Californians Speak on Education and Reform Options

Uneven Faith in Teachers, School Boards, and the State as Designers of Change
Bruce Fuller
University of California, Berkeley
Gerald C. Hayward
Policy Analysis for California Education
Michael W. Kirst
Stanford University
Mark DiCamillo
University of California, Berkeley


For nearly two centuries, cantankerous debates over the quality of public education have recurrently preoccupied parents, civic activists, and political leaders. Today, the future of public schooling is the issue that most worries voters in California and nationwide, according to recent polls.

In sum, political leaders and candidates have put forward a variety of school reform proposals. A new election season is underway. Politicians and civic activists are eagerly responding to the public's concern over how schools can be effectively improved.

In February, PACE and the Field Institute completed a statewide School Reform Poll to assess (1) how Californians view the quality of public education, (2) who they most trust as architects of reform, and (3) how they are evaluating major reform proposals being advanced.

This report details major findings stemming from a statewide survey of 1,003 Californians.

Suggested citationFuller, B., Hayward, G. C., Kirst, M. W., & DiCamillo, M. (1996, April). Californians' views on education: Results of the PACE 1996 Poll [Report]. Policy Analysis for California Education.