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Survey finds Californians back both Common Core and new funding formula



 

Resistance to the Common Core State Standards may be spreading in parts of Red State America, but Californians are learning more about  the new math and reading standards and generally like what they have heard, according to a new survey by the Public Policy Institute of California.

A survey of 1,702 adult Californians found that 69 percent of Californians overall said they favored Common Core after being read a brief description. Support for the new standards, however, dropped with familiarity, with 59 percent of those saying they know a lot about Common Core favoring it. Of those who had said they knew nothing about Common Core, 73 percent expressed support.

Knowledge of the new standards that California and 44 other states have adopted has grown in California, with 56 percent of respondents overall and 65 percent of public school parents now saying they know at least a little about Common Core; that compares with only 45 percent of parents a year ago.

The public’s familiarity with Common Core still far exceeded knowledge of the Local Control Funding Formula, the other sweeping change in California education rolling out this year. Just 27 percent of Californians overall said they know about the new funding formula. However, this year, as with past Public Policy Institute surveys, 70 percent of respondents said they agreed with the funding formula’s key purpose, steering extra dollars to school districts with higher concentrations of low-income students and English learners.

Mark Baldassare, the institute’s president and CEO, said that the results indicate initial widespread good will toward the two landmark education initiatives as well as “a lack of satisfaction with the status quo.” As a result, both Common Core and the new funding formula “will have some breathing room” for what’s expected to take years before they’re fully in place, he said.

That good will  may be important, because those polled already are expressing skepticism about the implementation of both.

Three-quarters of all adults and 80 percent of public school parents said they were very or somewhat concerned that teachers won’t be adequately prepared to teach Common Core, while only 8 percent indicated they weren’t concerned at all. Californians indicated they’re willing to dig a little deeper to help teachers get ready. Told that the state provided $1.25 billion this year to school districts for implementing Common Core, 65 percent of all respondents and 71 percent of public school parents said they’d support adding $1.5 billion next year for Common Core preparation. There is a party split, with 76 percent of Democrats, 43 percent of Republicans and 49 percent of Independents in favor.

Looking down the road, though, 74 percent of public school parents said they were very or somewhat confident that Common Core would help students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and 71 percent said they believed Common Core would “make students more college or career ready upon graduation.”

The new education funding law requires that school districts involve parents in setting education goals and spending priorities through a Local Control and Accountability Plan. With near unanimity, all groups in the survey agreed that this is important. Most public school parents, in turn,  said they were very (53 percent) or somewhat (38 percent) interested in becoming involved in developing the local accountability plan. (Lower-income parents and those without college degrees expressed the most interest.) But only about half of the public school parents (52%) in the survey said that their child’s school or district has provided information about how to become involved, while 45 percent said they have received no information. More Latino public school parents (61%) than white parents (42%) said they have received information about how to become involved with the plan.

Funding reforms

With regard to the Local Control Funding Formula, two in three Californians said they were optimistic that the additional resources will lead to improved academic achievement for English learners and low-income students (16 percent predicted they would improve a lot, 50 percent somewhat), while 25 percent said academic achievement will not get better. Public school parents were slightly more confident: 71 percent said achievement would improve for those targeted students.

Those polled were less sanguine that flexible spending would lead to wiser spending, however. Only 8 percent of public school parents and 7 percent of all adults said they were very confident that the Local Control Funding Formula, which gives districts more authority over spending decisions, will lead to a wise use of dollars. Forty-nine percent of public school parents and 46 percent of all of those asked said they were somewhat confident this would happen.

Filed under: Common Core, Data, LCFF Tracker, Local Control Funding Formula

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18 Responses to “Survey finds Californians back both Common Core and new funding formula”

  1. Paul Muench said

    on April 24, 2014 at 7:13 am

    How does this compare with other states? I’m most interested in Massachusettes. Does the public’s general lack of interest in both LCFF and Common Core help to explain the poor state of education funding in California?

    • John Fensterwald replied

      on April 24, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Paul: Here is a link to a summary of a recent Gallup national poll of public school parents on Common Core. Its summary said:
      “Among those who say they have heard at least a little about the Common Core standards, views tilt positive, by 52% to 42%. However, relatively few parents feel strongly about Common Core. Even among parents familiar with the standards, just 13% view them very positively, while slightly more — 19% — view them very negatively.” I have not looked for a Massachusetts poll.
      Ann: I agree with you that a two-sentence summary of Common Core is a poor gauge on which to conclude that the 44 percent of the public that had never heard of the standards is behind them. However, as the piece points out, 60 percent of those who said they knew a lot about the standards favor them. One can only speculate why this is a somewhat lower percentage than that of the ignorant: concern over testing or teacher preparation? deep knowledge of perceived flaws of the standards? political views about “federal overreach”? The poll does provide a baseline, however, for surveys in future years, when the public and parents will be more knowledgeable.

