January 24, 2008
New Poll Reveals Stifling Imagination in Schools Underlies Innovation and Skills Deficit: Evidence Points to New Values Coalition of Swing Voters Ready to Act to Keep America Competitive
As Run by StreetInsider.com
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24-- Results from a national poll were released today by Lake Research Partners, identifying a new strand of swing voters poised to support candidates and policy that ensure building capacities of the imagination in schools.
The new national survey of 1,000 likely voters, with a 3.1% margin of error, identifies that 30% of voters are not only dissatisfied with public education's narrow focus on the "so-called" basics, but that they also believe developing the imagination is a critical, but missing, ingredient to student success in 21st century schools and moving students beyond average.
"These are surprising results that indicate a strong set of shared public values are not being detected by public leaders," said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners. "A significant number of voters believe that today's educational approaches are blocking potential for innovation, and they are hungry for imagination in education. This group, which we call the 'imagine nation' is going to take action accordingly -- both in local schools and at the voting booth."
Among the key findings of the poll:
-- 89% of American voters say that using the imagination is important to innovation and one's success in a global knowledge-based economy, and essential to success in the 21st Century.
-- 69% of voters believe that, when compared to other nations, America devotes less attention to developing the imagination and innovation.
-- 63% of voters strongly believe that building capacities of the imagination that lead to innovation is just as important as the "so called" basics for all students in the classroom, and that an education in and through the arts helps to substantiate imaginative learning (91%) and should be considered a part of the basics.
Richard J. Deasy, director of the Arts Education Partnership, offered, "People across the country want a much more engaging and broadened education in order to meet the demands of the 21st century world. And the majority of voters (88%) believe that an education in and through the arts is essential to cultivating the imagination, which empowers students to meet those demands. "
Lake 's data suggest that a new "imagination constituency" will take action to ensure support for building the capacities of the imagination in public schools.
-- 56% of voters say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who came out in support of more funding.
-- 57% of voters say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who votes to cut funding for building capacities of the imagination. 36% percent of voters say they would be much less likely. Independent voters prove especially reactive.
A broad coalition of national leaders has joined with national, state, and local organizations to restore imagination and innovation as key outcomes of learning. This coalition includes the National Education Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, NAMM, the International Music Products Association, the Ford Foundation, the George Gund Foundation and the Arts Education Partnership, representing over 100 educational and arts related national organizations.
The growing coalition also includes three successful models for building capacities of the imagination that lead to innovation with an education in and through the arts: The Dallas Arts Learning Initiative, the Ohio Department of Education initiatives to strengthen STEM through imaginative learning, and the Oklahoma Creativity Project.
For additional resources and more information on the poll, please visit http://www.theimaginenation.net.