Phi Delta Kappa International teamed up with Gallup to poll the public attitudes toward public schools. They polled 1,002 Americans who are 18-years of age and older. This year they asked specific questions about the Common Core State Standards. They introduce this section of the polling data:
Attempts to create national education standards in the U.S. has stalled until the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers undertook an effort to created voluntary standards with control vested at the state rather than federal level. Educators, policy makers and philanthropists have embraced the Common Core State Standards that currently are constructed only for mathematics and English language arts. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have adopted them. We decided to measure public support for these standards.
My first thought is how were these questions introduced to those being polled? Perhaps they weren’t. If they were based on the description above there is a definite slant. As far as saying “policy makers” have embraced these standards – what state legislature has voted on these? Um, none. So how can you say policy makers have embraced these? Also how can you say that control has been vested at the state rather than federal level with Race to the Top and these standards being a condition for No Child Left Behind waivers? That’s a stretch!
Then I have to wonder how many people surveyed really know anything about the standards. Have they read them? Likely not.
The first question they asked was, “Do you believe common core standards would help make education in the United States more competitive globally, less competitive globally, or have no effect?
|National Totals %||GOP %||Dem %||Ind %|
|Have no effect||37||43||29||39|
We keep hearing that we’re in the middle of the pack so this result isn’t surprising. The Republicans surveyed are definitely more split. Contrast this response to the third question asked about whether it will improve education. I find it interesting to see some disparity. Those who believe it will make us more competitive internationally aren’t as sure that it will improve the quality of education in our communities, especially among independents.
The second question they asked was, “Some educators believe that common core standards would provide more consistency in the quality of education between school districts and between states. Do you believe that having common core standards would provide more consistency in the quality of education between school districts and states?
|National Totals %||GOP %||Dem %||Ind. %|
Of course people are going to say yes. I’d probably answer yes to this question. They are uniform standards, but I also believe they would make education nationwide consistently mediocre to bad.
The third question on the common core: “Do you believe common core standards would improve the quality of education in your community, decrease the quality of education in your community, or have no effect.
|National Totals %||GOP %||Dem %||Ind. %|
|Improve the quality of education||50||46||60||43|
|Decrease the quality of education||8||6||5||12|
|Have no effect||40||44||33||43|
The majority (55%) of independents believe that CCSS will either decrease the quality of education or have no effect. Republicans also have an majority 50% to 46% The national total demonstrates a divide than what the graph above shows – 50 to 48. That’s hardly a ringing endorsement.
Also as I mentioned before how much does the general public know about these standards and how were they described? That would certainly impact polling on this subject. How could the general public really know whether they are going to be effective since they haven’t been field tested. I feel like these standards are being approached much the same way that health care reform was. Just imagine those who are pushing these standards saying something similar to what Nancy Pelosi said about health care reform, “we won’t know what are in the standards and how effective they’ll be until we implement them.”
Cross-posted from Truth in American Education