EdNext is a pro-choice, pro-privatization journal of education research. It is not neutral. It is funded largely by the ultra-conservative Hoover Institution. It advocates for charters and vouchers and against public schools and unions.

EdNext conducts an annual poll.

Here, Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education, analyzes the good news in the new EdNext poll:

The Education Next polls typically read like push polls, with questions carefully worded to elicit an anti-public school, pro-privatization agenda. Nevertheless, there is some good news tucked away for friends of public education in their 2018 results.

The teacher walkouts in six states raised sympathy, not antipathy, for teachers most notably in the states where the walkouts occurred. According to Ed Next’s recent poll, 63% of respondents in the walk-out states support increasing teacher pay and there has been a 7 point increase in support for increased funding for public schools overall.

According to Ed Next polling, in 2014 support for charter schools was at its highest – – 54%. During the past four years, however, that support has dropped. In 2017, 39% percent of those polled supported charter schools with a small uptick this year to 44%. The small rebound for approval of charters has come nearly exclusively from self-identified Republicans. Among Democrats support has remained low with only 31% supporting charters in 2017, and 35% supporting them in 2018. Support for charters among teachers has dramatically declined from 44% in 2014, to only 30% four years later.

The Education Next poll records support for vouchers at the same 44%. However, in 2017 the PDK poll found support for vouchers to be only 39%–a figure that drops to 34% when vouchers for private schools are included. (Apparently about 5% of respondents think that vouchers are used in public schools only.) To understand the difference one only needs only to look how Education Next asks its question:

A proposal has been made that would give all families with children in public schools a voucher allowing them to enroll their children in private schools instead, with government helping to pay the tuition. Would you support or oppose this proposal?

In the question, vouchers are proposed as theoretical. In reality, 15 states plus the District of Columbia have at least one direct voucher program. Second rather than using the word taxpayerto describe who pays for the voucher, Ed Next uses government—cleverly shifting the burden of payment away from those responding to the question. And third, the question limits vouchers to families that are in public schools, despite the fact that nearly all voucher laws have expanded so that attending a public school is no longer a requirement.

What do we learn from the Ed Next poll? Even in a poll with questions biased in favor of school choice, there is still more support for true public education than not. It is now our job to help the public understand the impact of vouchers and charters on their community public schools and their taxes.