Strong Support, Low Awareness: Public Perception of the Common Core Standards

While adoption and implementation of the Common
Core State Standards (CCSS) have spurred a hailstorm of activity across
educator and edu-wonk circles alike, the general public remains clueless even
as to what the standards are—never mind how they are being implemented or what
the long-term implications of their adoption might be. Through this national
poll (given to 800 registered voters), the folks at Achieve find that a
whopping 60 percent of Americans have never heard of the Common Core
standards—and another 21 percent have heard “not much.” Further, among voters
who have heard peep about the Common Core, impressions are mixed: Thirty-seven
percent view them favorably while 34 percent hold an unfavorable opinion (the
rest are undecided). Despite this mixed reaction to the CCSS specifically,
Americans overwhelmingly approve of the idea of common academic standards for
all states: sixty-six percent support vs. 31 percent opposed. (Even a majority
of Republicans like the notion of common standards.) But with so few people in
the know, it’s clear that Common Core remains fragile politically. The good
news, however, is that public-school teachers (most of whom have heard “a lot”
about the Common Core) like the idea of common standards: Sixty-five percent of
them are in support. That’s a promising indication that these standards might
actually have some staying power in the classroom—if the public doesn’t come to
dislike them first.

Achieve, Inc. “Strong Support, Low
Awareness: Public Perception of the Common Core State Standards
” (Achieve,
Inc., October 2011).