Challenge: The Colorado League of Charter Schools was created to improve student achievement by supporting Colorado’s charter schools. As part of its efforts to expand charter schools in Colorado, the League in 2015 commissioned Public Opinion Strategies to provide a quantitative assessment of Colorado voters’ knowledge about and attitudes toward public charter schools.
Our Work: We conducted a statewide poll of registered voters on both landlines and mobile phones. The survey’s stratified sampling cut across geographic and demographic lines to ensure the results closely mirrored the Colorado electorate. We measured voters’ knowledge about charter schools, tested a proposal to create more charter schools, and tested messages for and against the proposal. Our survey found that a majority of voters say they are at least somewhat knowledgeable about charter schools, though when asked to describe charter schools, many voters held incorrect information about funding, admissions and tuition. We also read a series of facts about charter schools to respondents, a concept knows as an informed ballot. After learning more about charter schools, we found that more voters support the creation of additional charter schools.
Result: The survey provided a key baseline assessment of voter sentiment, which the client has since used to strengthen its communications, government relations and advocacy efforts. Nora Flood of the Colorado League of Charter Schools stated, “The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.”