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

October 01, 2011 

To explore the public's awareness of and support for the new Common Core State Standards and aligned common assessments Achieve commissioned a national poll in August 2011. It is not surprising that awareness of the Common Core State Standards and common assessments remains low given that implementation efforts were just getting underway. The voting public favors the idea of states having common standards and assessments and when given additional information about the CCSS, their support remains high. The challenge now is to maintain the public’s—and educators’—enthusiasm for these initiatives as the CCSS and related policies move from being an “idea” to becoming real in classrooms. Read the press release.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Generally, public education is considered to be a very or extremely important issue to voters across the board. However, only about one in ten voters – and educators – believe public education is working pretty well right now.
  • There is strong support among voters and teachers for common standards. The support is strong regardless of age, education level, race, ethnicity or party affiliation.
  • The Common Core State Standards are in the early stages of implementation and awareness among the general public is very low. Awareness among teachers is significantly higher.
  • Among voters who are aware of the Common Core State Standards, there is a mixed impression of the CCSS, with essentially the same percentage having a favorable and unfavorable view. Among teachers who are aware of the Common Core, there is generally a more favorable view.
  • There is strong support for common assessments among states, but also disagreement as to how the results of the assessments should be used. The general public strongly supports using the results for a full range of accountability purposes, while teachers are more skeptical of using test results for such purposes.