Statewide Survey Shows County Voters Give High Marks to Montgomery County Public Schools

January 10, 2001
Respondents to a recent survey of registered Maryland voters have given Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) the highest reported ratings statewide. Among county residents polled, 15 percent gave the school system an A and 35 percent gave a B.

The Maryland Poll, conducted by Potomac Survey Research Inc. of Bethesda for The Gazette, Baltimore Sun and WTOP, involved 1,203 registered voters who were surveyed by telephone about topics including crime, the economy, education, transportation and legislative issues. Survey results were published in the Gazette on January 10, the opening day of the state legislature's annual session.

Education headed the list of issues voters want elected officials to address, according to the poll. Asked what grade they would give the public schools in their community - A, B, C, D or Fail - a combined 50 percent of Montgomery County residents said A or B, the highest rating given in the breakdown of responses from Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Western Maryland, Greater Washington, the Inner Suburbs and statewide. When respondents who replied "not sure" instead of a letter grade are excluded from the results, 68 percent rated MCPS A or B.

Throughout the state, smaller classes and more teachers topped the list of changes that would make the most difference in improving the quality of education, with 29 percent of Montgomery County respondents making this their number-one concern.

Seventy-one percent of those surveyed in Montgomery County also favored a requirement that high school seniors in Maryland pass a rigorous state test in order to graduate - an opinion shared by respondents throughout the state.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.

For details of the survey, see the following website links, the first is an overall story in the "Gazette" and the second is the survey results on education specifically:

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