Republicans hate the words ‘Common Core’ more than they hate education standards

Aug 19, 2015 by

By Jason Russell –

How much do Republicans hate Common Core? It depends how you ask them.

The results of the 2015 Education Next Poll were released Tuesday, with three groups of respondents answering questions about Common Core.

One group of respondents was asked simply whether they support or oppose Common Core. Half of the Republicans in the group opposed Common Core, with 30 percent in favor. Before asking if respondents support or oppose Common Core, the question explained, “In the last few years states have been deciding whether or not to use the Common Core, which are standards for reading and math that are the same across the states.”

Another group was asked if they support Common Core using the same language as above, but with an added sentence: “In the states that have these standards, they will be used to hold public schools accountable for their performance.” Using the additional explanation about Common Core, half of Republicans still opposed it, although support rose to 37 percent.

The third group was asked the same question as the second group, but it said “these standards” instead of “Common Core.” As a result, Republican opposition to Common Core dropped to 38 percent and support rose to 50 percent.

It’s not surprising to see poll results depend on question wording, but seeing opposition flip to support upon removing the words “Common Core” is unexpected. It’s unclear whether Republicans would support Common Core if it were marketed differently, or whether they instead support the idea of standards but oppose the specific standards in Common Core.

Democratic support ranged from 49-58 percent depending on how the question was worded.

In terms of implementation, about 44 percent of Republicans said they perceived the federal government as having the largest role in setting educational standards, while an equal portion said they thought states had the largest role. In a follow-up question, 30 percent of Republicans said they want the federal government to have the largest role in setting standards, while 50 percent said they want states to be the biggest player and 20 percent prefer local governments.

Despite connections between the movement to let students opt out of standardized tests and anti-Common Core advocates, only 30 percent of Republicans said parents should decide whether their students have to take state tests, while almost 60 percent opposed letting parents decide.

Source: Republicans hate the words ‘Common Core’ more than they hate education standards | Washington Examiner

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