Credit: Jane Meredith Adams/ EdSource Today

More than half of California voters said they knew nothing or very little about the state’s new Common Core standards for English language arts and math, according to a newly released report by the Policy Analysis for California Education/USC Rossier School of Education.

The results are not particularly unexpected, according to Morgan Polikoff, one of the report’s authors, because voters are typically ill informed on policy issues.

Still, it is unfortunate that so many Californians are uninformed about the new education standards, said Polikoff, an assistant professor of education at the USC Rossier School of Education. “Four years into adoption of such an important policy, there seems to be little awareness.”

PACE USC Poll Common Core

That so many California voters are ignorant about the Common Core State Standards means that propaganda against the Common Core can circulate more freely, because there isn’t much out there to counter it, Polikoff said.

For voters to find out about Common Core, they have to do most of the legwork. California Department of Education spokesperson Pam Slater said there are no state funds set aside for advertising about the Common Core. But Slater added that the state department of education’s website provides detailed information about the standards.

Perhaps not surprisingly, of the 1,005 voters surveyed in California, those who said they were knowledgeable about the Common Core were most likely to be parents of school-aged children.

And learning more about the standards does not mean that voters support them. The PACE/USC Rossier survey found that more Californians were opposed to the Common Core than are in favor of the standards.

The 44 percent of California voters who said they were knowledgeable about the Common Core said they had “somewhat” or “very negative” attitudes toward the standards. The report’s authors presented voters with what they think of as a compilation of the most prominent arguments for and against the Common Core, according to Polikoff.

As is the case with national polls asking about the Common Core, the PACE/USC Rossier survey found a split along political party lines. More Democrats supported than opposed the standards, with 47 percent supporting the Common Core and 34 percent opposed to them. Among Republicans, the opposite was true: Only 30 percent said they support the Common Core while 56 percent said they oppose it.

There was also a generational divide. Younger people were more in favor of Common Core than older Californians, an age split that runs across many social and economic issues, from marijuana and same-sex marriage to opinions about health care and taxes, according to Polikoff.

PACE/USC Rossier queried California voters about their knowledge of the new Common Core Standards last year, too. Eighteen percent more voters this year said they were aware of the Common Core. But, the report concluded that Californians attitudes about the Common Core have “become increasingly negative.”

Shelly Masur, executive director of the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation, an organization that provides materials about the Common Core to California schools, said the surveys may not go deep enough to see what people  know about the Common Core.

“If people can actually read the standards,” Masur said, “they have a more positive attitude about them.”

The survey, conducted June 19-22, has a margin of error of  plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


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  1. TJ Zeiler 1 year ago1 year ago

    Useless info. Telling us there’s info we should review on common core without any links is stupid. Peoples opinions when they admit they don’t get it are also worthless info. What’s your real goal?

  2. Israel Tietlebaum 2 years ago2 years ago

    The greatest breach of our constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is government control of education. Government has indoctrinated generations of Americans into accepting top-down, socialist-type government, the coddling of vicious criminals and terrorists, along with decreased liberties and protections for law abiding citizens. The new 114th Congress, which convenes on January 3, 2015, can set our nation on the path to Constitutional Government by sponsoring and passing the proposed D.C. … Read More

    The greatest breach of our constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is government control of education. Government has indoctrinated generations of Americans into accepting top-down, socialist-type government, the coddling of vicious criminals and terrorists, along with decreased liberties and protections for law abiding citizens. The new 114th Congress, which convenes on January 3, 2015, can set our nation on the path to Constitutional Government by sponsoring and passing the proposed D.C. Civil Rights Act for Equal Educational Opportunity, which can be found at the website of Alliance for Free Choice in education. This will allow DC parents to send their children to approved nonpublic schools of their choice, at half current costs! This will also serve as a model and trail blazer for all 50 states. Please call your Congressman, at 202-224-3121, to urge sponsorship of the bill, and urge your contacts to do the same. For further information, please see the following Liberty Action Network link.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jJnphl_uT4&feature=youtu.be

  3. Jenna Johnson 2 years ago2 years ago

    "That so many California voters are ignorant about the Common Core State Standards means that propaganda against the Common Core can circulate more freely, because there isn’t much out there to counter it, Polikoff said." What a crock! You have to jump through hoops to weed through the plethora of corporate-sponsored pro CC garbage just to get to anything remotely balanced! The state may not be directly "advertising" CCSS, but it's corporate … Read More

    “That so many California voters are ignorant about the Common Core State Standards means that propaganda against the Common Core can circulate more freely, because there isn’t much out there to counter it, Polikoff said.”
    What a crock! You have to jump through hoops to weed through the plethora of corporate-sponsored pro CC garbage just to get to anything remotely balanced! The state may not be directly “advertising” CCSS, but it’s corporate sponsors are sparing no expense. CCSS are being sugar-coated at back to school nights, WestEd is deploying armies of “educational consultants” to provide scripting to teachers and administrators, CC is being featured on all scholastic publications, workbooks, educational tools. It’s everywhere!
    Kudos to the parents, teachers, and concerned citizens that have actually taken the time to expose this farce for exactly what it is: corporate education reform, federal overreach, loss of teacher-based instruction, and an abusive one-size fits all approach to teaching our children, just to name a few.

