Americans Still Confused About Common Core

A new poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University shows that many Americans still don’t understand the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). While 47% of Americans say that they’ve heard “some” or “a lot” about the Common Core, 52% to say that they’ve heard “just a little,” or “nothing at all.” However, 40% still say they disapprove of the standards, 42% are unsure, and 17% of respondents favor the CCSS. Opposition does seem to run on political party lines no matter what level of understanding participants have about Common Core.

“The effort to raise standards was meant to be encouraging. However, the issue has not been publicized effectively to the community, and especially to parents. Political ideology is affecting a nationwide effort to increase achievement in all children,” said Dr. Vicki Cohen, director of the Peter Sammartino School of Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Trying to shed some light American’s understanding of the CCSS, the pollsters asked if four topics –sexual education, global warming, evolution, and the American Revolution – were included in the Common Core. Even though none of the topics are, only one in ten knew they were not. Forty-four percent think that sexual education is included, 43% think evolution is part of the CCSS, and 48% say that the American Revolution is a component of the standards.

“In the absence of information about the Common Core, Americans are projecting their own beliefs about government influence on public education on to them,” said Dan Cassino, associate professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and an analyst for the poll. “Those who think that the government is trying to indoctrinate their children with beliefs they’re opposed to think that the Common Core is the way they’re doing it.”

More telling, even though one of the key criticisms of the CCSS has been that they are imposing a national curriculum, 40% of the poll respondents approve of attempts by the federal government to establish educational standards.

Read the results of the poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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Educational Standards