Putting Education Reform To The Test

Poll: Support For Common Core Falls As Awareness Rises

The annual PDK/Gallup poll shows Americans are less likely to support Common Core standards.

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The annual PDK/Gallup poll shows Americans are less likely to support Common Core standards.

The more Americans learn about Common Core, the less likely they are to support the math and language arts standards for K-12 public schools.

That’s one conclusion to draw from the annual poll from Phi Delta Kappa, a professional group for educators, and polling firm Gallup.

Last year, two-thirds of Americans said they had not heard of the standards. This year, more than 80 percent said they know at least a little about Common Core.

And they don’t like what they hear — 60 percent of those surveyed said they oppose Common Core. The most common reason given was concern Common Core would limit teachers’ classroom decisions.

“Given the increased media coverage this year, we were not surprised that an overwhelming majority of Americans have heard about the Common Core State Standards, but we were surprised by the level of opposition,” PDK CEO William Bushaw said in a statement. “Supporters of the standards, and educators in particular, face a growing challenge in explaining why they believe the standards are in the best interest of students in the United States.”

The PDK/Gallup poll were similar to the results of an Education Next poll released earlier this week. Education Next found support for Common Core declining — particularly among teachers.

The PDK/Gallup poll also found more than 60 percent of those surveyed opposed vouchers for private schools. About half of Republicans polled supported vouchers, while just 37 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats said they supported vouchers.

The poll results were split about the use of standardized testing in education. A majority — 55 percent — said standardized tests are not helpful. However, large majorities support the use of college entrance exams, such as the SAT and ACT, and using tests to determine if a student is promoted from one grade to the next, graduates from high school or earns college credit in an advanced course.

The poll also found a majority of those asked think local school boards should have the most influence over what public schools teach. A majority of those surveyed also think that charter schools “provide a better education” than traditional public schools.

The poll surveyed 1,001 adults by phone and has a margin of error of 4.6 percent. The PDK/Gallup poll is the longest-running national education survey. This is its 46th year. The poll will release a second batch of results next month detailing views on teacher preparation, teacher evaluation and more.


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