There are been many claims throughout the mainstream media and the public at-large that students are entering the life and workplace not sufficiently ready and are not measured to be engaging as citizens. According to a recently released poll conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) only 45 percent of poll respondents believe that Virginia high schools are doing a “good job” preparing students to be “engaging citizens.”

Partisanship was also measured, with 45 percent of both Republicans and Democrats claiming the above metric.

The responses were gathered by VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs via telephone interviews among 802 respondents with those 18 years old and above, living across five regions in the Commonwealth throughout two weeks in July.

Republicans are also less likely to think colleges and universities are doing a good job helping students develop communications skills or preparing students for the workforce needs of the future. Just 44 percent of those siding with GOP values believe so, with 74 percent of Democrats say Virginia colleges and universities are doing a good job.

In the areas of “producing graduates in scientific fields…preparing students for the workforce needs of the future,” and “providing the skills useful in obtaining a job,” those supporting the efforts of public schools has stayed about even over the past five years.

When polled about the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, “almost all of those ages (sic) 18 to 34 (at 91 percent) said that colleges are doing a good job in turning out STEM graduates, making them more likely than were those 65 and older (75 percent),” the report stated.

The metrics were also different by region. “Respondents from the West region (at 91 percent) were most likely to say good job and those in Tidewater were least likely at 63 percent. South Central, Northwest and Northern Virginia residents were clustered together with 78 percent, 75 percent and 72 percent, respectively, saying colleges and universities do a good job at turning out STEM graduates.”

When polled, 79 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 years old believed that colleges and universities in Virginia are doing a good job in preparing students to be engaged citizens. That number drops to just 50 percent when tested with the 35 to 44 age group.

The narrative of a liberally-biased atmosphere of college and university campuses was also shown in the poll as 74 percent of Democrats thought the were prepared to be engaging citizens, as opposed to 45 percent among Republicans, and 42 percent among Independents.