NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Real Deal with Public Opinion and the Common Core

October 28, 2015

The Common Core standards have received a lot of attention lately, however, most of what has been said is usually driven by results from agenda-driven polls and analysis. Opponents of the Common Core have embarked on misinformation campaigns in order to create widespread confusion among voters or to score political points.

The truth, however, is the Common Core still enjoys majority support but it has fallen significantly.

Only two national, annual polls of attitudes toward education: one by Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup and the other by Education Next can be considered reliable.

The researchers found out that:

  • Beyond enrollment, other drivers of increases in spending are provider rate increases and the higher cost of health care, including prescription drugs.
  • Support depends enormously on how polling questions are phrased.
  • Depending on the questions selected for a poll it is possible to argue that the public supports the Common Core by more than two to one or that it opposes it by a similar margin.
  • Support exhibits a clear downward trend. Conservative support has practically disappeared, but Democratic support has also fallen.

Most notably, support of adopting the Common Core standards in the state fell by 14 points between 2012 to 2015.

The authors conclude that support for Common Core remains uncertain looking forward.

Source: Frederick M. Hess and Kelsey Hamilton. "The real deal with public opinion and the Common Core" American Enterprise Institute, October 2015.


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