Poll Shows Americans Rank Standards as Top Education Issue, Majority Oppose Common Core

Released just in time for the new school year, the 47th Annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitude Toward the Public Schools presents current statistics on the varying views of all things public education in the U.S. Lack of support for testing, Common Core standards and federal control over education were headlines from this year’s PDK/Gallup poll.

When asked about the emphasis on standardized testing in public schools, 64% of respondents replied that they thought there was too much emphasis, while 19% responded that the amount of test emphasis was just enough. In terms of questions on testing, the poll indicated that across the board, Americans do not believe in testing as an accurate portrayal of a student’s achievement. Testing ranked last as a measure of effectiveness for public schools and as a marker for academic progress. However, the results differed along demographic boundaries showing that blacks are more likely than whites to cite student scores on standardized testing as important.

Support of Common Core standards didn’t fare much better in this nationally representative poll. Fifty-four percent of Americans and public school parents oppose the use of Common Core Standards in their public schools, and they ranked academic standards as one of the top five issues affecting schools in their community. The consensus of respondents was that Common Core standards are not an answer to public school problems.

Another interesting find from the poll shows a general preference for state and local control over education matters as opposed to federal control. When it comes to who should be responsible for deciding which learning resources and teaching methods are used in the classroom, 37% of respondents answered state; 39% answered local. Amid statistics that portray a negative view of the public school system, an enduring support of local schools remains present in this year’s PDK/Gallup poll. More than half of respondents, 51%, gave their local schools a grade of A or B out of A,B,C,D, or Fail options.

The full PDK/Gallup poll with other information on public education in America can be found here.

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