Virginians give their local public-school districts generally good marks when it comes both to educating children and providing a safe environment, according to this year’s statewide survey from the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington.

Asked to evaluate how well their local K-12 public schools educate children, 36 percent of respondents gave their schools an A or B grade, and another 29 percent rated their local schools a C for adequate. Ten percent gave their local schools an F for failure, while another 13 percent offered a D grade, which represented less than adequate. The rest were uncertain. The 1,000-person poll of Virginia adults was conducted for UMW’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies by Research America Inc. Sept. 5-11.

On the question of safety in their community schools, 41 percent of those surveyed gave their local district schools an A or a B grade, while 27 percent said the local public schools deserved a C, or adequate, performance assessment. Seven percent said the schools deserved an F for failure regarding safety, while another 10 percent said that their local school deserved a D for inadequate. The rest were uncertain.

“This survey shows that those combative voices at school board meetings are not representative of public opinion across the Commonwealth regarding public education,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and director of UMW’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “Overall, Virginians remain quite positive about the performance of their schools, both regarding education generally and providing a safe learning environment.” Read more.