Support for Common Core Drops to All-Time Low

Oct 15, 2016 by

By Allison Nielsen –

The Common Core State Standards may be implemented nationwide, but support for the standards has dropped to an all-time low.

A new report conducted by Education Next (EdNext), a journal from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Education Policy and Governance, found the national education standards losing widespread support among Americans, with only 50 percent supporting their usage in their states. The survey analyzes 10-year trends in education issues.

“Public support remains as high as ever for federally mandated testing, charter schools, tax credits to support private school choice, merit pay for teachers, and teacher tenure reform,” the report stated. “However, backing for the Common Core State Standards and school vouchers fell to new lows in 2016.”

That number has plummeted since EdNext first asked respondents whether they supported the standards four years ago. In 2012, national support for the standards was at an all-time high, with nearly 90 percent in favor of Common Core.

Even over the last year, support for the use of Common Core has dropped nearly 10 percent.

Common Core first appeared in the education scene in 2009, but most states didn’t hop on board with the standards until several years later.

Republicans’ support of Common Core has been significant. Eighty-two percent supported the standards back in 2013 — now, only 39 percent say they support the standards.

Democrats have been slightly more steadfast with their support of Common Core, with 86 percent supporting the standards in 2013 and 60 percent supporting them in 2016.

The name “Common Core” seems to have become a four-letter word. When “Common Core” was not mentioned, two-thirds of respondents said they backed the use of the same standards across states.

“We’ve seen some slight drop when Common Core is not mentioned, but more of a slip instead of a fall,” Study coauthor and senior editor of Education Next Paul E. Peterson told Heartland. “There is an objection to national standards, but the Common Core name has been energetically criticized.”

Several states have slashed the Common Core title from their standards brand. In Florida, the Florida Department of Education rebranded the Common Core State Standards, altering them slightly and then renaming them the “Florida Standards.” They were fully implemented in 2014.

The reasoning for rebranding the standards in Florida partially stemmed from harsh criticisms and backlash over the standards.

Most respondents favored standardized testing, with nearly four out of five saying they were in support of the federal requirement that all students should be tested in math and reading in each grade from 3rd through 8th grade as well as at least once in high school.

The survey also honed in on other hot-button education issues like school choice and teacher merit pay.

When it came to the popularity of school vouchers, the EdNext report found support for targeted and universal vouchers has declined over the years. Fifty-five percent of the general public said they supported vouchers in 2012, but only 43 percent feel the same way in 2016.

More than half of the public (65 percent) say they favor tax credits for donations to foundations helping low-income students attend private schools.

The subject of tax credit scholarships has been controversial in the Sunshine State. Over 90,000 low-income students receive tax credit scholarships in Florida, a number which has steadily climbed since the program’s inception in 2001. The program has come under fire from the state’s teachers’ union, which alleges the program is unconstitutional.

In general, teachers don’t seem to be quite as supportive. Only 47 percent of teachers say they favor tax credits.

Source: Support for Common Core Drops to All-Time Low | Sunshine State News | Florida Political News

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