Parents Now Evenly Split On Common Core

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Blake Neff Reporter
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A new Gallup poll indicates that parents of public school children are closely divided on the merits of Common Core, while opinions on the multistate education standards are increasingly dividing along partisan lines.

In a survey limited to parents with at least one child in the public K-12 school system, Gallup found that 33 percent of parents have a somewhat or very positive attitude towards Common Core, while 35 percent of parents have a somewhat or very negative attitude. Another 32 percent have no opinion or are not familiar with the standards.

That’s a shift from just six months ago, when 35 percent of parents had a positive view of Common Core and 28 percent had a negative one.

The change is almost entirely driven by Republican-leaning parents. Among Democratic parents, opinions on Common Core have held steady, with 23 percent having a negative view on the standards in both October and in April. However, negative sentiment among Republicans has spiked from 42 percent to 58 percent. The growing party split is bad news for Common Core, which has been implemented in so many states in part due to the premise that it is nonpartisan in nature.

Hopes among Common Core backers that support for the standards would rise as parents became more familiar with them also do not appear to be panning out. Since last April, the proportion of parents who claim to have heard a fair amount or a great deal about Common Core has risen from 38 percent to 49 percent, but sentiments on the standards are still worsening.

While parents are split on Common Core itself, they are more upbeat on the particular policy proposals that underlie the standards, although that support is in decline as well. Last April, 73 percent of parents expressed support for having a single national set of standards for reading and mathematics. Now, only 65 percent of people favor national standards. Similarly, support for computerized standardized tests has fallen from 65 percent to 59 percent, and evaluating teachers based on Common Core-linked tests is backed by just 62 percent of parents, compared to 67 percent in April.

The survey was conducted from Sept. 16-21 and had sample size of 532 people. The margin of error was plus or minus 6 percentage points.

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