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Education Poll
April 15, 1999
Part of The First 100 Days Series.
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Minnesota voters support spending more on public schools, but are more in tune with the 2.5% increase proposed by Governor Jesse Ventura than larger increases backed by educators. Statewide, a 42% plurality backed Ventura's recommended increase. About the same number of voters (22%) supported spending more than Ventura as supported no increase at all (20%). An additional 7% favored spending less on public education.

Only 9% of Minnesota voters favored scrapping the Profile of Learning, while 33% felt it should be changed to make it easier to work with. The largest block, however, (41%) supports giving Profile of Learning more time for teachers, students, and parents to get used to it.


QUESTION : Should Minnesota: (order rotated)

  • Spend less than it does now on public schools.
  • Spend about the same as it spends now on public schools.
  • Spend more on public schools, giving them another 2.5% in aid for each student, as Governor Ventura has proposed.
  • Spend more than Governor Ventura has proposed on public schools, as some educators have proposed.
Option State Men Women
Spend More/Ventura 42% 47% 37%
Spend More/Educators 22% 12% 32%
Spend Same 20% 28% 12%
Spend Less 7% 8% 6%
Undecided 9% 5% 13%

QUESTION: State lawmakers are debating whether to modify or eliminate a new set of high school graduation standards known as the Profile of Learning. Based on what you know, which of the following statements comes closest to your point of view? (Order rotated)

  • The Profile of Learning should be given more time, so that teachers, students, and parents can get used to them.
  • The Profile of Learning should be changed to make it easier for teachers and students to work with, but should not be scrapped.
  • The Profile of Learning should be scrapped.
  • I don't know enough about the Profile of Learning to have an opinion.
Option State Men Women
Give More Time 41% 41% 41%
Change 33% 38% 28%
Scrap 9% 7% 11%
No Opinion 17% 14% 20%

The Mason-Dixon Poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Political/Media Research, Inc. of Washington, DC from April 7, 1999 through April 9, 1999. A total of 628 registered Minnesota voters were interviewed statewide by telephone. All stated they regularly vote in state elections.

Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect the voter registration distribution by county.

The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus-or-minus 4 percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled. The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as a gender grouping.

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Poll Copyright 1999, Mason-Dixon Political/Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved