Common Core Popularity in Decline, Testing Support Remains

(Photo: Pexels, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Pexels, Creative Commons)

From 2012 to 2016, those who favored Common Core policies fell a staggering 40 percent, shows a new poll.

As Anya Kamenetz writes for NPR, the results from Education Next seem to split along partisan lines. A large part of this appears to be the Common Core name, which when used results in a drastic decrease in favorable response by Republicans. The decrease is significantly smaller among Democrats.

“The decline in Common Core support is largely due to two factors. One, respondents’ limited knowledge of what it is and who is responsible for it. And, two, its politicization by Tea Party adherents, the testing opt-out movement, and some political candidates,” Says Lorraine McDonnell, a professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

While the Common Core standards aren’t nearly as favorable as they once were, there is still support for standardized testing in general. 63 percent of the general public find using standard tests across all states to be a good idea.

Politicians aren’t very supportive of the Common Core policies either, notes Dr. Susan Berry writing for Breitbart. Politicians on both sides have gone on record as saying Common Core is poisonous to the school system. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have also found issues discussing Common Core, as they are afraid it could damage their reputation in the eyes of the public.

“Politicians are on notice that they must fight to embrace high-quality standards. Ever increasingly, parents are realizing that the Common Core standards lock their children into an inferior education that fails to prepare them for life and for college,” Says Emmett McGroarty, education director at American Principles Project.

The majority of the public seems to want a better education for their children and they don’t believe the Common Core is the way to do it. The public still strongly believes in their educators, however. 65 percent of the public think teacher’s salaries should increase.

Many don’t know what the Common Core standards mean for children, points out Nicole Gorman writing for Education World. This could be due to how Common Core was developed; three organizations, the Council for Chief State School Officers, Achieve Inc., and the National Governors Association, developed Common Core, and none have any direct accountability to school faculty or to parents.

Despite all of the criticism of Common Core testing, parents have increasingly been pleased with their local school’s performance. 55 percent of the public would rate their local school an A or a B. This contrasts starkly with a national rating of the school system.

McDonnell goes on to say, “Even people without school-age children have some limited knowledge of their local schools, from the media, their neighbors, following the sports teams. So they are inclined to be less judgmental about them than they are about public schools in general, whose image is somewhat vague and increasingly negative though media images.”

This effect of rating something close to you more favorably is known as the mere-exposure effect. In essence, one likes something they are familiar with more, especially when confronted with an opinion about something they know far less about. While the national opinion of Common Core is continuing to decline, the fear of politicians to discuss it puts a damper on the amount of information in circulation about the topic.