A majority, 57 percent, of Oklahoma teachers say a traditional public school would be the best educational option for their own children, according to a SoonerPoll survey of teachers statewide, while another 43 percent say they would choose another option.

Nearly one-in-four, 23.8 percent, of teachers would choose a private school for their own children, 15.8 percent would home school, and seven percent would choose a public charter school as their first choice.

While home school was the third most selection ranked first, it was the most selected as the fourth or last option.

Of the following educational options, please rank them in order for the BEST educational choice when thinking about your OWN children.

1 2 3 4
Traditional public school 261 95 47 55
57.0% 20.7% 10.3% 12.0%
Public charter school 32 125 162 139
7.0% 27.3% 35.4% 30.3%
Private school 109 142 130 77
23.8% 31.0% 28.4% 16.8%
Home school 70 71 95 222
15.3% 15.5% 20.7% 48.5%

“The most surprising result was that of private schools, since only 3.5 percent of the sample was private school teachers,” said Bill Shapard, SoonerPoll’s CEO and lead researcher on the study. “This means close to a fourth of public school teachers see private schools as the best option for their own children.”

Results varied by whether the respondent taught in a rural, suburban or inner city school. While inner city school teachers were more likely to select a public school as their first choice at 39.9 percent, a near equal amount, 35.7%, would select a private school as their first choice — the largest first rank percentage of the three subsets.

A clear majority, 64.7 percent, of rural teachers selected a public school as their first choice, although the availability of private schools is limited in most rural areas.

Suburban teachers fit more of the profile of teachers overall with 56 percent selecting a public schools, but 23.4 percent selecting a private school as the best educational choice for their own children.

“As a whole, the results show teachers overall favor a public school for their own children, but the results also show that even teachers want more choices when it comes to selecting the best educational choice for their own children,” Shapard said.

About the Poll

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the online poll of 458 Oklahoma teachers. The poll was commissioned by the Oklahoman.

The scientific study was conducted online September 29 – October 10, 2016 and respondents were selected at random among those with a teaching certificate in the state of Oklahoma. Teachers were identified by filtering out only teachers who were currently employed, retired, or looking for a teaching position in the state. The data was also filtered for those registered to vote and likely to vote in the November election.

The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 4.56 percent.

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Bill is the founder of SoonerPoll.com and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004. Under Bill’s leadership, SoonerPoll has become the leading public opinion polling company in the state of Oklahoma conducting more public opinion polls for Oklahoma news media than all other pollsters combined since 2006. Bill’s commitment to go above and beyond the AAPOR ethical guidelines of minimum disclosure ensures that SoonerPoll produces quality results every time. Bill has lectured at Oklahoma State University on developing polling methodologies, data collection processes, and advanced likely voter sampling techniques. Bill also serves as an on-air political commentator for Oklahoma television stations.


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