How much do Americans trust the Obama Administration on Education?

According to a recent Gallup/USA Today poll, Americans are 3% less optimistic about the Obama administration’s chances of improving the state of American Education.

All things considered, this very modest drop should be seen as proof of a favorable American attitude toward the Obama administration and education.

  • First, as the Gallup poll reminds us, “Americans were generally more positive about the potential of the new Obama administration’s ability to accomplish most of these goals in November 2008, just after Obama was elected for the first time. This optimism no doubt reflects in part voters’ hopes for any new president and the poor economic conditions that were extant in 2008.”
  • Second, at 68% positive, there are only two other issues about which Americans feel more positively than that of education: bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan (72%) and improving conditions for minorities and the poor (72%). These three issues are part of a total of 13 issues about which Americans were polled.
  • Third, when compared with the amount of drop in positive feeling of some of the other issues, a drop of only 3% represents an extremely modest drop.  The percentage of Americans who felt that the Obama administration could help heal political divisions in the United States dropped by 21%.

When respondents were asked about the current priorities that they believe the Obama administration should have, the state of the economy, as might be expected, came out first. 95% stated that it was “extremely” or “very” important that Obama take “major steps” to restore a strong economy and job market. Next came working to ensure the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare (88%) and preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon (79%). The only option out of 12 priorities related to education, making college education affordable, came in tied for fourth at 73%.

In short, Americans still believe education is an important issue for the administration to tackle, and they still trust the administration to do so.

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