      • CarolineSF replied

        on April 28, 2014 at 5:07 pm

        It’s not just conservatives who oppose — or at least are raising concerns about — the Common Core standards and especially the related increased focus on testing (highly profitable for Pearson, highly controversial among actual school communities once they experience it). Mainstream commentaries (including those condemning all critics as crackpots) are starting to acknowledge that — their standard line is “from the left,” Diane Ravitch opposes it, though she’s hardly a wild-eyed pinko.

        Surely the well-informed followers of this site have heard something about the furious resistance to the Common Core testing among parents in New York State, especially Long Island, not a Tea Party hotbed — and Arne Duncan’s sneering at those parents as suburban mommies who were upset because they were forced to confront the fact that their precious snowflakes are dumdums.

        So I’m correcting that point in your post, John. Criticism and opposition and not limited to “parts of Red State America.”

        • John Fensterwald replied

          on April 28, 2014 at 6:14 pm

          It’s important to distinguish opposition to the Common Core standards from, in the case of New York, anger over the tests that New York developed and the prospect of evaluating teachers on those standards.

          The states that are moving to withdraw from either testing consortium or to modify their standards so that they aren’t Common Core-like aren’t doing so because their parents don’t like standardized tests. It’s largely ideological, the opposition to the perception that Washington is dictating standards and a common test.

          It’s true that there is a movement by some parents to oppose standardized tests in general. But California has suspended almost all standardized testing this year and won’t judge schools on the results of the new tests for a year or two. So what is happening elsewhere isn’t happening here, at least not yet.

          In the future, there should be a debate on this point: If one agrees there is value in well-designed standardized tests that measure what students learn, then the new tests, with performance tasks and short answers that measure problem solving and critical thinking, will be an improvement. But they will also take longer and cost more.

          BTW: You may want to read this piece in Huffington Post on Pearson. Investors apparently don’t have much confidence that the company will make obscene – or even tolerable – profits.

          • Don replied

            on April 29, 2014 at 2:41 pm

            The average parent has no idea what Common Core is. Many students have no experience of it as their teachers have yet to receive training and are understandable hard pressed to change what they have done for many years.

            After having a brief description read to them (do these subjects of the survey know how to read themselves), does anyone really believe that qualifies said subjects to have educated opinions on the subjects of testing and curriculum with all the complexities that befuddle even expert observers? Ya, I’m all like more critical thinking is the bomb – in schools and in the media.

            Regarding Pearson, while the Huff Post author is not exactly an unbiased observer and ought to say so at the beginning rather than the end, Pearson more than deserves the criticism given the many ethical failings of the company. The debacle of the conflict of interest in providing private and public curriculum for their largely proprietary NY State tests is one good example. Though the lonely supporters of Pearson will conclude that a reading test taker doesn’t have an advantage by using any one given test prep, there a good deal of evidence to indicate that reading comprehension often has more to do with subject knowledge than reading knowledge per se and that, therefore, test prep that provides content is likely to yield higher scores.

            You can read more here on that subject:

            http://blog.coreknowledge.org/2010/06/16/there%E2%80%99s-no-such-thing-as-a-reading-test/

        • Floyd Thursby replied

          on April 30, 2014 at 4:43 pm

          Testing puts more focus on grades. Remember Caroline, you used to be all against testing and flash cards and test prep and then your kids didn’t get into Lowell. Don’t you regret your past views a bit now? You have to focus on what works. Focusing on testing helps. It makes parents do flash cards with their kids, gets them tutors, etc. Not having testing leads parents to think their kids are doing fine…until it’s too late. You only get one chance. We need national testing. Before it kids graduated high school illiterate and there was no movement to terminate ineffective teachers and promote good ones. It hasn’t happened yet but the writing is on the wall that LIFO will end soon, which will help. Long Island is fairly conservative, it’s mostly Irish and Italians who didn’t want their kids growing up in New York City because they felt it was too diverse.

