A new poll finds parents are pretty positive about public schools in New Jersey, but there’s disagreement about whether standardized testing should be a graduation requirement.

“A good number of them say that their child’s school is doing an excellent or good job. Actually, 80 percent say this, with very few (19 percent) saying their school is doing only fair or poor," said Ashley Koning, the head of the Eagleton Center for the Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and the director of the Rutgers-Eagleton poll.

“This is no surprise given how education is kind of a feather in New Jersey’s cap and is always highly rated nationally.”

At the same time, she noted “parents are slightly less likely to believe that schools in New Jersey as a whole are doing an excellent or good job.”

The poll finds 59 percent of respondents think schools outside of their own community are doing a good or excellent job.

When it comes to standardized testing, Koning says parents are split: 55 percent think testing should be a requirement for graduation.

She noted when parents were asked about the amount of testing being administered in schools, 52 percent think too much standardized testing is going on.

The poll also finds high satisfaction levels among parents when it comes to different aspects of their child’s school.

About 85 percent rated their child’s safety at school as excellent or good; 78 percent said the quality of education their kids is getting is excellent or good; and 77 percent indicated the quality of teachers and administrators is excellent or good.

A total of 1,203 adults were contacted for the poll, on landlines and cellphones.

A news release about the poll indicates the total sample has a margin of error of +/-3.0 percentage points; and interviews were conducted in English, and Spanish when requested.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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