  4. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    Huff Post from Aug 2014 Teachers are losing faith in the Common Core State Standards, the national education guidelines adopted by a majority of states. According to a poll out today by Education Next, a quarterly education journal from Stanford University's Hoover Institution, 40 percent of teachers said they opposed the Common Core -- more than triple the 12 percent who said they were against the standards in 2013. Public opposition to the Common Core also has increased. … Read More

    Huff Post from Aug 2014

    Teachers are losing faith in the Common Core State Standards, the national education guidelines adopted by a majority of states.

    According to a poll out today by Education Next, a quarterly education journal from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, 40 percent of teachers said they opposed the Common Core — more than triple the 12 percent who said they were against the standards in 2013.

    Public opposition to the Common Core also has increased. While 65 percent supported the Common Core in 2013, a slim majority — 53 percent — expressed approval in 2014. Broken down by party lines, Republicans were much more likely to have switched their opinion than Democrats.

  5. Caroline Grannan 2 years ago2 years ago

    Poll curmudgeon alert! Polls that collect responses from people who have no information on the topic -- based on giving the respondent a sentence or two of information and then asking an opinion -- are not valid, period. They shouldn't be trusted, credited, reported -- or, for that matter, paid for. I've been saying this about Prop. 13 polls for years, given that a minuscule percentage of the public has any clue at all what … Read More

    Poll curmudgeon alert! Polls that collect responses from people who have no information on the topic — based on giving the respondent a sentence or two of information and then asking an opinion — are not valid, period. They shouldn’t be trusted, credited, reported — or, for that matter, paid for. I’ve been saying this about Prop. 13 polls for years, given that a minuscule percentage of the public has any clue at all what Prop. 13 is/was.

    Also, by the way, this statement reveals such evident bias that doesn’t that further discredit this poll? “That so many California voters are ignorant about the Common Core State Standards means that propaganda against the Common Core can circulate more freely, because there isn’t much out there to counter it, Polikoff said.” It’s easy to describe the standards in a simple, clear way that would influence any reasonable person to think they’re a great idea, and since the dominant voices support them, those are the prevailing descriptions.

    (Disclaimer that I am reasonably well informed about the CCSS and am in the “problems are in the implementation” camp. My issues are with invalid polls’ being presented as credible.)

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      Caroline, you should team up with Jonathan Gruber and form a “Voters are Stupid” coalition.

      • Caroline Grannan 2 years ago2 years ago

        I'm not saying voters are stupid. I'm saying that a poll response from someone who admittedly has heard nothing about the issue until given a short update by the pollster is not valid, shouldn't be counted, shouldn't be reported and shouldn't be paid for. If the pollster can't find enough respondents who have some prior information, call off the poll, because it's not valid. Read More

        I’m not saying voters are stupid. I’m saying that a poll response from someone who admittedly has heard nothing about the issue until given a short update by the pollster is not valid, shouldn’t be counted, shouldn’t be reported and shouldn’t be paid for. If the pollster can’t find enough respondents who have some prior information, call off the poll, because it’s not valid.

      • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

        Better yet, why not ask yourself why Common Core was developed in secret and adopted in hurried fashion without reasonable public input? We were asked to embrace it before we ever even met it and now you want to avoid getting the feedback of people who don't properly understand it? I've have a reasonable understanding of CCSI, but I reject it utterly for the manner in which it was foisted on the American public … Read More

        Better yet, why not ask yourself why Common Core was developed in secret and adopted in hurried fashion without reasonable public input? We were asked to embrace it before we ever even met it and now you want to avoid getting the feedback of people who don’t properly understand it? I’ve have a reasonable understanding of CCSI, but I reject it utterly for the manner in which it was foisted on the American public and because it was never properly vetted as educationally sound – the same reasons Diane Ravitch concluded.

        • CarolineSF 2 years ago2 years ago

          Taking an opinion poll and reporting the results as a gauge of public sentiment is an entirely different thing from “getting feedback.” I totally support getting feedback. I sdispute the validity of the poll as a gauge of public sentiment given the number respondents who had no information on the topic.

          • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

            Speaking from a parents perspective - no one informed Parents about Common Core until it was implemented. When you couple that with the fact that most parents have full time jobs and so many governmental changes to deal with - health care- common core- Local Control funding just to name a few- it is a jumble of really complicated laws that have unintended consequences which parents and taxpayers are just now starting to feel. I … Read More

            Speaking from a parents perspective – no one informed Parents about Common Core until it was implemented. When you couple that with the fact that most parents have full time jobs and so many governmental changes to deal with – health care- common core- Local Control funding just to name a few- it is a jumble of really complicated laws that have unintended consequences which parents and taxpayers are just now starting to feel. I can tell you that my District funded at $7,002 a student – understaffed- 40 kids to a class – furlough days- buildings that are failing because of deferred maintenance- and now your add Common Core, and newcomers- with the possibility of millions more- I don’t see how public education in my District will survive. There are no resources left for anyone who is not illegal or an english language learner.

          • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

            Add to your jumble the fear-mongering and hollow promises of the LCFF campaign that the California Budget Project has definitively revealed to be utter lies and you have a major ****storm. Then there's the Governor encouraging unlawful immigration to California, exacerbating the situation. I guess when you're dead last among the states there's no where else to fall. No, it can and will get worse. As a parent, observer and former teacher I … Read More

            Add to your jumble the fear-mongering and hollow promises of the LCFF campaign that the California Budget Project has definitively revealed to be utter lies and you have a major ****storm. Then there’s the Governor encouraging unlawful immigration to California, exacerbating the situation. I guess when you’re dead last among the states there’s no where else to fall. No, it can and will get worse. As a parent, observer and former teacher I have never been so pessimistic.

          • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

            Meant to say Prop 30, not LCFF

          • Dawn Urbanek 2 years ago2 years ago

            Don – you are scaring me???

            What would you recommend for me who is truly and advocate for students but feels that the system who says there is local control but then is dishonest- “newcomers” vs “Unaccompanied minors”. The current education system, State Representatives and local governments are not interested in educating students they simply use students to generate tax revenue. How can I make people in power care about educating my child?

          • Paul Muench 2 years ago2 years ago

            It’s still valid for sampling how many people think they know about Common Core which is the headline.

  6. Sandra Smith 2 years ago2 years ago

    Almost every point you made was false or contradicted statistics you provided yourself. The opposition to Common Core is growing. It is among parents. It is among those experienced and familiar with how it plays out in the classroom. Those are the conclusions I would draw from the polls you cited. That is also consistent with my experience.

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      I see no problem with the primary result of the poll which says that a majority of people are unfamiliar with Common Core. Sandra's point is well taken. Masur said, "If people can actually read the standards, they have a more positive attitude about them,” but as time goes by opposition is growing as evidenced here in the article - " The 44 percent of California voters who said they were knowledgeable about the Common Core … Read More

      I see no problem with the primary result of the poll which says that a majority of people are unfamiliar with Common Core.

      Sandra’s point is well taken. Masur said, “If people can actually read the standards, they have a more positive attitude about them,” but as time goes by opposition is growing as evidenced here in the article – ” The 44 percent of California voters who said they were knowledgeable about the Common Core said they had “somewhat” or “very negative” attitudes toward the standards.” Is Masur implying that opposition is only growing among those who don’t know or understand them? As Sandra pointed out, that doesn’t comport with the facts or what was quoted.

      Polikoff said, “That so many California voters are ignorant about the Common Core State Standards means that propaganda against the Common Core can circulate more freely, because there isn’t much out there to counter it.” By the same token propaganda FOR the Common Core can also circulate more freely. Does this represent a bias by the pollster?

  7. Jeanne Pepper 2 years ago2 years ago

    Anytime you make the standards for education opaque you are going to create a vacuum of understanding by parents and educators as to what you are doing and how you plan to do it. There is no research or conclusive evidence that these new standards will improve the education of our children. The only thing I know for sure, is that California has agreed to dummy down its' standards to effectively lower the … Read More

    Anytime you make the standards for education opaque you are going to create a vacuum of understanding by parents and educators as to what you are doing and how you plan to do it. There is no research or conclusive evidence that these new standards will improve the education of our children. The only thing I know for sure, is that California has agreed to dummy down its’ standards to effectively lower the bar for at risk kids. This will certainly not be beneficial for gifted or motivated students. I am terrified that if California doesn’t dump the core standards soon that we will raise a generation of people that are under educated and unprepared for college requirements in math, science and technology degrees. We need to have the universities tell us what they need our kids to know in order for students to be successful in higher education and that should be the end goal. Get rid of this nonsense and get us back to the basics.

