Common Core standards? What’s that?

Sixty-two percent of Americans haven’t heard of the new Common Core standards adopted in 45 states and the District of Columbia, according to the new Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll. Of those who recognized the term, “most had major misconceptions about the standards and believed that they will have no effect or will make American students less competitive with their peers across the world,” reports the Washington Post.

As in previous polls, most gave the nation’s public schools a C grade,while rating their local school as an A or B.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans favor charter schools, up from less than 40 percent 11 years ago. However, support for vouchers hit an all-time low.

People were sharply split on closing underenrolled neighborhood schools to save money, a strategy that has made headlines recently in cities including Washington, Chicago and Philadelphia. Half of all respondents opposed such a policy; opposition was higher among those who were not white.

As lawmakers struggle to reach a compromise on comprehensive immigration reform, more than half of the poll’s respondents — 55 percent — said they opposed providing free public education to children of people who are in the country illegally.

The majority of those polled believe that testing hasn’t improved public school performance; nearly 60 percent opposed using test scores to evaluate teachers.

That contradicts a new poll for the Joyce Foundation by Associated Press and NORC, which found that 60 percent of parents support using standardized test scores to evaluate teachers. The AP-NORC poll also found that most parents think standardized tests are an effective measure of their children’s performance and school quality, reports the Post.

Support for homeschooling is strong: Most say homeschooled students should be allowed to attend public school part-time and participate in athletics.

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  1. Roger Sweeny says:

    Maybe, just maybe, lots of people answer differently depending on how a question is phrased–especially if they don’t know much about the subject, or don’t have strong opinions. And maybe, just maybe, organizations tend to ask questions in ways that conform to their own view of the world, and thus tend to get answers that conform to their own preferences.

  2. Testing can’t improve schools, and it isn’t designed to. Repeatedly taking your temperature isn’t going to make your fever go away. It does, however, tell you that you still have a fever. Testing is designed to determine what students have learned and, by extension, if the teaching they’ve experienced has been effective, but it cannot improve that teaching.

  3. One of the many problem with the Common Core is the “suggested” reading lists. Most teachers will use those because it saves time in locating one’s own texts and making sure they conform to the core standards. The suggested text for the 11th grade is child pornography by Toni Morrison, who wants her readers to sympathize with and get inside the head of the child rapist.
    More here. It’s edited but still very graphic.

  4. Advocates for Common Core want the standards applied to charters and homeschoolers. We may get more choices, but they will become more similar.

    • They also want them to be applied to private schools, complete with the “student profile” which starts somewhere in infancy or toddlerhood and which gives government social workers, child development types, teachers and admins the (required) opportunity to “assess” every child and family – all aligned with the UN’s Rights of the Child. It’s all about state ownership of children. The academics, flawed as they are, are only the tip of the iceberg.