Survey: Northern Va. adults give schools top grades

More than half of Northern Virginia adults give the region’s schools high grades, according to a University of Mary Washington poll conducted last month.

In Northern Virginia, 16 percent of adults gave schools an “A” grade, and 44% gave schools a “B” grade.

The annual statewide survey of 1,000 residents was conducted between Sept. 6 and 12 by Research American. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1% for the total sample, and 4.1% for the questions involving likely voters.

Participants were asked to grade their school districts on a scale from A to F. Across the state, 40 percent of respondents gave schools an “A” or “B,” and 26 percent rated their schools a “C.”

The survey also asked about Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s control over public schools and the governor’s performance thus far in his term. It was conducted before the state’s Department of Education released proposed guidelines that would impact transgender students.

About 41% of respondents said the governor should have less authority over education, and 25% said he should have the same amount of power he has now.

“This survey demonstrates, once again, that the loudest voices at school board meetings are unrepresentative of overall public opinion in the commonwealth,” said Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington. “The large number of Virginians who say that their local schools are doing an excellent or at least a good job suggests that the governor would be wise to tap the brakes on some of his more controversial plans to reshape public education.”

About 45% of respondents said they approve of Youngkin’s job as governor to this point.

Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

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