The Leadership Conference Education Fund, Hager Sharp Inc., and ORC International have collaborated to conduct a national survey among U.S. adults about their awareness, knowledge and attitudes regarding standards in public K-12 education. The survey broadly explores their expectations of public education and also includes questions pertaining specifically to the Common Core State Standards. The research team oversampled among African Americans and Hispanic Americans to ensure representation and adequate statistical power for the analysis. They also conducted the survey in three states—Georgia, Colorado and Tennessee —to guide state-specific messaging and communication efforts pertaining to the Common Core.
Following is a short summary of the results:
-Nearly all American adults (97 percent) believe students need to be able to think critically and apply skills to the “real world” to be successful after high school.
-Nearly all (92 percent) believe schools must rise to meet the expectations of colleges and employers.
-Most (85 percent) also believe the U.S. needs consistent standards to help ensure higher expectations for students.
-Nearly three-quarters of American adults (71 percent) believe expectations in U.S. schools are too low, and half believe U.S. schools are not being held accountable specifically for the performance of students of color.
-Moreover, only 47 percent of American adults believe U.S. schools do a good job of providing a well-rounded education to every student.
-There is strong support (82 percent) for “a wholesale transformation of our education system” to ensure “long-term economic security.”
Americans are divided on two issues in education:
-Half believe there is too much testing in schools.
-Nearly half (46 percent) believe the federal government should not have a role in education.
Despite the anti-federal sentiment among 46 percent of American adults, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) believe all states should have the same standards at each grade level in math and English so students have to meet the same expectations no matter where they live. Moreover, nearly all American adults (92 percent) believe “where a family lives, how much money they make, or their race or ethnicity should not determine the quality of the education that a child receives.”
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