New Gallup Poll - Common Core Support Continues to Decline as People Learn More & Better PR Won't Help

August, 2014

In a new poll released August 20th, the highly respected Gallup and Phi Delta Kappa organizations found in their annual education poll that people oppose Common Core more as they learn more about it and that distrust of the federal role in education is growing. Here are some of the key findings (Emphasis added in bold italics):

  • Last year, almost two-thirds of Americans (62%) had never heard of the Common Core State Standards. Fast-forward to 2014, when asked how much they have heard about the Common Core, most Americans (81%) say they have heard at least a little, and nearly half (47%) said they have heard a great deal or a fair amount about it.
  • 60% of Americans oppose requiring teachers in their community to use the Common Core State Standards to guide what they teach, with opposition among Republicans much higher than Democrats.
  • For the 33% of Americans who favor the Common Core, the most important reason is because it will help more students learn what they need to know regardless of where they go to school.
  • For the 60% of Americans who oppose using the Common Core, their most important reason is that it will limit the flexibility that teachers have to teach what they think is best.
  • While most educators believe the new standards are challenging, 40% of Americans disagree, saying the Common Core State Standards are not challenging enough.
As in the Politico article showing that parents are winning the messaging war that featured FSCCC describing these efforts as "lipstick on a pig," the proponents think that more and better communication will turn things around. Unfortunately, Phi Delta Kappa who supports the standards put forth all sorts of spin and ridiculously untrue rhetoric, such as the following (our response is in italics below each point):

Dismissing American public opinion as uninformed is not an option, and astute policy makers understand this.

Yet, until recently, this is exactly what Common Core proponents have done, calling us "whackos and crazies," liars, conspiracy theorists, tin hatters, etc.
As difficult as it is to make policy, implementing it is much harder, particularly when a majority of Americans don't support the policy in question...

Perhaps that is their clue, that they should stop fighting us, especially using tax-funded propaganda campaigns or rebranding the standards as here in Florida and hoping American parents will be fooled.

To address higher achievement and greater equity, the United States needs standards of excellence, and there is wide agreement that the Common Core State Standards offer these standards.

There may be agreement among government and business elites that want to impose the standards despite lack of field testing or public vetting, and over state legislative, local school board and parental objection.  However, as this poll and many others we have highlighted (HERE and HERE) have shown, there is not wide agreement on the quality or rigor of the standards or the process by which they were imposed.
In this case, modifying policy is not a solution. We can't return to an American system of public education based on 50 sets of education standards.

There have only been statewide standards as the result of an unconstitutional federal mandate since 1994 and according to both national statistics and expert opinion, these have done nothing to improve academic achievement or close achievement gaps.  International data shows that having national standards makes little difference the U.S. does both better and worse than countries that have national standards.
Working together, education professionals through their associations, along with business and political leaders can work together to mount a nonpartisan communications campaign explaining to Americans why the Common Core State Standards are essential to the nation's future and to the success of all children.  Public support for the standards is declining -- we need to fight for these standards since we are losing in the court of public opinion.

Apparently Phi Delta Kappa has not figured out that the millions of dollars spent by both the government and the business/foundation elite attempting to convince the public of the above has been an utter failure as demonstrated by all of this polling data.  Another example is the huge flop that was the proponents' attempt at a Twitter campaign in support of the standards as chronicled by Breitbart News. The organized campaign was taken over by passionate parents who responded to the tweets using the proponent's own hashtag #SupporttheCore. This resulted major Common Core apologist Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute to resort to toddler-like whining to US News about being "bullied." Here is Petrill's tweet and a response by FSCCC

We agree with Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute who characterized the vain hope that better PR will fix the crumbling support of the standards as patronizing and correctly satirized the proponents' statements about correcting course and more PR as follows:
  1. It's tricky when we're so obviously right.
  2. You see, we really want to respect our opponents, but it's hard when they're such obvious nitwits.
  3. The fact that they're such nitwits has suckered us into just coolly sharing the evidence of our overwhelming rightness.
  4. The problem is that all this evidence is too far over everyone's heads, because they're just not as sophisticated as we are.
  5. So, we've decided we need to offer more sugar, candy, circuses, and heart-tugging appeals in order to really win this thing.
  6. We'd thought push-polling and long-retired Republican governors would suffice, but now we've decided we need a national campaign of cute, smiling kids saying, "I WUV the Common Core!"
This continued arrogance and patronization by the elites would be laughable if it were not for the suffering caused to children, parents, teachers, and taxpayers under Common Core.  Proponents could save everyone a lot of time, money and heartache by realizing that this system is another boondoggle headed for the ash heap of education history that cannot be fixed by more and better  communication.

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