Although opposition to Common Core education standards is growing, an overwhelming majority of Americans remain supportive of these standards. A majority also back government funding of preschool education for disadvantaged children. At the same time, Americans are becoming increasingly resistant to demands for greater education spending and higher teacher pay. They give a higher evaluation to private schools than to public ones in their local community, but opposition to market-oriented school-reform proposals such as performance pay for teachers and school vouchers seems to be on the rise.
Those are just a few of the findings from the seventh annual Education Next (EdNext) poll administered under the auspices of the Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) to a representative sample of the U.S. adult population. Teachers, parents, African Americans, and Hispanic respondents were also surveyed in large enough numbers to provide reliable estimates of their opinions. Detailed results from 2013 and from previous years are available on the EdNext website.
On the other hand, a majority of Americans have never heard of the Common Core State Standards and dissatisfaction with standardized testing in schools is growing, according to the PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools released today.
Among the findings of the survey by Phi Delta Kappa International and Gallup:
- 62 percent of those surveyed had never heard of the standards. Even among those with children in public schools, only 45 percent had heard of the Common Core.
- Only 22 percent said testing helped the performance of their local school, down from 28 percent in 2007. Another 36 percent went further, saying that testing was hurting school performance.
- Americans are also growing wary of using students’ standardized tests to evaluate teachers. In just one year, the percentage of respondents who oppose using tests for teacher evaluations grew from 47 percent to 58 percent.
Even those who said they had heard of the Common Core had false impressions of the standards. Some agreed that the Common Core will create standards in all academic areas, is based on a blend of state standards or is a mandate of the federal government—all of which are false.