  2. ann said

    on April 24, 2014 at 7:48 am

    I’m sorry to rain on this parade but I recommend readers to go to the PPIC and read through this report before taking their numbers too seriously. The majority of respondents had never heard of the issues they were questioned on before the PPIC conveniently offers them a sentence or two ‘informing’ respondents. It reminded me of Kimmel’s “Lie witness News”.

  3. Lynne Berman said

    on April 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    As far as I can tell Common Core is to make sure no child gets educated. I don’t know where people are getting their information but it is clearly an attempt to make sure kids are never taught how to think but rather to think all wrong! as in 2 plus 2 actually equals whatever you decide it does…..and you call that an improvement over ‘no child’? It’s a downgrade if anything!

  4. Lynne Berman said

    on April 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Instead of a focus on funding…does anyone think(?)about a focus on actually educating the children of this country? or state? or city?
    Like teaching kids about history and government for example? WhenI went to school they actually taught ‘Civics”…..imagine that!

  5. navigio said

    on April 24, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I don’t think surveys like these should be used to gauge whether CC is effective or not. Many people oppose CC not because of its contents but because of how it’s being implemented. That is important to understand.
    Obviously many will also oppose or support it depending on whether they like public figures who support it.

  6. KayLove said

    on April 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Really a poll in California of 1,710 adults, not even parents of kids who attend public school. This is laughable. What is population of California again? How many are adults? How many with kids in school? I hardly think 1,710 adults is adeqaute to base a statement like Californians back Common Core. I am an adult, with a child in public school in California. I do not support CC. Thanks for registering my vote.

    • Kelly A. replied

      on April 30, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      This is exactly what I was looking to read…Did anyone else notice they only polled 2000 people and out of those people, only 400 of them were parents of students. That is totally inadequate in my opinion, but apparently it was sufficient enough for a news segment to convince Californians in the gist of their message that Californians support CC. Myself, nor any other parents I talk to support CC.

  7. TransParent said

    on April 26, 2014 at 10:03 am

    There is so much with which to challenge CC$$ and LCFF, as proposed. I am just thrilled that my children are out of the system and I fear for those families with children currently in it.

    • Paul Muench replied

      on April 30, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      The SNAFUs with Common Core were all too predictable and unnecessary. Better to have some districts work out the bugs and then scale it to everyone. It’s not like Common Core is some kind of amazing cure that we need to halt the trials and make it available to everyone.

  8. Kelly A. said

    on April 30, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Of course fewer whites are less convinced…where will the extra money come from for ESL learners? Taken from the education of the white kids and given to the schools with the higher numbers of ESL learners. Sounds like reverse racism to me. My daughter’s education is suffering because multiple times per week 3/4ths of her class gets separated and goes to ESL class while her, and the other six non-ESL kids stay in class — they do not move ahead — they do busy work — their learning and growth is stunted so everyone else can catch up. Oh, and they have tutoring after school ONLY OFFERRED TO ESL LEARNERS! No extra help is offered for anyone else. Twelve years ago, I remember sitting in class, listening to the AM bulletin of available scholarships — all for minorities. The only available scholarships to white students were for those with exceptionally high GPA’s or sports scholarships. In addition to getting the short end of the stick when kids, they will become adults that have a harder time getting jobs because they are not bilingual or the company has to hire a certain number of non-whites to be in compliance with California labor laws.
    Then, to top it off, articles are written pointing out the fact that whites are not convinced or do not approve CC or LCFF, written in a manner to convey that whites are being difficult and stubborn when we’re just trying to protect our children’s education.

  9. Monica Calvillo said

    on May 12, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Common Core is a bad idea. It is only so the Federal Government can control every aspect of your child’s life. Is that what you want not to have any choices in their education. Because, once this is implemented you will be on the outside looking in. Your privacy will go out the window and your children will be wards of the Federal Government. They are teaching things that are not true especially when it comes to Islam. I know by reading my grandsons history book in the 7th grade. They showed Jihad as a peaceful act, when it is quite the opposite. As far as the survey goes I DON’T BELIEVE A WORD OF IT. They lie just to carry on their agenda of socialism. If you truly care about your children you will not allow Common Core in their school. Wake up do you really think the Eduction Board or the Federal Government really cares about your child. The answer is they DO NOT! They only care about how much money they can give to their greedy friends & associates. This is just part of Agenda 21 and if you haven’t heard about it I suggest you look it up.

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