed that standardized testing fails to account for extraneous factors in the students’ schooling environment.“This doesn’t really fall into the typical party lines on how voters view education, you see splits between some of the democratic coalitions on some of these issues,” Kanesky said in the conference call.The data revealed that voters from California were overwhelmingly in support of guiding public school teachers. Results also found that teachers were a “trusted source” of information when discussing public schooling and that the state should do more to support teachers.“[Voters] support apprenticeship programs for new teachers; they support higher education and advanced degree programs for teachers coming into the classroom; they want to see teachers paid salaries along the lines of what inarguably they deserve,” Schnur said.According to Blume, results concluded that among the Caucasian voters surveyed, many felt that there was too much standardized testing, in contrast to many Latino voters who said that they felt the current number of testing was just right. The poll also displayed increasingly high numbers for those in favor or placing their children in charter schools, in comparison to results found within the last three years.last_img

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