At-Risk Students Should Be Allowed to Test from Home, Say Arizona Voters

Most Voters Support Allowing At-Home Testing and Waiving 95% Test-Taking Requirement

PHOENIX (March 24th, 2021)- It is an understatement to say that the Coronavirus pandemic has upended the education of Arizona’s students. Remote schooling, Zoom lectures, and online learning have become staples in our education system, while in-person instruction was restricted in order to protect families and school faculty members. Even though thousands of Arizona families were already participating in full-time online school before the pandemic hit, more and more parents have opted for virtual learning in the last year in efforts to maintain the health and safety of their students amidst the spread of the coronavirus. Keeping students and school faculty members healthy and safe while maintaining quality of education is the balance that Arizona voters are looking for. Currently, the state of Arizona requires that 95% of a school’s students take two standardized tests – the AzM2 and the AzSCI – in-person. With all of this in mind, data shows that most voters are willing to make allowances for students to deal with the myriad changes rendered by the pandemic.

OH Predictive Insights was commissioned by Arizona Parents for Education to conduct a poll of 500 registered voters in the state of Arizona on the topic of standardized testing in Arizona. The survey was conducted from March 12th – March 16th, 2021, and had a margin of error of 4.4%.

The survey found that seven in ten (69%) Arizona voters would support allowing students to take standardized tests at home, so long as a teacher supervised them via webcam. This number includes 51% of voters who strongly support the policy — which is particularly popular with women. Overall, three-quarters of women (76%) support the idea. Female support crosses the political spectrum — 91% of Democratic women, 75% of Independent women, and 58% of Republican women all support the policy.

Although the concept performs stronger with Democrats than with Republicans, no major demographic group has higher than 50% opposition. The group that comes closest is Republican men, 47% of whom oppose the policy.

Proponents argue that this policy would allow at-risk children to avoid the exposure that in-person testing may present while not excluding those children from the educational system altogether.

“Our family chose online learning for the very reason that it would allow my son, who is medically compromised, to avoid infection and exposure to illness in a classroom setting, but still afford him the opportunity to learn and participate virtually with his peers. The current testing requirements do not take into consideration those individuals who chose online learning in the first place, for reasons of medical necessity,” says advocate Tara Boedingheimer.

In the event that students will be denied the option to take video-monitored standardized tests from home, OH Predictive Insights also asked Arizona voters whether they would support or oppose removing the requirement that 95% of students in every school take these tests so that students who could be at risk of contracting the coronavirus would be allowed to stay home.

While this proved to be a less popular solution than allowing at-home testing, a majority (54%) of Arizona voters would also be in favor of waiving the requirement that 95% of students at a given school take the tests. Still more popular among women than men, female support fell to 60% for this proposal. A plurality (46%) of Republican women opposed the waiver, even though a majority (58%) supported supervised at-home testing.

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Methodology: This poll was conducted as an all-live caller phone survey. The survey was commissioned by Arizona Parents for Education and completed by OH Predictive Insights from March 12th to March 16th, 2021, from an Arizona Statewide Registered Voter sample. The sample demographics were weighted to accurately reflect gender, region, age, party affiliation, ethnicity, and education. The sample size was 500 registered voters, with an MoE of ± 4.4%. Numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding. The survey included questions before the ones mentioned in this release, however, the content of the prior questions could not reasonably be expected to have an impact on the results in the release.

Poll toplines and crosstabs can be found here

Media Contacts:

Mike Noble, OH Predictive Insightsm.noble@ohpredictive.com, (480) 313-1837

Haylye Plaster, OH Predictive Insightsh.plaster@ohpredictive.com, (602) 687-3034

About Arizona Parents for Education: Arizona Parents for Education is a 501(c)4 not for profit composed of parents committed to protecting and advocating for our children and to ensure they have the tools they need to be successful in Arizona’s online schools, blended learning programs, or the school best fit for their needs. Sometimes due to unique family or individual child’s situation which may include medical concerns, safety issues, or students who aren’t able to be safe or successful in a traditional public school. Contact us for more information at contact@azparents.org.

About OH Predictive Insights: As a nonpartisan market research, predictive analytics, and public opinion polling firm, Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights provides accurate polling, focus groups, data analytics, and advanced targeted marketing to political and non-political clients alike. With leading professionals in the advertising, communication, polling, and political arenas, OH Predictive Insights serves political and non-political clients looking to improve their footing with key stakeholders and consumers. For more information, please call 480-313-1837 or submit a request online at OHPredictive.com.

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