Education Next Poll Results

Education Next LogoA new poll by Education Next finds that the Common Core State Standards may have an image problem. The poll finds that the public likes the idea of shared standards – so long as the question doesn’t mention the phrase “Common Core.” Even Republicans, who express the most antipathy to the Common Core brand, overwhelmingly like the concept.

Pollsters discovered this by asking one randomly chosen half of the respondents the same question as was posed to the other half, except that they dropped any specific mention of the Common Core. The difference in the questions posed to the two groups is in brackets below:

As you may know, in the last few years states have been deciding whether or not to use [the Common Core, which are] standards for reading and math that are the same across the states. In the states that have these standards, they will be used to hold public schools accountable for their performance. Do you support or oppose the use of these [the Common Core] standards in your state?

When the Common Core label is dropped from the question, support for the concept among the general public leaps from 53% to 68%. Significantly, the pronounced partisan polarization evoked by the phrase Common Core disappears when the question does not include those seemingly toxic words. The level of support among Republicans is 68%, virtually identical to the Democratic level of support. In other words, a consensus remains with respect to national standards, despite the fact that public debate over the Common Core has begun to polarize the public along partisan lines.

Education Next also found skepticism about teacher quality: While Americans think, on average, that about half of the teachers in their local schools deserve a grade of A or B, they think that more than one-fifth deserve a D or F; even teachers give these low marks to more than 1 in 10 of their peers, on average.

Some other interesting poll results include:

  • More than one-fourth of all families with school-age children have educated a child in a setting other than a traditional public school.
  • The public thinks less money should be spent on class-size reduction relative to the amount spent on teacher salaries or new books and technologies, if they are told the relative price of each intervention.
  • The poll also found that 41% of adults believe teacher unions have a negative effect on the local schools, while 34% say they have a positive effect. Those numbers have not changed from the last poll.

The full article has extensive poll results, analysis, as well as very helpful graphs to show the results.

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