Voter Perceptions: Common Core State Standards & Tests

Achieve's third national poll on voter perceptions of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), conducted in November 2013, showed that a solid majority of voters support common standards, assessments, and allowing students and teachers time to adjust to these new expectations. Awareness of the CCSS was increasing, although nearly 2/3 of those surveyed heard little or nothing about the CCSS. However, once those voters heard a brief description of the CCSS, a solid majority (69%) favored implementing the standards. The survey data suggest that there is continuing support among voters for the CCSS. Achieve recommends that to maintain that support, "leaders and advocates must redouble their efforts to increase awareness and understanding of the education reforms they have adopted, prepare the public for the changes ahead, and communicate clearly the goals and benefits of reform to students, families, communities, and their states" (p.4).

Content Comments 

This brief paper presents the results of a poll of 800 registered voters, conducted on behalf of Achieve Inc., by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. This is the third such poll since 2011, focusing on voters' awareness and perceptions of the Common Core State Standards. While a fairly small sample given the intent to generalize across all registered voters, trends across the three years indicate that public awareness of the Common Core is growing. Even still, nearly 40% of registered voters reported knowing "Nothing" about the CCSS. Current research and examinations of the education landscape have shown us that the greatest impediment to successful implementation of new standards has been a lack of awareness and clear understanding about what the new standards are and their implications on instruction, professional development, assessment, and accountability. For this reason, this study serves as an important reminder that clear and comprehensive communications are imperative.