It’s no secret that Common Core Standards have been met with firm opposition in many states across the country, but it would appear that California is not one of them. According to the results of a new poll organized by Children Now, more than three out of five registered voters in California support Common Core Standards..
The telephone survey reached out to 1,000 registered voters in California, and found that 63 percent of those surveyed are in favor of the Common Core State Standards. According to the firm that administered the poll, Hispanic, Asian, and African-American voters said that they approved the standards more often than white parents.
According to the EdSource website, these results indicate more support and knowledge of the Common Core than several other recent surveys. However, our math tutors were surprised to hear that the support for Common Core changed, sometimes drastically, after participants were read arguments for or against the standards.
Respondents listened to 10 statements made by supporters of the standards. These include arguments that they are designed to promote critical thinking and problem solving skills to help improve performances in tough subjects like algebra and geometry, as well as helping students learn what they need to succeed in college or the workplace. After hearing these statements, support for the standards rose to 67 percent and disapproval dropped to 31 percent.
Respondents were then read eight arguments by Common Core opponents. These included statements such as the standards are inappropriate for young children, harm at-risk children, and were overall unnecessary. Approval for the standards dropped to 55 percent with 43 percent opposition after these criticisms.
Regardless, these recent results show an increase in support after an April 2016 Public Policy Institute of California poll of all Californians showed an almost even divide on the standards. After hearing that the “Common Core State Standards are a single set of K–12 English language arts and math standards that most states, including California, have voluntarily adopted,” 43 percent of respondents said they favored them, 39 percent opposed them and 18 percent didn’t know.
However, an online poll conducted in May and June, 2016 found declining support for the Common Core nationally. Of the over 4,000 adults who responded, 50 percent preferred the use of Common Core in their state, down from 58 percent a year before and 83 percent four years previous. Most of the drastic shift was seen among Republicans, whose support plummeted from 82 to 39 percent in four years. However, the decline in approval among Democrats was also significant, falling from 86 percent to 60 percent in the same amount of time.
In California’s elective offices and legislative leaders, there has been a unified front in support of the Common Core standards. These high ranking officials include Gov. Jerry Brown, the entire State Board of Education, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and the state’s two teachers unions.
Forty-five states and Washington, D.C. adopted the Common Core standards. Although a handful of other states are considering significant revisions and three have rescinded them, most have either maintained the standards or adjusted them slightly.
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