Methodology

The 2018 PDK survey is based on a random national sample of 1,042 adults and an oversample to 515 parents of school-age children.

The 2018 PDK poll on education was designed, managed, analyzed, and reported by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., in consultation with PDK. All results described in this report were tested for statistical significance.

Langer Research Associates is a charter member of the Transparency Initiative of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. After six months, researchers will have access to the complete dataset through the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.

The survey was conducted May 1-21, 2018, among a random national sample of 1,042 adults, including an oversample to 515 K-12 parents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.9 points for the full sample and 5.5 points for the sample of parents, the focus of this report, including design effects. Error margins are larger for subgroups.

On May 18, during the closing days of the survey’s field period, eight students and two teachers were killed in a school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. All but 18 of the respondents, including nine parents, completed the survey before this event.

Sampling and data collection were provided by GfK Custom Research via its nationally representative, probability-based online KnowledgePanel®, in which participants are randomly recruited via address-based sampling to participate in survey research projects by responding to questionnaires online. Households without internet connections are provided with a web-enabled device and free internet service.

The survey was designed to include about 540 adults in the general population, and, through oversampling, 500 parents of students in grades K-12, including 100 black parents and 100 Hispanic parents. The full sample was weighted to reflect the correct proportions of these oversampled populations. The questionnaire was available to respondents in English and Spanish.

The survey questionnaire was pretested April 27-30, 2018. After initial invitations, email reminders were sent to all nonresponders on the third, seventh, and 14th days of the field period, with additional reminders to black and Hispanic parents on the 10th, 17th, and 19th days of the field period. Out of 1,830 panel members invited to participate, completed, qualified surveys were provided by 1,065. Participants completed the survey in a median time of 11 minutes.

The sample composition after quality control was 527 general population adults and 515 K-12 parents, including 103 black parents and 101 Hispanic parents.

Data were weighted via iterative proportional fitting to the following benchmark distributions of general population adults from the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2017 Current Population Survey:

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18-29, 30-44, 45-59, 60+)
  • Race/ethnicity (White, Black, Other, Hispanic, 2+ Races)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
  • Metropolitan Status (Metro, Non-Metro)
  • Education (Less than High School, High School, Some College, Bachelor, or Higher)
  • Household Income ($0-$25K, $25-$49,999, $50K-$74,999, $75K-$99,999, $100K-$149,999, $150K+)
  • Parents with Children 6-18 (Yes, No)
  • Marital Status (Married, Not Married)
  • Language Proficiency (English Proficient Hispanic, Bilingual Hispanic, Spanish Proficient Hispanic, Non-Hispanic)
  • Hispanic Nativity (1=US-born Hispanic, 2=Not US-born Hispanic, 3=Non-Hispanic)

Weights were trimmed at 2% and 99.43% of their distribution (minimum 0.175, maximum 3.687). Given its use of oversampling, the survey has a design effect due to weighting of 1.55, for a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for the full sample. Error margins are larger for subgroups.