Faculty Publications

A PROBE Report: Superintendents' Views on Education vs. the Gallup Poll


ERIC Document - ED193773 found in the ERIC Database

Document Type



Administrator Attitudes; Administrator Characteristics; Discipline; Educational Finance; Educational Quality; Elementary Secondary Education; Mainstreaming; National Surveys; Public Opinion; School Surveys; Superintendents


During the fall of 1979; PROBE (Practical Research into Organizational Behavior and Effectiveness); an independent research organization; undertook a survey of public school district superintendents to elicit their views on education in areas parallel to those expressed in the annual Gallup Poll of the public's attitude toward the schools. A one-page questionnaire was directed to two slightly overlapping samples: a stratified random sample of 2;004 district superintendents and superintendents in the nation's 200 most populous school districts. Both the random and large district samples were in complete agreement on the top four problems confronting public school districts: inflation and financial support; declining enrollment; governmental restrictions; and handicapped education requirements. Negative correlations were found between both samples' problem rankings and those of the Gallup Poll. Discipline; for example; was rated first in 10 of the last 11 years in the Gallup Poll but it was rated thirteenth by the superintendents. Among the major conclusions drawn were that the nation's schools are in need of improved financial support; that both administrators and the public desire improvements in teacher quality; and that a formidable task remains for advocates of handicapped education if they are to convince administrators and the public of the value of mainstreaming. (Author/IRT)


Department of Teaching

Original Publication Date


Object Description

1 PDF file (27 pages)


UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa


©1980 Jerry Duea and Walter L. Bishop



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