This is generally good news.
Eight of 10 Texans want high schools to teach contraception, including the use of condoms and abstinence, according to a statewide opinion poll that also shows high support for letting teachers and scholars write public school curriculum standards instead of the State Board of Education.
More than two-thirds of the respondents – 68 percent – agreed that “separation of church and state is a key principle of our Constitution,” although 49 percent also want to see “religion have more influence” on education. Only 21 percent said religion should have less influence in public schools.
The research arm of the Texas Freedom Network, a liberal-leaning group that monitors the board, commissioned the poll.
88 percent of the respondents believe public schools should be required “to protect all children from bullying, harassment and discrimination in school, including the children of gay and lesbian parents or teenagers who are gay.”
55 percent oppose using publicly funded vouchers that allow some students to attend private and religious schools.
72 percent want teachers and scholars to be responsible for writing curriculum standards for schools, not the elected Board of Education.
Initially, 32 percent of the respondents opposed the State Board’s revisions to Texas’ social studies curriculum standards. The opposition climbed to 57 percent after the process was described.
You can get a copy of the poll report here; you do have to provide your name and email address to get it. The poll was done by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, and the report is detailed, though it does not give crosstabs. While I find the results positive, my optimism is tempered somewhat by my belief that this is the sort of thing that polls better than it performs at the ballot box. I feel like there’s still a lot of people out there who give the “correct” answer to these questions but then support candidates who hold the opposing view. That may be because they value other issues more highly, it may be because they don’t know enough to realize they’re not voting in their interest, or who knows what other reason. Point being, while I’d rather have these numbers than their inverse, it doesn’t mean much at this point. The TFN press release is beneath the fold, and BOR, Abby Rapoport, and The Trib have more.