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Uncensored - April 2000
Statewide School Conference Survey
Students More Concerned About Drinking and Smoking than Guns

Although the Columbine High School shooting has focused public attention on guns and violence in schools, most students gathered in a recent statewide conference said that drinking and smoking were bigger problems.

Nearly 800 students attending the "Uncensored" Colorado Conference on Youth Education on April 8 answered a questionnaire about the quality of their school. The anonymous surveys were conducted by Ciruli Associates of Denver for the conference, convened by Lt. Gov. Joe Rogers. The conference was attended by students from 200 schools across the state.

Problems such as smoking (40%), alcohol (36%), use of drugs (36%), and overcrowded classrooms (31%) were judged the major problems by students. Guns (3%) and gangs (4%) were not rated major problems.

Despite vigorous debate over the quality of the state's public school system—including a controversial plan to "grade" schools—a majority of Colorado high school students polled give their school good marks.

  • 64 percent gave their school an "A" or "B" when asked to rate the quality of education at their school. Only 4 percent gave their school a "D" or "F". However, more than a third (36 %) gave their schools a "C" and below.
  • 64 percent who plan on taking college entrance exams and going to college say they are being adequately prepared to do well on the test.
  • 73 percent who will start a job or attend technical school say they are well prepared for their post-high school choice.

UNCENSORED - Colorado Conference on Youth Education
April 2000 Survey

The following questions have to do with your school and your ideas about education. Your answers are private. Your name is not on this form. Please circle or write in your answers. Return to conference staff when done.

Students are graded A, B, C, D, or F to show the quality of their work. Suppose you had a chance to grade the quality of education in your school. What grade would you give your school: A, B, C, D, or F? Circle the grade you'd give your school.

21% 43% 32% 4% 0%

If you are planning on attending college, do you feel your high school education has prepared you or not prepared you to do well on the college exams (SAT or ACT)? (Skip to next question if not planning on attending college after high school).

Prepared 64%
Not prepared 33%
Won't take test 3%

If starting a job or going to a technical school, do you feel your high school education has prepared you or not prepared you with the skills to be successful? (Skip to next question if planning on attending college after high school).

Prepared 73%
Not prepared 27%

The following is a list of problems in some schools. Circle the numbers 1, 2 or 3 to show if you believe the problem is a major problem, not a big problem or no problem at your school.

Not a Big
No Problem
At All
Student violence 8% 53% 29% (765)
Smoking at school 40% 43% 17% (772)
Use of drugs 31% 49% 20% (771)
Classroom discipline 17% 60% 23% (718)
Gangs at school 4% 30% 66% (769)
Use of alcohol 36% 40% 24% (754)
Classroom overcrowding 31% 33% 36% (766)
Guns at school 3% 19% 78% (698)

Do you attend public, private, or home school?

Public 89%
Private 10%
Home school 1%

If home schooling, do you think you are receiving a better education,about the same, or not as good an education as students in regular highschools? (If not home schooling skip this question).

Better 57%
Same 21%
Not as good 11%
Not sure 11%

What is your age? Circle the number

15 or younger 16%
16 28%
17 34%
18 or older 22%

Mark down your sex, circle the number

Male 39%
Female 61%

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