Brustein & Manasevit - Federal Update email | Author: JCM
Friday, August 22, 2014 12:22 PM :: A new PDK/Gallup poll tracking the American public’s attitudes toward public education released this week showed growing opposition to the Common Core standards, as well as some of the education policies being pushed by the Obama Administration.
Overall, 81% of poll respondents said they had heard about the Common Core State Standards, with 47% saying they knew a lot or a fair amount about them. A total of 60% say they oppose the standards, but that opposition was heavily divided along party lines – 76% of self-identified Republicans said they opposed the standards, but only 38% of Democrats said they were against them.
The reasons for opposing the Core were diverse – some poll respondents said they believed the standards limited teachers’ ability to teach what they thought best suited their students, and a majority of Republicans and independents said they did not believe the Core standards were challenging enough for students. A majority of Republicans, independents, and public school parents (and 45% of Democrats) agreed with the statement that local school boards – not State or federal governments – should have the greatest influence in deciding what is taught in schools.
Respondents were also generally skeptical about standardized tests. Fifty-four percent of those polled said they do not believe that standardized tests are helpful to teachers.
In addition, support for items on President Obama’s education agenda was lacking among poll respondents. Only 27% of those polled gave the President an “A” or “B” grade in rating his performance in support of public schools, while 27% gave him an “F” – his lowest overall score since being elected President.
Again, support here divided largely along party lines with only 3% of Republicans expressing support for the President’s education agenda, compared to 61% of Democrats. Respondents criticized the lack of financial support to public schools in particular, with 32% calling it the biggest challenge facing public schools.
- Lauren Camera, PDK/Gallup Poll Finds Rising Awareness, Majority Opposition to Common Core,” Politics K-12, August 20, 2014.
- Valerie Strauss, “Obama Losing Public Support on Education Issues, New Poll Finds,” Washington Post, August 20, 2014.