With forty-five states adopting the Common Core State Standards this is arguably the biggest shift we’ve had in education policy in decades, and most Americans never heard of them. The Washington Post reports:

The disconnect between policymakers and the public is among the key findings of a PDK-Gallup poll that was the 45th annual effort to measure Americans’ views on key education issues.

The poll found that two in three people had not heard of the Common Core, which has been fully adopted in 45 states and the District. The new rigorous standards emphasize critical thinking and problem solving and are meant to better prepare students for success.

Of those who did recognize the term, most had major misconceptions about the standards and believed that they will have no effect or will make American students less competitive with their peers across the world.

First off you can tell where Emma Brown, the article’s author, stands.  I feel like vomiting every time I hear or read the word “rigor” and then of course we bring up “misconceptions.”

Secondly, what misconceptions does the third of Americans surveyed have you may ask?

Of those Americans who had heard of the Common Core, many said — erroneously — that the standards are based on a blending of state standards, that the federal government is insisting that all states adopt the standards, and that there is a plan to create standards in all academic areas.

Of course Gallup-PDK don’t share what questions they asked to come to that conclusion.  I agree that these are misconceptions to a point.  The Federal government has enticed (at best) or coerced (at worse) states to join in.  They’ve certainly thrown enough money at it.  The “misconception” that there is a “plan to create standards in all academic areas” is not a misconception at all.  What do they think the Next Generation Science Standards and C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards are?

Third, Brown is right there is a definite disconnect.  Those who claim this process was transparent need to be able to explain why 2/3 of those surveyed never heard of the Common Core.  I understand there are low-information people out there, but if we had the vigorous debate at the state level within our state legislatures like we should have before adoption perhaps things would be different.

Then  there is all the time and effort put into standards that most Americans believe won’t do a lick of good.  They’re right to be skeptical since there isn’t any solid, independent data to indicate that they will.

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