Poll wants to convince you that you actually like Common Core

Robby Soave Reporter
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Do you support “clear, consistent guidelines” and “real understanding?” Then you must be in favor of Common Core, argues a new survey intended to shore up support for the national education standards.

The survey was conducted by the Tarrance Group, a Republican firm, and David Binder Research, a Democratic firm. (Similarly, the Common Core standards have backers on the left and right — including many Republican governors, the Obama administration and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.)

Tarrance and TBR interviewed a few thousand people in a handful of states: Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Illinois. The survey worked as follows: The interviewer would give a glowing description of Common Core and then ask the interviewee whether he or she agreed with that. As an example, the following sentence was read to respondents:

“To ensure that all students are prepared for success after graduation, the Common Core Standards establish a set of clear, consistent guidelines for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level across subjects.”

Respondents were then asked whether they agreed. Some 64 percent did. Here was another statement:

“The standards focus on fewer topics and allow teachers to cover them all in greater depth.”

More than 70 percent of respondents were in favor of that.

Supporters of Common Core cite the survey as evidence of the popularity of the standards. (RELATED: This Common Core math problem asks kids to write the ‘friendly’ answer, instead of the correct one!)

“When Americans hear accurate, straightforward information about the Common Core standards, they overwhelmingly support them because they recognize higher standards are an important part of helping kids succeed in college and in their careers,” said Karen Nussle, executive director of the Collaborative for Student Success, a pro-Common Core group, in statement to The Daily Caller.

But Neal McCluskey, associate director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, said the survey was a farce, since it asked people their thoughts only after giving them loaded, “gold-plated descriptions” of Common Core. (RELATED: Common Core requires 9-year-olds to be expert typists)

“This sort of polling would almost be funny were it not being used to justify a serious — and potentially dangerous — education policy,” he told TheDC.

“The Core simply is not as popular as many poll sponsors want you to believe,” said McCluskey. (RELATED: Is this week the beginning of the end for Common Core?)

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