  8. janet kent 2 years ago2 years ago

    I am informed about Common Core started studying it last year. It is absolutely the wrong thing for CA. The discontent with it will grow over time as parents start to wake up and understand it. Basically 40% of the students in our country are not prepared for college and need remedial math and English at the college level. So the bar has been lowered to help activate the 40% at the cost of the … Read More

    I am informed about Common Core started studying it last year. It is absolutely the wrong thing for CA. The discontent with it will grow over time as parents start to wake up and understand it. Basically 40% of the students in our country are not prepared for college and need remedial math and English at the college level. So the bar has been lowered to help activate the 40% at the cost of the 60%. Also strong arguments that this is a corporate take over and manipulation of education. school to work. Also CA signed up for this only one month after the standards were written. they did not do their homework in deciding if it was good for CA. CA is dumping BIG money into a system that is already showing failure in the states that began before us. Other states have dropped it and are trying to drop it. We will end up dropping it also once the parents wake up and the teachers become very frustrated. Teachers were excited about it’s promises and slogans. They are having to teach it now and they are many not liking it. Time will show it’s a failure and we will have just flushed a lot of money down the toilet. Imagine had we kept our original standards that were much better and just put all that money into our schools instead of wasting it. CA you shoud have done your homework. Ps The math standards are lower and they are terrible.

  9. Harold Capenter 2 years ago2 years ago

    Then there is this little caveat: "The survey, conducted June 19-22, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points." It's like almost 6 months since this little survey - there's been a ground changer - in Orange County Board of Education. In December they plan on suing the state of California and/or the federal government to remove common core from their schools. The pro and against … Read More

    Then there is this little caveat: “The survey, conducted June 19-22, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.” It’s like almost 6 months since this little survey – there’s been a ground changer – in Orange County Board of Education. In December they plan on suing the state of California and/or the federal government to remove common core from their schools. The pro and against panelist made their case. The pro common core side lost big with the OCBE.

    Replies

  10. Harold Capenter 2 years ago2 years ago

    Made me LOL! "That so many California voters are ignorant about the Common Core State Standards means that propaganda against the Common Core can circulate more freely, because there isn’t much out there to counter it, Polikoff said." "For voters to find out about Common Core, they have to do most of the legwork. California Department of Education spokesperson Pam Slater said there are no state funds set aside for advertising about the Common … Read More

    Made me LOL! “That so many California voters are ignorant about the Common Core State Standards means that propaganda against the Common Core can circulate more freely, because there isn’t much out there to counter it, Polikoff said.” “For voters to find out about Common Core, they have to do most of the legwork. California Department of Education spokesperson Pam Slater said there are no state funds set aside for advertising about the Common Core.” Absolutely the funniest thing I’ve read about Common Core in a long time!

  11. Colleen Falke 2 years ago2 years ago

    I am one of the 1005 voters surveyed this year, reporting little or no knowledge of Common Core. This less than robust sample does not support the claim that more than half of Californians are unfortunately ill-informed on the issue. Reporting of this caliber from an education resource suggests an agenda that is at odds with survey respondents' goals for the education of their children. The author's bias is clear. Perhaps I overlooked the editorial … Read More

    I am one of the 1005 voters surveyed this year, reporting little or no knowledge of Common Core. This less than robust sample does not support the claim that more than half of Californians are unfortunately ill-informed on the issue. Reporting of this caliber from an education resource suggests an agenda that is at odds with survey respondents’ goals for the education of their children. The author’s bias is clear. Perhaps I overlooked the editorial disclaimer on this article.

  12. Bruce William Smith 2 years ago2 years ago

    The closing comment by Ms. Masur precisely contradicts the data in the article: Californians, like other Americans, tend to like the Common Core less as they get more knowledge about it through experience with it. This has much to do with why other states have already withdrawn from the Common Core or, more reasonably, as in North Carolina and Tennessee, are planning to review the standards, a process that will likely result in necessary changes. … Read More

    The closing comment by Ms. Masur precisely contradicts the data in the article: Californians, like other Americans, tend to like the Common Core less as they get more knowledge about it through experience with it. This has much to do with why other states have already withdrawn from the Common Core or, more reasonably, as in North Carolina and Tennessee, are planning to review the standards, a process that will likely result in necessary changes. And if educators have actually read the standards in comparison to those being taught in other nations (admittedly there are few of us), they are far likelier, I believe, to favour the Common Core, since the Common Core standards are presenting American families with an ugly choice: leave your children in the state schools and guarantee that they will receive an internationally uncompetitive education, particularly in mathematics, or withdraw them and figure out how to pay for private education. In California this is an especially large challenge, since the oddly Soviet nature of our established state education code and politics has kept vouchers far out of reach; but the Common Core is providing a great stimulus for withdrawing children from the state schools, getting vouchers passed to help pay for a now necessary private education, and cutting taxes paid to support increasingly useless state schools.

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